This past week, I had the opportunity to try out the Marvel Move fitness program. Despite a few bugs here and there, the experience was a LOT of fun and something I plan to continue with.
For those that may not be familiar with the overall parent app (ZRX) and its predecessor fitness program Zombies, Run!, the formula is pretty straightforward: it's basically an immersive audio book app that tracks your walks/runs. Each story contains micro-chapters so you'll run/walk for a bit, and then get to hear another micro-chapter. The operative term here is: "immersive". The stories place you in the lead role (as a silent actor of sorts) and the rest of the narrative cast interact with you directly. The result is an experience that feels very personal.
I know, this blog post sounds like an advertisement. Bear with me. There's a point in here somewhere.
It's hard to describe, but this overall exercise format/structure helps fitness be way more motivating for me. Real talk: I've never really been excited to get cardio in for the sake of cardio. As I'm typing this, I can just imagine the fitness enthusiasts shouting "but Mike, the health benefits are so good for you! It's one of the best things you can do to reduce risk of heart disease and...". Yeah, I know exercise is good for me but in most cases, exercise by itself is really boring. What I need is a distraction while doing it. Music is sometimes OK, but again it's pretty passive/boring. This app format is way more fun.
OK, so lets get to it:
- Excellent voice acting. The actors remind me of childhood voice actors from some of my favorite animated series (and I mean that in a good way :-) ).
- Great special effects. Everything from laser blasts to characters telepathically communicating with me sound authentic.
- Great plots/stories. I'm only a couple episodes in so it remains to be seen where some of these narratives go but very fun thus far.
- There are some noticeable glitches. Sometimes the UI progress meter in the app doesn't properly update... some of the settings (like choosing miles vs kilometers) seems "stuck". I'm confident that it'll be resolved over ttime.
- Some features in the "Zombies, Run!"app are absent from Marvel Move. Little things like being able to share your run log summary with social networks, etc. Again, it's one of those things where I'm pretty confident it'll be resolved in the future.
So there ya have it. My initial thoughts on Marvel Move. More ramblings to come!