The Fitness App That Turns Running into a Game
Grab your running gear and Run An Empire to build a virtual kingdom
As proven by the incredible popularity of Pokémon Go, given the right motivation, people are only too happy to get outside and move around. If the prospect of a longer, healthier life doesn’t excite you, then perhaps the lure of nabbing a rare pocket monster might.
Run An Empire throws another exercise incentive into the mix – the chance to build your own kingdom. Every step you take helps you claim “hexes”, part of the grid of hexagonal tiles that cover the entire real world map.
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How Run an Empire Works
Unclaimed hexes are easy to conquer: you only have to run or walk through them once, but after someone else has planted their flag it comes down to whichever player has gone through the hex the most.
However, even if you don’t manage to steal the hex from another player during your run, you do earn coins for raiding any owned hexes you pass through. These come in handy for a few reasons.
Firstly, Run An Empire does not just let you run around endlessly grabbing all the hexes you want. Players are only able to grab hexes in chunks of exercise lasting up to an hour, before taking an enforced break of several hours until they are able to go out conquering again. That is, unless they’re able to raid enough coins on their runs, as you can use those to cancel the wait period.
Secondly, you can also use the coins to indulge your artistic side, as you can buy design features for your own personal coat of arms, which flies above the hexes you own.
Free, available at the App Store, runanempire.com
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Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.