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Brief Published: 17 Aug 2016

Run an Empire: Strategy-Based Fit-Tech

Players run through their neighbourhoods to capture and maintain areas in the Run An Empire app

Earlier this week London-based design studio Pan launched free-to-play strategy game Run An Empire in the UK app store.

Available exclusively on iOS, the multiplayer running game challenges users to claim and maintain an ‘empire’ during daily workouts. Tracking players' steps with GPS, the app pushes athletes to race against each other by walking, jogging or running around an area to ‘capture’ it, with the goal of controlling the most territory in their local environment.

The app uses augmented reality (AR) to overlay hexagonal tiles on a real-world map, allowing players to see which ‘hexes’ they have passed through and claimed, which are claimed by others and which are free to take.

Beyond simply gamifying fitness with territory-based rewards, however, the app challenges players to take a strategic approach, carefully considering how to use their run to maximum effect. The app’s ‘tile decay’ feature, for example, reduces a player’s influence over a hex for each day they remain inactive, thereby placing an emphasis on recent activity. Similarly, a time check feature limits a player’s run time to one hour, with a cooldown period of 24 hours since the start of their last run – hindering unfair strategies such as going on several short runs in quick succession, through the same area, in order to capture those hexes quickly.

For more on the latest technologies, formats and spaces shaking up the fitness market, see Millennial Fitness Update: Tech Tones Up. To learn more about goal-oriented and influential people striving for success and relishing opportunities to prove their worth, read Outgoing Overachievers