Facebook’s Virtual Reality headset product features an ecosystem, packed with apps that can improve one’s fitness. Blizzard explored what Oculus has on offer for fitness freaks, and came up with a list of The best apps to turn one’s Oculus VR platform into a home Gym.
While hardware extensions to standalone gaming console staples, Xbox, and Playstation inspired a fitness gaming craze, VR technology has taken it to a whole new level. The Kinect, Nintendo Wii, and PS Move were geared at encouraging users to be more active. The very movement intensive nature of Virtual Reality (VR) consoles means that a simple gaming session can easily turn into a full body workout.
The fact that VR offers a more physical, and immersive, gaming experience than classic screen-display, couch potato gaming, did not go completely unnoticed by gaming developers. As such, Oculus offers a number of phenomenal fitness oriented gaming titles.
This is – by far – VR’s most highly ranked fitness app. It doesn’t just deliver a rhythm based gaming experience that is intense enough to give one a workout, it is an app that was purpose built for fitness.
Instead of having to slash through shapes with a virtual lightsaber, or leaping, and squatting to fit through strangely shaped objects, users of the Supernatural app are treated to aerobic workouts – delivered by actual humans. The coaches have different personalities and deliver motivation throughout the workout, so one can choose how to keep themselves going.
The app features workouts of different intensity, and length, along with enabling one to choose from a host of popular songs to workout to. In addition to that, users also have the freedom of picking from a number of different scenic locations, to have their workout session.
FitXR isn’t as aesthetically put together as Supernatural, the music is generic, the graphics are – well – OK, and much of the bells and whistles that make Supernatural such a phenomenal app are not to be found on this game. However, the game’s intensity, and mix of boxing, or dance based workout routines makes it a great workout title.
Players can choose to either dance, or box their way through their workout session. Boxing workouts require one to jab, hook, and uppercut to bust targets that come at them at varying paces. One has to really throw an elbow in order for the hit to effectively destroy a target, so one can expect to get some good cardio work out of this title.
Not exactly a workout app, but it really gets the job done. Beat Saber equips the player with a lightsaber, which they must use to cut through objects that fly at them at variable intensities.
The game is challenging enough to inspire multiple playthroughs, so it’s pretty simple to work into a more interactive, and dynamic workout routine. It would be cool to have a duel wield option, just for laughs.
VZFit offers the gaming experience of titles like Beat Saber, or FitXR, combined with the scenic interactivity of Supernatural – on an exercise bike. By attaching a cadence sensor to one’s excecise bike, they virtually cycle around the globe, with the help of Google’s immersive street views.
Though the game seems more roughly put together than other Oculus fitness titles, it shines most when using Google’s immersive street views. It’s turning mechanism has a very natural feel to it, really creating the effect of actually paddling past the Louvre at 4am in the morning.
VZFit comes with some games as well, one can paddle to send a race car barreling down a track, or be a tank commander, mowing other vehicles down with heavy artillery. Paddling faster makes the vehicle go faster, while head turns cause the vehicle to turn. Simple enough, fully engaging.
Fancy a game of squash? Try it in a Sci-Fi themed, thunderdome-like environment. Racket: Nx is another of those accidental fitness titles that just deserve honorable mention for the calorie burning workout they delivers. armed with a racket, the player must work at destroying illuminated hexagonal tiles.
There is a tracker-beam between ball and racket so one has the added benefit of calling the ball back for another beating. It also helps to send the ball up in a way that enables it to knockout multiple tiles at once. So, some hand-eye coordination is in order.
This is a dance-based fitness app for folks who don’t dance much. This isn’t Dance Central, or FitXR. In fact, Oh Shape doesn’t look much like a dance game, as there are no avatars to create, or any dance routines to master. What players of this title will appreciate most, is the novel, and simplistic approach to the dance genre.
All one does is stand on a conveyor belt, ducking walls. The key twist is that these walls have different body poses cut into them, that the player must contort, lunge, and jump to fit into. I doubt that I really need to say more. The workout that awaits players of this game is probably quite clear already.