Skip the gym this year and get sweaty from the comfort of your living room with these fun and fat-burning VR experiences.
We all know the routine. You have a few drinks at a New Years Eve party, declare this is the year you finally get in shape and then wake up the next morning hoping everyone forgot about your boisterous claim. There’s no shame in it. After all, it takes a lot of time, energy and finances to keep up a regular gym schedule in these turbulent times.
So why not skip all the nonsense this year and instead tighten up those buns using some of VR’s most sweat-inducing experiences and games. Here are some of the best titles for getting you ready for the upcoming beach season:
Arguably the most physically demanding of these VR experiences, the VirZOOM is essentially a stationary bike based VR controller that utilizes pedals and basic joystick controllers to track the speed and actions of the user while in VR. The faster the user pedals, the quicker they’ll move in their experience. There are currently five different experiences compatible with the device, from a race car driving simulator to a mystical Pegasus flying adventure.
The only downside is the steep price tag of $349. For a cheaper alternative, check out the VZ Sensor from the same company. The intuitive little device attaches to any stable exercise bike turning it into a VR motion machine. Unfortunately it is currently only available for commercial use.
HTC Tracker Racket Sports Set
I’m painfully untalented when it comes to tennis and ping-pong. So I thought for sure i’d dislike the Virtual Sports experience included in Vive’s new Racket Sports Set for it’s official tracker puck. Turns out sucking at something in VR is way more fun than it would be in real life. The economical bundle includes a tennis-inspired racket add-on, a ping-pong paddle add-on and a copy of Virtual Sports for the Vive which includes both a tennis and ping-pong VR experience.
Both racket attachments add a realistic sense of weight and realism to their respective games resulting in a much more immersive experience then simply using the standard Vive controllers. You can also pick up an old school Hyper Blaster attachment and copy of Duck Season for a nostalgia-fueled trip through Duck Hunt.
One of my favorite VR experiences of the year and it’s not even officially released yet, Sprint Vector is an upcoming experience for SteamVR and PlayStation VR where players, well, sprint. It’s more interesting as it sounds though. Contestants will run, jump, climb, drift, fling and fly across insane race tracks of epic proportions. The entire game revolves around your arm movements, swinging them back and forth rapidly to run, holding them in a “Superman” pose to control flight and grabbing ledges to climb.
Beyond the physical benefits the experience oozes personality with a colorful universe and eclectic roster of charismatic characters. Interested in testing your metal? Sign-ups for the January Sprint Vector: Alienware VR Cup have already kicked-off. I had the immense luck of receiving some useful tips from the creators themselves while at a PlayStation VR event, so I’m feeling PRETTY confident if I do say so myself. Then again I am usually wiped out by only the second lap…
Are you one of those people who enjoy working out while angry? Well then boy do I have the VR workout experience for you. Let all that pent-up rage against life out with a couple of rounds of the bone-crushing VR gladiator title, GORN. This absolute blood-fest tasks users with surviving round after round of hand-to-hand combat using a dangerous assortment of spears, swords, clubs and various other painful tools.
Things will start casually at first, but as you continue to rack up takedowns you’ll begin to feel your sword-swinging arm tire. Soon you’ll be struggling to lift your shield as the endless battle begins to take its toll. So if you’re looking for a strong set of arms as well as glory only the coliseum can provide, this is definitely a must try.
Audioshield combines the fun of rhythm games with the physicality of VR motion controls to deliver an experience that never at one point feels like a workout. Players use colorful shields attached to each arm to match the beat of the track in a futuristic experience inspired by games such as Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero.
The Audiosurf 2 music analysis system instantly sync with your personal music library as well as YouTube, allowing you to jam out to any song of your choosing. You’ll be burning off those pesky pounds as you punch, cross-body and double-shield your way to a high-score. This is the perfect choice for any gym rat that enjoys working out to their personal playlists.
So skip the expensive gym membership and the painful car drives and instead get that body toned all without leaving your home. As someone who finds standard gyms immensely boring, you can bet that I’ll be getting beach bod’ ready riding herds of magical Pegi and beating down enemies with a club in the coliseum.