8 Most Active Games for Virtual Reality Fitness

January 16, 2017 :: Reading time: 5 minutes, 16 seconds

As someone who hates doing cardio, I've always been interested in fit gaming. Having recently gotten a third sensor for my Oculus Touch setup, I now have 360 tracking configured and can truly enjoy some immersive games.

VR Bodysuit

Here are 8 games I've found most cardio-intensive so far - I'll rate them according to activity level and fun factor. Note that for the best experience, you should have a 360 VR setup either with Oculus triple-sensors, or with HTC Vive.

1. The Climb

The Climb is a climbing simulator with multiplayer elements where you compete for speed and/or quality of the climbing process with others, if you want. The graphics are phenomenal, and some friends with vertigo have had to crouch and touch the ground when they started playing, that's how real it felt.

The activity elements focus on stretching our your arms and grabbing ledges, but many are very much out of reach and these grabs - especially when done in rapid succession - can leave you out of breath. Definitely recommended for stretching.

The Climb is currently Oculus exclusive.

Activity: ★★★☆☆

Fun Factor: ★★★★☆

2. Thrill Of The Fight

This Early Access game (meaning it's still under active development) is a boxing game where you dodge, block, move around, and try to hit your opponent.

You can fight against AI opponents to climb a career ladder of sorts, or you can try some of the special modes where you're in a dungeon and you beat up a zombie, or a character with a jack-o-lantern for a head (I dunno either).

This is an excellent cardio game and will get you warmed up in no time - a few minutes of this and I was already sweating. If you have some ankle weights, put them them on your wrists and ankles to increase the difficulty and make the cardio more intense. This is probably the best game to lose weight with, and I can't wait until they add multiplayer.

Activity: ★★★★★

Fun Factor: ★★★★☆

3. Superhot

Superhot is a first person game where you stretch, dodge, and punch your way through waves of enemies. It's special in that time in the game only moves when you do. If you stand perfectly still, everything else does, too - bullets, enemies, gravity. This gives you time to plan out intricate action scenes resembling dance moves, thus avoiding hits, bullets, attacks, and everything else coming your way.

This game is good for stretching and minor cardio, but won't make you sweat much. The fun factor is out of this world though.

Activity: ★★★☆☆

Fun Factor: ★★★★★

4. Trickster VR

Trickster puts you in the role of a fantasy orc slayer. You use throwing darts, a bow and arrow, or your sword and shield to fend off waves of orcs - archers, spellcasters, and warriors.

The theme is whimsical, not too serious, and the graphics leave much to be desired, but the game offers several movement modes, so you're not restricted to the silly "teleport" from other games, and the enemy blasting part is quite fun.

This is mainly a mild stretching game because you'll be swinging that sword, throwing those darts, and winding that bow. For fans of the fantasy genre who always wanted a go at something Leglolas-ish, this is the game.

Activity: ★★☆☆☆

Fun Factor: ★★★★☆

5. VR Sports Challenge

Several mini-games adorn this fun Oculus experience. You can do basketball, which plays kind of like the Fifa games but from a first person perspective - you pass to someone or shoot, and you get teleported into the person you're passing to. You can play as a hitter in baseball, and aim to hit home runs so powerful they destroy scenery (you get extra points for that). You can play hockey as a goalie. You can play American Football as the guy who catches the first throw and then passes it to someone else, into whom you then teleport to score the perfect catch and touchdown.

All in all, this is a somewhat active game that doesn't take itself too seriously and only aims to demonstrate VR tech, but does it well. Excellent for fitness newbies who don't want to wave around too much but still want to do something active.

Pro tip: don't try basketball in a room with a low hanging lamp.

This is an Oculus exclusive.

Activity: ★★☆☆☆

Fun Factor: ★★★☆☆

6. The Unspoken

The Unspoken is a battle of wizards where you stand in place but do a lot of hand waving to cast spells at the other guy. This is excellent for low-intensity cardio and breathing, and the game itself makes it all the more exciting. There's a limited single-player mode for practice, but it's primarily a multiplayer 1-on-1 game.

This is an Oculus exclusive.

Activity: ★★★☆☆

Fun Factor: ★★★★★

7. Dead and Buried

Dead and Buried is a multiplayer western wave shooter. You team up with people against other people or zombies in several different game modes, and use all your stamina to duck, dodge, take cover, and shoot the life out of the hordes of ghosts and zombies coming at you.

The activity level in this game is unexpectedly off the charts, so definitely use this if you want to have some sweaty multiplayer fun.

This is an Oculus exclusive.

Activity: ★★★★★

Fun Factor: ★★★☆☆

8. Space Pirate Trainer

Space Pirate Trainer is a Sci-Fi wave shooter with excellent music, cool weapons, and really tough enemies. If you're not into multi player wave shooting with Dead and Buried, SPT should be your next choice - it makes you active, and it's great fun to compete with friends in (take turns and see who gets most waves).

This is an Oculus exclusive.

Activity: ★★★★☆

Fun Factor: ★★★★☆

Conclusion

To sum up, for single player cardio, Thrill of the Fight is excellent, followed by Space Pirate Trainer (the music in that one bumps the fun up 2 stars on its own!). For multiplayer cardio, Dead and Buried is best. The one single player experience you simply won't be able to put down is SuperHot - you shouldn't skip it - and for multiplayer fun go with Unspoken. Both are kind-of active, but very entertaining and immersive.

If you want to stretch, go with The Climb, Trickster, or VR Sports Challenge, and for multiplayer stretching+cardio, Dead and Buried wins again.

Did I forget any? Do you know some I simply must try? Let me know in the comments!

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