One of the most exciting possibilities of virtual reality is the idea that we could use it for fitness & health. A few companies have thrown their weight at this problem, but nobody did it quite like BoxVR. Now, with a huge influx of investment, they’ve re-build their app and rebranded to FitXR, and the best fitness app on the Oculus Quest just got even better.
What makes for a great fitness app? Honestly, it is a balance of things. You need it to feel good. That’s a difficult concept to put in concrete terms, but basically you need the experience of using the app to be comfortable overall. That includes the end to end experience, set up, choosing your workouts, doing them, and the after party.
The set up is pretty standard for a fitness app. You choose your profile name, put in a bit of information and you’re off. Relatively new to the app is a “weight” category, which is used to improve calorie tracking. It puts you through a basic tutorial (which is, sadly, not something you can skip) and then you’re off to your first class. I was surprised and delighted when I saw there were other people in there with me. Being something of a BoxVR vet already, I whooped everyone’s butt at the beginner class. Then you’re dropped into your home screen.
There’s a variety of classes, from 3 minute easy to 45 minute cardio killers. You can customize your class, removing squats and choosing to do the classes solo vs against others. Once you’re ready, you choose start and off you go!
One of the great things about this game is that it is fairly easy to learn, but is still fun and exciting. There are forward punches (left and right) at various heights, as well as hooks and uppercuts, as well as two hand blocks, squats and side to side dodging. At “easy” difficulty, these are pretty simple to pick up, though the timing and hand placement takes a little bit of getting used to.
At “intense” difficulty, things really pick up. This is a rhythm game at heart, but hand speed can be critical. You’ll find yourself looking ahead with your punches on autopilot. A 30 minute intense class left me completely wiped, drenched in sweat and 700+ calories lighter.
Issues? There’s some hand tracking problems that still creep up. But mostly these come from hand placement not being in range of the headset. That’s more an Oculus problem than a FitXR problem. You might also find yourself approaching the battery limits of your Quest if you do some of the longer classes. There are also some consistency issues between the new workouts and some of the older ones that came across from the previous iteration. For example, one of the older 15 minute classes listed as “easy” was absolutely not easy at all. Not that I minded too much, but I’d hoped to cool down and instead ended up totally disassembled. The last issue is that with all the swinging around, you absolutely MUST ensure there are no obstacles, people or pets nearby. And I’ve managed to punch myself in the helmet more than once. But again, that’s more an issue with the user than the product.
Final tally: This fitness game is, currently, the absolute tip top of the heap on Oculus quest. It is easy to get into, has no monthly subscription price, plays well, continues to stay challenging and fun, and has added tons of great social features for free to an already great game.
Rating: 10/10 stars (Techfiend Recommended Product)