Rhythm games are infectious. The music pumps and the beats flow through you, and you find yourself dancing while you play. The genre came from Japan but has grown to become something huge all around the world. Ubisoft’s Just Dance series is one of the highest rated and top selling games of all time, with incredible motion-tracking controls that provide a hint of what VR is capable of.

Now that VR is here, we wanted you to know the different types of fantastic rhythm games that will let you unleash the potential of your music library. First, it’s important to note that almost none of these games are built specifically for your music, but all of them are highly customizable. The results are unique, challenging and truly motivating.

If you’re looking for something high energy to add to your VR fitness toolbox, any of these rhythm games will let you get fit to your grooves. Just don’t forget premium audio for that incredible experience.

Soundboxing

Publisher: Maxint LLC

Price: $7.99

YouTube Support: Yes

Music Library Support: No

We looked briefly at the hand-eye coordination capabilities of Soundboxing and found it to have a lot of potential for ambidextrous training. It’s great for agility too. Soundboxing utilizes YouTube support to bring more tracks into the game, with lots of titles to choose from that the community has already created beatmaps for. You can listen to the music and even preview beatmaps in VR to see a range of punch combos and to see how a workout will look before you dive into it.

Soundboxing is modestly priced for such a customizable game, while the rhythm blocking game Audioshield can be found at a higher price point. They are both great VR fitness games and can be used for upper and lower body conditioning.

Audioshield

Credit: Dylan Fitterer

Publisher: Dylan Fitterer

Price: $19.99

YouTube Support: Yes

Music Library Support: Yes

Audioshield is more about “deflecting” or guarding against the onslaught of music coming your way in VR, but it offers a lot of support for using your own music library. Whereas configuring a beatmap in Soundboxing is a more manual affair, Audioshield brings the songs you import to life. Audioshield isn’t really about a set course you run, like Soundboxing. It throws blue and red neon “bullets” at you to deflect them to the rhythm.

Audioshield has been around the block a bit longer than Soundboxing, but both have online communities and leaderboards for songs ranging from popular to obscure. Both games are going to elevate your upper body conditioning with blocks and punches and the lower body when you squat or hold a stabilizing pose.

Holodance

Credit: Narayana Games

Publisher: Narayana Games

Price: $14.99

YouTube Support: No

Music Library Support: Yes

Holodance features support for Vive Tracking, which allows you to strap trackers onto your feet to “kick” sound coming your way in addition to hand gestures. This game is a lot like Soundboxing but with a kickboxing element thrown in. It also utilizes Osu! Beatmaps.

We’ll discuss Osu in detail soon, but essentially these are beat maps created by a community of gamers who play a free rhythm game. With such community support, you can dive into the casual experience of your own music set to autopilot, or go for a more stimulating challenge with a highly rated beat map set to a higher difficulty. You can read our hands-on review here.

BoxVR

Credit: BoxVR

Publisher: FitXR

Price: $19.99

YouTube Support: No

Music Library Support: Yes

BoxVR is a VRFI favorite, and it’s engineered to provide a workout that’s a true boxing experience. It utilizes your music to get you throwing hooks and jabs to the rhythm as hit markers make their way down the platform. The focus is on building strength and cardio, while players get good hand-eye coordination practice.

We like BoxVR because it is straightforward and high intensity. The calorie counter is especially helpful for people who are using VR to lose weight. It offers a top-notch boxing experience that’s focused on your fitness and personal effort. This is a great workout that beginners and active folks will absolutely enjoy.

McOsu

Credit: McKay

Publisher: McKay

Price: Free

YouTube Support: No

Music Library Support: Yes with a “but”

Osu! (no, not Ohio State University) Is a free to play VR game that uses either your mouse, your keyboard, or a controller to try and hit targets on a beatmap. McOsu is a little difficult at first because there are many motions involved; sometimes tapping, other times making circles or drawing lines in the air. It’s also fast moving, so you’re going to need to build up quick reactions to the harder songs.

Osu! has a wide library to choose from and there are many tutorials for creating your own beat maps. That’s the trick — any song can be turned into an Osu! beat map, but those beatmaps are playable with only McOsu. For a free title, it’s worth a download to see what’s out there that you might recognize. It’s also an excellent title if your focus is on ambidextrous or agility training with your hands.


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