As long as you’re standing up, you can always burn calories.
I don’t write or talk about this too much, but PSVR exclusive Astro Bot: Rescue Mission was my favorite VR game of 2018, hands down. Relying solely on the DualShock 4 controller, it’s arguable whether it really counts as a 6DOF VR game at least in the way that VR Fitness Insider talks about 6DOF gaming. Without two hands, the number of fully physical actions you can take in Astro Bot: Rescue Mission is severely limited.
But that doesn’t make Astro Bot unlike any other VR game in terms of how you fit into the virtual environment. It’s best played while standing up, and you’re still in the world rather than staring at it. So, why not make the most of your time spent playing?
Here’s a tidy list of things you can do to burn a few calories while playing Astro Bot that you might not have considered before.
Wear a Weighted Vest
Weighted gear is something we’ll always recommend because it gives you resistance where there wouldn’t normally be any resistance. Astro Bot is a perfect example of a VR game that gives you absolutely 0 resistance because you spend most of your time pressing buttons on your DS4 controller. However, even standing mostly in place with a weighted vest can give you a light resistance workout if you move around and bend down enough.
That’s why you should play Astro Bot with a weighted vest that weighs about 10-15% of your total body weight if you’re an overall beginner to fitness. If you’re used to wearing a vest, you can shoot for a weight that exceeds 20% of your maximum body weight, but don’t overdo it.
Walk in Place
Every level in Astro Bot has a song that sets the rhythm of the gameplay. It’s pretty standard platformer affair, but you can use it to your advantage. Walk or lightly march in place for the entire length of each level you play.
For most 6DOF games that let you move around freely in an environment from a first-person perspective, I usually suggest that you run in place. Here, I’m actually suggesting that you avoid running in place or exerting yourself too much while playing. Astro Bot is a game that relies on you to be able to focus on the environment while you navigate your little bot around. Thus, you really don’t need to do more than light steps.
If you find that your camera is shaking too much to focus, then you’re going too hard. Slow down until you can get into a subconscious pattern that doesn’t distract from gameplay.
Punish Yourself When You Die
Set up an exercise regimen that you only perform when you die. An easy one is making yourself do ten squats per death.
If you’re willing to completely remove your headset, some other simple exercise routines could include one or two of the following:
Punish Yourself Harder When You Complete a Level
When you finish a level (as in, when you’re spat back to the level select screen), you should completely remove your headset and do a handful of exercises to celebrate. Consult the above list of exercises, choose three, and double the number of reps for each.
If you’re wearing a weighted vest, don’t force yourself to work harder than you’d normally be able to. Either take the vest off or stick with lower rep counts. If you create a full-blown routine based off of deaths/wins in Astro Bot, I recommend sticking with the lighter (10-15% total body weight) vests. Your mileage may vary.
Dance With Astro Bot
You can dance if you want to, you can leave your friends behind. But your friends in Astro Bot definitely dance at the end of each level, and if you want to burn some extra calories, you might as well join them.
This is more of a fun extra tip; I really don’t expect you to break out into the Carlton right after polishing off a level in Astro Bot. But hell, you only live once, so why not?
Astro Bot is a window into the future of VR gaming. It’s rife with detail, creativity, charm and replayability. To top it off, Astro Bot is a thick, generous game with plenty of content. I do, on the other hand, feel cheated out of an opportunity to play around in Astro Bot‘s world with both of my hands. Japan Studio’s design decision to stick with DS4 is an understandable result of Sony’s poor rolling out of the PlayStation Move controllers.
That said, if you follow my tips, you can still burn calories while playing Astro Bot. It’s really a must-play if you’re a PSVR owner and I absolutely suggest that all PSVR owners buy, play, and do a few squats inside of it. You can find Astro Bot: Rescue Mission on store shelves at an MSRP of $40.
Have you played Astro Bot: Rescue Mission? Let us know in the comments.