Speedrunning is the act of moving through a game at max speed, sometimes using glitches or special techniques, to achieve the fastest possible complete time. It’s an exciting way to approach your favorite games that tests your skill and execution. Not so much your workout. But VR fitness bends the rules of getting shredded in the most creative ways possible.
If you tried to speedrun a squats workout, you’d probably throw out your back.
Fortunately, Climbey offers that speedrun adrenaline without the literally spine crushing weight that comes with bad form. The goal of Climbey is simple: pull yourself up to the goal. How you get there doesn’t matter. Use the implied route or hack the game and find your own ways to slingshot around the map. Whatever approach you take, you’re sure to work up a sweat getting there.
Climbey Basics | VR Rockwall
Climbey, in a nutshell, is an obstacle course simulator. It’s a digital rock wall with zany physics that work together for some interesting situations, like slingshotting yourself a hundred feet into the air to grab ceilings you’d otherwise need to climb to.
The objective is pretty simple: you’ve got hands, use them. You grip onto any surface that is white and looks climbable. You can’t grip gray surfaces, but you can stand on anything that looks like a platform. You can also place three checkpoints, but VR fitness players looking for an aggressive workout may want to skip this option.
Climbing Controls and Techniques
To grip, press the trigger buttons. You can hang by one hand or hold on with both, which is my suggestion in most cases. The physics of the game sometimes mean you lose grip if you hang with just one hand. However, this game is about technique and feeling out what works. At several points, I was able to one-hand monkey swing to a platform that I’d otherwise have to climb through an obstacle to reach.
The default locomotion in this game is arm swinging. Swing slow and smooth to walk, and pump your arms to run. Running takes some getting used to, but you’ll eventually find yourself running across thin beams in seconds. Running leaps are also great fun, but take a lot of getting practice.
To jump, you need to vault yourself into the air with your hands. This is as tricky as it sounds. The way I like to envision this action is climbing an imaginary wall in front of you. If the wall is waist high, you can expect to jump a regular distance. Any higher and you will leap into the sky. The force of your arms also seems to affect jump power and trajectory. Be sure you hold your arms straight and that you stretch your shoulders before you play.
Is Climbey a Great VR Workout?
I have a pretty good opinion of Climbey overall. I felt that most of my failures stemmed from learning the game’s physics. Trial and error are crucial to Climbey, and to loving this game. You will fail often and not using checkpoints can make those failures painful. Those who find that failure frustrating should just plant a flag at the more complicated parts of the map. Don’t worry, you’ll know them when you see them.
Climbey feels like a breath of fresh air for my VR library. I didn’t realize I’d missed rock climbing until playing it and seeing these massive courses jet off into the sky. Moving platforms, obstacles, pitfalls and creative jumping made me feel like I was playing something like VR Mario Maker.
I’ve also injured my arm in a way that makes actual rock climbing quite taxing on my physically. Climbey allows me to simulate what I love about climbing without the strain on my body, while helping me lose weight and build some muscle.
Arms and Shoulders | Climbey as a Fitness Routine
Unsurprisingly, I feel my VR workout session with Climbey most in my arms and shoulders. What does surprise me is the number of steps, and the squatting I manage to do in this game. Jumping great distances usually involves some form of squatting or reachin upward, so Climbey feels like a full-body session.
My heartrate doesn’t hove in fat burning territory for long, but the short bursts are great for a HIIT workout. That’s one reason I recommend this title for speedrunners, who want to try and hack the game to get to its end. The more you hack this title, the harder your workout. Your fastest times will require pinpoint leaps and precision climbing, all of which keep your body engaged and working.
Climbey is hard, but the vanilla game’s skill curve isn’t excessively high. One of the issues I have with a game like PowerBeats or Beat Saber comes from the skill divide of Normal and Hard. Climbey has one difficulty to the base game, and it teaches its mechanics well. Not a masterclass in game design, but an excellent example of teaching the player.
Climbey also has a thriving community of designers making levels that range from fun to nose-bleedingly difficulty. You can get an endless VR workout from this rockwall. And the more you master its techniques, the more the game rewards you. Early levels feel impossible, but by the fifth map you’re leaping around the map and breaking the game.
Character and Humor
The smarmy smack talking bot that follows you around adds some character and humor to an otherwise devoid world. Shame that he doesn’t make an appearance on the custom maps.
Climbey can be played in multiplayer, but I wasn’t able to test a session. The idea of a race seems fun, and I could see households or gyms with multiple setups running this game competitively. It’s got a skill to it, but your body needs to be fit enough to pull it off.
Final Thoughts on Climbey
I feel this game is an interesting change to most of the titles we cover, which are action orientated with the occasional sports title. Climbey offers something everyone can enjoy: a fun casual game that gets you fit as you play, or an intense speedrunning experience that pushes your body. With community generated content, and an active group of makers, Climbey has great potential and value.
Rock climbing is great for your core and for cardio. It requires full body strength and it’s an intense workout not everyone can step into. If you’re someone working your way up to physical feats, Climbey might be the perfect title to add to your library.