When Holodia’s Holofit software finally left its home of relative obscurity on Sidequest and moved to the bright lights of Oculus’s curated Quest store, I was happy for them and excited that many more people would be given the opportunity to try out this wonderful workout app that brings your cardio machines into virtual reality.

Unfortunately, the launch had a mixed reception, in part because of new users’ unfamiliarity with what the program offers. Holofit is a strict workout focused solution designed to let you use your rowing machine, bike, or elliptical in a variety of virtual environments for serious exercise training. However in order to get onto the Quest store, they had to make their software playable for users not owning any machines, so people could see what the software was about. Sadly this has led to some people thinking the app is rubbish as you just pretend to cycle a bike by circling your arms! In case it’s not obvious, cycling is meant to be enjoyed on a bicycle, whilst rowing is intended to be done using a rowing machine. But one of the downsides of anybody being able to download your software is that regular Quest gamers can install it who have no idea what the software is or what it’s for, and consequently trash it with 1-star reviews saying cycling with your arms is stupid…

The second complaint was more justified, however. The early release last month onto the Quest store was quite literally, pretty ugly. The game wasn’t aliased at all, resulting in jagged, blurry visuals that flickered horribly in the distance. On Sidequest, the app was largely hidden and needed to be sought out by dedicated fitness enthusiasts wanting to use the software to link up their Concept 2’s. The visuals weren’t so important to a crowd that was already converted to virtual realities potential to revolutionize their cardio machine workouts and were using Holofit to maximize their health and fitness potential.

But the Quest store is a larger, and more demanding marketplace, where consumers are used to high-quality visual titles like Beat Saber, Vadar Immortal, and Moss. Flickering jaggedy textures don’t cut it.

Well, Holodia has listened, and scrubbed up its rough diamond, giving it a makeover and general buff and polish. The game now has antialiasing enabled and has been bumped up to a full 90Hz.

The result is a dramatic visual improvement. The rail tracks on my favorite Troglodyte level now appear crisp and clear into the distance, rather than collapsing into a shimmery, indiscernible mess. There have been some new graphical features added too, including your boat leaving a wake when moving through water.

I’ve included some before and after photos, along with a video clip of the newly remastered Canyons level.

As a long time user of Holofit with my rowing machine, I’d kind of accepted that the resolution wasn’t the best, so I didn’t really think it bothered me. I have to say though this update has really enhanced my appreciation for some of Holodia’s fantastically created worlds and given me renewed desire to get on my rower and explore them again.

If you previously checked the game out and found it visually wanting, I’d recommend trying it again, it’s much prettier now…

Spot the difference

I’ve captured some screenshots during gameplay that hopefully give an indication of the improvement. Note that due to size restrictions these images have been compressed from the website which makes the differences more difficult to notice. The improvements are much clearer to see in the headset itself.

Aiguebellete – before

In this unaliased version, you can see the red buoys are blurry, pale, and indistinct. You can see the lack of aliasing on the rower’s legs.

Aiguebellete – after

In the new version, you can clearly see the rower’s legs are sharper, despite being recorded from further away. The buoys are clear and distinct, and the boat now leaves a wake when passing through water. The colors have also received a rework.

Paris – before

Holofit’s Paris level is rich in character and detail, and a delight to row through, but the old version sure was blocky. Here you can see how the road texture ends abruptly, midway up the road. The man on the left is barely visible and the building textures are blurry.

Paris – after

Text is now clear and readable, the character models more distinct, and both the buildings and road textures look sharper with more detail. This is a great world to travel through in the new update!

Troglodyte – before

Troglodyte might be Holodia’s most ambitious world to date. It’s a wonderful rail ride adventure through a Tolkienesque Dwarven mine. The original version was so low resolution however that in the headset the rail track in front of you would often flicker and shimmer horribly. the textures were equally blurry.

Troglodyte – after

In this new version, despite the fact this picture was taken from slightly further away, note the increased detail on the trees and rocks, and if you look carefully you can see the rail track bends around the corner, then winds around the other way. You could never make out such detail on the old version.

Finally, I’ve added a video of the Canyon level below, which has also featured a remaster. The Quest 2 records all videos at 720p so it’s hard to really demonstrate the difference between versions, but inside the headset, the difference is immediately noticeable and profound.

Overall, I’ve been super impressed with this update, and look forward to seeing what else Holodia can bring us.

You can download a free trial for Holofit on the Oculus Quest store. After the trial expires the app then requires either a monthly or annual subscription. Note that this is not a ‘game’, but rather a serious workout tool that brings your cardio machines into VR. You will need a bike, rower or elliptical to make use of the program properly!