“May the odds be ever in your favor…”
Holopoint is an intense VR archery simulator that puts your inner Katniss Everdeen to the test. Unlike binge watching The Hunger Games, this is a full cardio workout. Pick up your bow and prepare for battle as we jump into one of the most physically demanding VR Fitness games available.
There are few VR experiences as true to life as pulling a virtual arrow from behind your back and stringing a bow. Games like Holopoint, QuiVR and Longbow (The Lab) have perfected the illusion of archery in VR. What sets Holopoint apart is the intense full body workout that ensues as one attempt to survive an onslaught of blue, laser shooting cubes. While QuiVR and Longbow work up a decent sweat Holopoint has you rolling on the ground, speed squatting and running around your living room like a Neo fighting Morpheus.
“You think that’s air you’re breathing?”
The premise is simple: You’re surrounded by blue floating cubes. You string your bow and shoot. Each time you break a cube, it fires a blue laser at you to dodge. These lasers are extremely fast, and you’ll no doubt get shot when you first play. Starting on Wave 2 the Blue Cubes get angry. Set on a timer, if you don’t shoot them fast enough, they’ll explode and hurl an orange laser toward you.
As the levels progress, you’ll begin to see Blue and Orange Ninjas. The Blue ninjas walk toward you and attempt to strike you with their sword. The Orange Ninjas roll around on the ground and throw laser stars at you (didn’t know that was a thing).
I’ve been a huge fan of Holopoint since it came out in April of 2016 as one of the first games for the Vive. I knew it was an incredible core, leg and cardio workout but this is the first time I’ve tested it. To see my 30-minute workout results scroll down. For a quick overview, here’s a trailer:
The VR Health Institute equates Holopoint to swimming and says it burns between 13-15 Calories per minute. Based on this comparison, I should burn 390 to 450 calories during my 30-minute test. I used the Fitbit Charge 2 to track my progress.
As the waves progress, more cubes are added, and enemies increase. By Wave 15, we get our first boss battle. Shoot the boss in the face three times to move on. If you get past this obstacle, you have orange ninjas waiting for you.
It had been a while since I last played Holopoint and I was shocked how far I got. On my first try, I reached wave 26 before dying (3 hits and you’re dead.) This is not normal and if it’s your first time playing you’ll likely die in the first 5-10 rounds. What was great about this is that I didn’t have to reset which kept my heart rate going. You’ll be able to skip back to waves 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 if you make it that far so If you die immediately jump back to where you were so, you can keep the intensity up.
Pro Tip: DON’T CHEAT. Don’t allow yourself to get comfortable. It’s tempting to casually dodge once you get the hang of the game. Force yourself to roll around on the ground and squat when dodging.
Here are the results of my 30-minute workout:
- Calories burned: 394
- Average heart rate:132
- Max heart rate: 161
This was intense…I attribute most of these results to continuing my heart rate through the whole exercise and making sure that I squatted each time I dodged. For more pro tips on how to get the most out of your Holopoint workout, I suggest checking out Tim’s Six Pro Tips for Sure Shot Success.
The arm workout is great. The repetitive motion of grabbing an arrow from your back, stringing the bow and shooting for 30 minutes straight ensures a nice steady burn. The only knock is that the arm workout is asymmetrical. If you’d like you can switch bow hands between waves to make sure each arm gets an equal workout.
No matter how fit I think I am every time I play Holopoint my hamstrings or gluts are sore for a couple of days. Some players side dodge lasers. Instead, squat each time you dodge or fall down to one knee if you’re tired. Run around and keep your legs bent. If done right, this is one of the best games available for a strong leg workout.
Core and Balance 9/10
Few games test your core and balance like Holopoint. Since you actually feel like you’re fighting for your life, you’ll be testing muscles the gym sometimes misses. There is no machine for “hit the ground in under half a second or you die.”
Time Perception 8/10
Since you’re fighting for your life time goes by quickly. Since it’s so intense, you may find yourself asking “when will it be over?” Just push past the fatigue, and you’ll forget about time.
I love this game. It’s a fierce workout and makes me feel like a ninja. With that being said, playing this daily might not be for everyone (unless you’re an actual ninja.) The variety is limited, and the exercise can be brutal for newbies. For my workouts, I can see it being a 30-minute session once per week.
Fitness Scalability 8/10
Jumping into Holopoint is pretty easy. This makes Holopoint great as a standalone workout or as part of a playlist. 10 minutes of Holopoint is a great warm-up and 30-60 minutes can be used as a full workout. You could also try it as a cool down for 5 minutes by starting with level one and side dodging lasers. The scalability of this game ranks high.
Lack of Nausea 10/10
Nausea in VR is typically due to the environment moving while you sit or stand stationary. Holopoint is the opposite of this and caused me no motion sickness.
Social Competition 2/10
There is a high score leader board, but there is no inherit social element to this game. You will, however, look awesome playing it.
VRFI Fit Score 8.7/10
Holopoint is one of the most intense fully body workouts for the HTC Vive. Holopoint uses your whole play area and all muscle groups. This game is a must for anyone looking to get their heart rate up.
Space. You need a large area to play Holopoint to its full workout potential. 8 x 8 is doable, but 10 x 10 is preferred. Also, I recommend calling your local VR Arcade/Gym to see if they have this game. Not only should they have larger space available but (if they’re a good arcade) they should have a cable management system to keep the cord out of your way. If you’re playing at home, consider the cord on the ground to be extra ninja training.