OVERTURN Game Review – Light Exercise with a Punch

Credit to: Studio HG

Overturn is a short, story-driven action/adventure/puzzle game available on The Oculus Rift, Playstation VR and HTC Vive. In this fast-paced anime inspired VR title you play as a girl lost inside a laboratory punching her way to freedom. You have no memory of who you are, how you got here or how cliche your story is. Regardless, Overturn is a sweat-inducing, chest-pounding anime shooter, boxer, hack, and slash.

Though Overturn is definitely a workout, it’s not practical for adding to a playlist. Instead, it’s best viewed as a game to put all your focus into for 30 to 60 minutes.

As far as game-play goes, Overturn is fun, creepy and a good way to get a casual workout. Watch the trailer below and then check out the results I got from a 30-minute session of beating up aliens dressed in scuba gear.


The VR Health Institute claims active games like this burn anywhere from 2-15 Calories per minute. Though this game hasn’t been studied, my previous review of The Fastest Fist burned 225 calories in 30 minutes of play. We’ll see how Overturn stacks up. I used the HTC Vive to play and the Fitbit Charge 2 to measure my workout.

Intensity 3/10

Overturn is a punching, slashing and shooting game. For the purpose of working out, leave the pistols and grenades for the nubs. There were times where this got pretty intense but never for more than a few seconds. The good part is there is a decent amount of action. The bad news is this is also a puzzle game. Keeping my heart rate up proved to be a challenge. If you’re trying to make this into a legit workout maybe try jogging in place. Otherwise, it’s very low on the intensity scale.

Here are the stats from my 30-minute workout:

  • Calories burned: 117
  • Average heart rate: 98
  • Max heart rate: 120

Though this game has not been studied, according to my results, I would estimate I burned around 2-4 calories per minute which puts it in the same category as games such as Raw Data, Superhot and QuiVR.

Arms 4/10

Overturn is a punching game. If you want to get the most of this workout I’d recommend wearing a weighted vest and making sure to rotate through your punches. Cheating your punches only cheats your progress. Adding wrist weights may also help but make sure you’re using them correctly if you dare to venture into this realm.

Legs 3/10

Since I used the Vive I was standing the whole time. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of physical walking around or dodging. You’re encouraged to block rather than dodge but this might be a good way of engaging your legs. As stated before, jogging in place while playing might help as well. For me, I didn’t feel much in my legs.

Core and Balance 4/10

Blocking is a major part of this game. When you block, squeeze your abs and really block. Keep them squeezed when counter punching to give that added core workout. Don’t just be a jab king. Throw in some hooks and uppercuts. Keeping your core engaged will help maintain your heart rate. With combat being somewhat limited during my 30-minute session it’s difficult to give this a high core score.

Time Perception 6/10

As with VR in general, time moved quickly. Since the focus is mostly on advancing the level and solving puzzles I didn’t think much about the time. When the alarm went off I was somewhat relieved. The enemies and levels are all pretty repetitive in the beginning. My 30 minutes were up just as the action started to intensify.

Replayability 4/10

It’s hard to say. I played for 30 minutes and reached the third level. I’m not sure how many levels there are or if the game gets better but if I were playing only these 3 levels over and over again I would rate its replayability low. Though the overall game is fun and engaging, I didn’t get the overwhelming feeling like I wanted to play again.

Fitness Scalability 2/10

Overturn ranks relativity low on the fitness scale. Though it’s much more active than playing Call of Duty on an Xbox this game does not stack up against real fitness games like Thrill of the Fight or Holopoint. Also, due to its inability to raise my heart rate and the long breaks in-between action I have to rank this low.

Lack of Nausea 4/10

I have the Vive-legs of a sea-hardened 15th-century explorer. With that being said, this game somewhat messed with my stomach. Usually, VR sickness never affects me. However, Overturn made me feel a little uneasy throughout my session. The game has two different locomotion modes. I usually use free mode when possible, but for the review, I opted for teleportation. I think the issue is, there is no cooldown with the teleportation system and each time you move your vision goes fuzzy. I played using the Vive so I can’t speak for the PlayStation or Oculus but Overturn made me slightly sick.

Social Competition 0/10

Overturn is a single player game based on solving puzzles and beating aliens. Meaning, there’s no real social element. The game is designed to be single player, but they do claim on the intro screen that multiplayer is “coming soon.”

VRFI Fit Score 4/10

The Good

I enjoyed the creepy anime theme while moving through levels. For being a video game, it’s definitely a workout but more like going for a walk than boxing. Thirty minutes is not enough if you’re looking to get results from this game, but if it’s a cold day, and you’re afraid of sunlight, this is a great way to get an hour of light exercise in.

The Bad

From a style perspective, the enemies are pretty repetitive, and the story is a little cliche. From a fitness perspective, there’s just too much downtime between punches to make this part of an intense VR workout. The locomotion system made me slightly sick, and I didn’t feel like I immediately wanted to play again.


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