VR has shown the ability to be far more about gaming. We’ve seen advances in the medical world with VR, through sports, and through people with certain disabilities as well. The spectrum of things that can be improved with VR is nearly endless and Reakt comes to us with a fascinating spin on how to improve both your hand-eye coordination and your mind by engaging you in several game modes that come together to create an experience that feels like it will be part of all sports training in the very near future. Let’s dive into what is one of the most unique and personally rewarding VR games I’ve ever played.
The setup is pretty simple, your purpose in VR is to increase your hand-eye coordination, ability to recognize things out of your peripheral as well as your memory and reaction speed. You start off in a tutorial that teaches you how everything works and gives you a good glimpse of how tough things will get while playing Reakt. You’re going to be dodging, slowing down time, punching, blocking, and using your eyes as your biggest asset the whole time. The gameplay isn’t too varied, but it’s built to improve your reflexes, so treat this more as a futuristic training session rather than a typical VR game. Most of your time within Reakt will be in the competitions, though there is the ability to play a custom mode as well to tailor the session to your liking.
What it Feels Like to Play
The best way to sum up how it feels to play Reakt is it feels like you’re being trained to prepare for something like the Tron movies have shown us. You know you’re playing more than just a game, your brain is being improved, your overall being is being improved and it’s being done in a way that makes it both fun and a great workout at the same time. You’re going to spend the majority of your time in Reakt in its futuristic arena where you’ll be confronted by drones. Most of these will fire balls at you that you need to pinpointedly match the location of with your hands. This means not only do you have to punch them where they come at you, but you need to make sure you hit the center for the highest score and that can be an incredibly tough task to achieve. As you play more and more, you will see your reflexes get better and better and I can’t think of another game that made me feel like I was becoming a superior version of myself. That may sound ridiculous, but once you experience Reakt, you’ll understand what I’m talking about.
What will Keep you Playing
While there aren’t a ton of modes available right now, the competitions are fierce and incredibly tough challenges that I have yet to overcome while playing and just the push to get the highest score among your peers is enough to keep me coming back. You’re consistently compared to others in your particular sport as well and it’s amazing to see where you rank amongst numerous others just like yourself. The experience itself is hard to truly put into words because on paper, dodging a ball while blocking some other balls really doesn’t sound that thrilling, but sometimes, a product is much more than the sum of its parts, and with Reakt, that couldn’t be more true.
Reakt will have you moving around quite a bit and while I never found myself needing to turn around during gameplay, you should still keep 360 degrees clear because you’re occasionally going to feel off-balance during the more intense modes by design and it’s pretty easy to stumble backwards or forward in the heat of the moment.
I recorded my workout using a Fitbit and played on an Oculus Quest 2 VR Headset.
Calories burned: 322
Calories burned per minute: 10
Average Heart Rate: 127
Max Heart Rate: 126
Active Minutes: 27
Reakt is one of the most unique experiences in VR simply because it’s putting your very skills as a human to the test against hundreds of others. How often do games ask you how well you are at reacting or using your eyes to identify threats? I feel like not only can this become an addictive workout experience used to better yourself in sports, but it could become a tool to make you better in several other aspects like driving, concentration, and almost an endless list of other day-to-day functions.
Your arms are a key part of the gameplay in Reakt as you’ll need to match all of the balls coming at you as precisely as possible in order to get the highest possible score. This can be done by simply moving your hands to the required locations, but I found it more fun it actively punch each area to improve the workout as well as my accuracy in hitting the perfect block. During the competitions, this gets amplified heavily because the pace picks up at warp speed and you’re going to need to become a crazed octopus in order to hit all of the balls perfectly as they all launch at you every other second. It’s intense stuff and although it’s repetitive, it’s worth the effort.
Your legs aren’t necessarily needed to be too involved in Reakt, however you can incorporate them fairly easily because of the nature of the bomb launching segments. When these are launched at you, you must dodge them and while you can do this simply with a sway of your head, I found it much more of a lucrative workout to actually dodge from side to side in a strafing motion when these obstacles presented themselves. This won’t cause a huge burn to your legs while playing, but rather keep all parts of the body active during your sessions.
Core/ Balance- 9/10
This is pretty much the biggest core engagement you can get in VR. Whether you’re ducking the bombs flying at you or constantly reaching to block the balls coming and twisting every which way to make sure you don’t get hit, your core is going to be in serious use during your time with Reakt. The balls also tend to come flying at you at different heights as well, so you will feel your core becoming engaged the more you shift heights to block them. There are no advert situp motions or anything like that going on here, but with the proper playspace available, the amount of ducking and dodging you’ll be doing will for sure result in a great core workout.
Time Perception- 10/10
Simply put, Reakt is one of the most engaging experiences I’ve had in VR. To realize you’re bettering yourself as a human being in VR is never something that occurred to me while slashing through BeatSaber or exploring in Skyrim VR, but with Reakt, it feels like I’m becoming a better version of myself and that’s something that leaves worrying about time by the wayside. As you compete in the competitions, you will find yourself pushing for just one more round a lot of the time. The sessions themselves don’t last more than a few minutes, but the immediate mess-ups you’ll experience from time to time will have you resetting the round to become that much better score-wise. There is nothing happening here that will cause you to leave the game at any point visual wise, so really, it’s just your exercise tolerance that will determine if you need to get out of the headset.
I honestly don’t know what the limits of Reakt truly are. I’m sure it sounds ridiculous to say, but are superhuman reflexes possible with enough training? I’ve never really put any thought into this in terms of workouts I’ve done, but imagine how much this could improve your hand-eye coordination in sports like football, baseball, or tennis? How about as a goalie in hockey or soccer? I have been training with Reakt for days and have seen my scores go up each day and it has me wondering are these improvements permanent? Or am I just getting better at the game? It’s hard to differentiate between the two of them right now, but something is definitely happening. This is all to say replayability is near infinite with this game as the rewards for playing are honestly priceless.
Fitness Scalability- 8/10
There are several different competitions available to you and each one presents a different level of difficulty. The easier ones are pretty simple to breeze by with no real exertion needed, but the hardest ones will have you constantly in motion and they will test your mind and your body together and this creates a very intense workout that just feels different than what you may be used to. There is also a custom mode that lets you decide what type of challenge you want to face, further customizing the workout you’ll get during your time with Reakt.
Dizziness/ Lack of Nausea- 9/10
For the most part, I was totally fine while playing Reakt. The movement made in game is 100 percent yours, so there is no need to worry about artificial movement here. However, one thing that may throw some of you off is the constant balls and bombs being launched at you. These things are ticketed for your head more often than not and the feeling of having something flying high speed at your face might overwhelm some of you. The arena you’re in however is very easy on the eyes and despite it’s very sci-fi feel, doesn’t cause any real eye strain visually from what I experienced, so nothing to worry about there as well.
Social Competition- 8/10
As far as full on multiplayer goes, Reakt doesn’t exactly have that in its repertoire, but that doesn’t mean that social competition doesn’t exist here. After every competition, you are shown your results against what I assume are hundreds of other players across the world and this gives a very interesting view into both how your reactions are as an athlete as well as where you stand against others like you. It’s a different approach to multiplayer for sure, though I give credit to the uniqueness of what could boil down to a leaderboard in most games becomes something that’s more of an in-depth look at how other athletes function. It seems like there is plenty of room for expansion here too.
VR Fit Score- 8.6/10
Game Score- 8.0/10
Reakt is one of the most unique experiences in VR. While it doesn’t present itself as an actual game, the improvements you can make within its’ virtual walls can be monumental in terms of improving your reaction time for not only athletes but people in general. I noticed my scores getting better and better with each consecutive day of use and while I haven’t actively tested my reaction time in the real world, you can tell that you’re becoming more perceptive the more you play. The comparisons to all of your peers while you’re playing is an intriguing thing to see as well and it drives you to dedicate yourself to getting into the top percentages.
Reakt isn’t really your typical VR game. There is very little gameness to it in fact and it could almost be viewed as a health device instead. This might not be enough for people who seek a bit more thrill to their VR gaming though and that’s understandable as there aren’t a ton of different modes to keep you busy for all that long and because of that, you might tire of Reakt’s gameplay look rather quickly. Graphically it’s nothing too special and the effects, while nice, are nothing to rave about either. The amount of time you can play Reakt for is also pretty small as you’ll get exhausted from the tougher competitions pretty quickly, so those looking to spend a lengthy amount of time within a game world probably won’t find what they’re looking for here.
Reakt is available on the Oculus Quest Store for $19.99 and playable on All PCVR headsets through Oculus Link.