Survios is one of the most successful developers of virtual reality games and the creator of Sprint Vector, a fun, stylized game that pushes players both physically and competitively. For the time being, Sprint Vector is only available to play in select arcades around the country. Survios is taking applications to participate in the in-home Beta and hopefully, that version will be out soon. VRFI was lucky enough to spend some time with the game both in our office and at the local virtual reality arcade, VR1.
I split up this review into two different sessions. The first was playing the game on Single Player mode to learn the game mechanics and to schedule a specific workout. The second was at VR1n to test out how multiplayer affects the game’s fitness viability. Both sessions used the HTC Vive with a standard setup.
My first workout session was based on 30 minutes of back to back single player races on the two courses available, Ice and Arid. It was a solid workout and I burned 200 calories with an average heart rate of 123 BPM.
My second session was utilizing the multiplayer features and I noticed a significant boost to my workout. Competing against another person upped my effort and burned 245 calories with a top heart rate of 144 BPM.
Intensity: Up to 8/10
Both single player and multiplayer sessions had a high level of intensity. In general, you really need to pay attention to what direction you are headed and how to maximize your speed and direction strategy. On the Arid map especially, the intensity is jacked up as you are required to navigate around moving obstacles, such as giant blocks. Messing up your timing or direction there and getting side-swiped by one of these can be jarring. You really need to maneuver smartly during those encounters.
Lack of Nausea: 7/10
The first couple of playthroughs caused a bit of nausea for me. Your direction of movement in the game is determined by where you look. If you change directions by looking to either side and not adjusting your body, your inner ear might perceive this to be an odd locomotion and make you feel queasy. There is an easy adjustment to minimize this effect. Switching your footing to better match your new direction of movement comes fairly close to solving the issue.
Due to the movement mechanics, your arms and shoulders get a solid workout in Sprint Vector. While repetitive, the movement didn’t result in soreness within any particular focus area and provided for great blood flow to the shoulders.
Performing well at Sprint Vector requires you to crouch slightly and make leg adjustments depending on which virtual direction you are facing. With repeated gameplay sessions this can deliver a type of “wall sit” exercise which can develop your quads and glutes.
Core and Balance: 9/10
Sprint Vector delivers one of the best experiences to develop core and balance. Movement within the game is relatively fast and the changing of movement direction means that you have to adjust your stance. This combination, while in a semi-crouched position, targets many of the stabilizing muscles in the obliques and surrounding core muscles that maintain balance.
Time Perception: 9/10
Due to the visual intensity, Sprint Vector scores high with regards to time perception. Even while playing on single player mode, 30 minutes of exercise went by very quickly. Time dilation was even greater while competing against someone in multiplayer mode, with races feeling like they were finishing almost twice as fast.
Due to the competitive nature of the multiplayer features, Sprint Vector has a high replayability rating. The single player mode can get a bit repetitive in back to back play, especially once you’ve gotten good enough to only minimally increment your race time.
Fitness Scalability: 4/10
Sprint Vector’s current scalability is a bit low but could easily score higher with the addition of new, longer maps. We’d suggest pushing this score to the limit by allowing players to design their own courses.
Social Competition: 8/10
We tested the multiplayer feature at VR1 as multiple machines are needed. An arcade is a great place to experience Sprint Vector as there is the chance that a crowd of people will watch in addition to the players competing against each other. You can definitely get a “battle” type feel as you push harder to beat the other player. Using the Glove Blast feature and getting speed boosts, heat-seeking missiles and deployable mines upped the ante from a strategy standpoint.
VRFI Fit Score: 8/10
There is plenty of good in this game. The graphics and characters are bright, fun and engaging. It’s easy to learn but provides plenty of opportunity for improving your skill. It can be a great workout.
The multiplayer feature is great, especially in an arcade environment where you can talk with people afterwards. Having a crowd of people cheer you on during a race is always great to experience. From a fitness perspective, the additional effort you put into winning a race elevates this game to another level.
Getting hit by one of those giant blocks and being pushed suddenly sideways can cause you some imbalance and the queasy discomfort that comes with it in virtual reality.
We highly recommend Sprint Vector as it provides a great aerobic fitness experience. If you are going to be visiting any virtual reality arcades definitely take it for a test “drive”. It’s a great application to have fun and get a great cardio based warm-up in.