There are more things in VR and AR, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy – Hamlet (probably)
The world of VR is vast and sometimes a little terrifying; this is true both with general VR interactions as well as those focused more on the fitness side. Well, alongside the heaps of excellent fitness games we all know and love like Box VR, Beat Saber, and even Pistol Whip, there’s also a few out there on the world wide web.
TowerMax Fitness is one such website. They’ve been around for a couple of years now and have been steadily adding new content to the site as they go on. There’s a subscription that you can sign up for which adds in a few extra features, and at the moment it’s actually free too, which is nice.
While they have a few different options on the site, the one I wanted to try out was Reaction. Reaction is a game designed for martial artists, those who’ve spent a bit of time sparring, shadow boxing, and hitting pads. That’s not to say you can’t play it without that kind of experience, but it’s very much designed in a way that assumes you’re used to things flying at your face.
Reaction assumes you already know how to strike in a way that won’t lead to injury. You have to be careful not to overextend; you have to be aware of your own limits. It’s an interesting approach because it doesn’t pull any punches (I’m not sorry), so it allows for a slightly higher level of skill as a result. It’s not a rhythm game; it’s a game designed to test your ability to move, defend, and attack.
It’s also not for rookie VR gamers either, as there’s it’s not just a simple matter of loading it up and going. To get the full experience, you need to be ready to play around with settings to allow you to elbow strike things, if you’ve got Vive sensors then you can do kicks as well. Plus, it’s not bothered about motion sickness, so you’ll need some sturdy VR legs to get through a session without feeling the need to throw in the towel.
Reaction sets up boxes for you to hit, beams for you to dodge, and fists for you to block. It’s a lot to take in, and the game has zero chill, but that’s refreshing if you’ve been looking for something a bit more intense. It’ll definitely keep your heart rate up as well, which is pretty much exactly what you’d want from an experience like this.
It’s just a shame that you have to fight through so many things to get to it. Supermedium is the best way to access TowerMax Fitness at the moment, but it’s far from perfect in and of itself. On top of that, actually setting up Reaction is a somewhat frustrating task; I ended up having to restart Supermedium multiple times because my hands left my body, or the site simply wouldn’t load.
It’s great when you can get it to work, but doing so feels a bit more like luck than anything else, which is incredibly annoying. Nevertheless, TowerMax Fitness is a very interesting site indeed, and definitely one to check out if you have a love of fitness. Reaction is a unique experience at the moment as well, it’s not interested in being a game, it’s interested in being training, and that’s incredibly refreshing, especially if you’ve been waiting to get your fists stuck into something a bit more challenging. It might not be 100% there yet, but I’ve got a good feeling about TowerMax Fitness as a whole, and I think it’s one to keep an eye on.