We’ve all had one of those nights at the bar where we’re a few drinks in and find ourselves on the dance floor when suddenly the DJ puts on our favorite jam. In this situation, we logically make our way to the closest female and start cutting some rug. It isn’t until a few minutes later that we find out the female we’ve been wooing with our extra special dance moves is taken. We look up to find her partner making his way over, and he doesn’t look happy. We all know what happens next.  

Thanks to Drunkn Bar Fight you can prepare for this scenario by practicing haymakers, bottle slashes, and the Stanky Leg in a series of virtual bars. Use random objects such as pool cues, darts, bar stools, and ash trays to beat down your fellow drunkards all while getting hopped up on some of VR’s finest low cal microbrews.  

Besides being a fine replacement for a night of debauchery, does Drunkn Bar Fight have any qualities that might help shrink your beer gut?  Below we will delve into the particulars of DBF that translate to fitness.

Preparation

I used my Apple watch to track my heart rate and calories burned. My watch didn’t come with the drunken free-for-all exercise mode so I just used Other. I sweat a lot when I’m working out, and even more when I combine booze and physical exertion.

Thank goodness I had my stylish mullet with bandanna to prevent me from drenching the HMD. To make sure I stay hydrated and could find my beer in VR I attached a trusty VIVE Tracker.

Intensity – 6/10

  • Workout duration: 20 minutes
  • Calories burned: 119 active/158 total
  • Average heart rate: 89 BPM
  • Max heart rate: 112

Arms – 6/10

There were moments where my arms started feeling the burn from a flurry of punches. This was especially the case when multiple bar patrons were attacking at once. When surrounded by multiple NPC’s, the best pugilistic tactics degrade into rabbit punching and rapid backhands. Then there are moments when you aren’t being pursued by opponents or they are slowly coming and you get a chance to rest, and at some points for too long.

Legs – 3/10

In DBF the player doesn’t have to use their legs much.  Most of the movement within the experience is done with the trackpad. When I walked around too much to evade or go after an NPC, I found myself running into or punching walls despite having the chaperone system enabled. Squatting when ducking punches, kneeling over a conquered foe, and a bit of feet shuffling doesn’t engage the lower body to a degree that can be considered a strenuous workout.  

Core and Balance 5/10

There was enough reaching for objects within the experience: ducking, strafing, and bending over to activate the core. The degree to which a player uses their core is dependent upon their fighting style. Players that primarily stand upright and just move back and forth to evade NPC’s will not experience much of a core workout. Those that duck and rotate their midsection often will engage more of their core muscles.

Time Perception 7/10

Time went by fast. This could have partly been from the beer, but I believe the sheer amount of manipulable objects that can be thrown, swung at, or stabbed into NPC’s had something to do with it. The constant search for alcohol to drink (which gives your player more confidence) and weapons, in addition to the physical activity of fighting is sufficient enough to speed up perceived time.

Replayability 6/10

The first couple of times through, DBF is a ton of fun. Hitting a big burly NPC in the face with a bar stool and watching him fly across the bar is entertaining. However there’s only so many times you can assault an NPC before things start to get old and you start to feel like a degenerate. The game also lacks other engagement mechanics that make people want to come back over and over again.

Fitness Scalability 4/10

This is one of those experiences as it relates to fitness where you get out of it what you put into it. Those times I wanted to get after it, I beat down my fellow bar-mates with the ferocity of Patrick Swayze from Roadhouse. This is when the game offers a better fitness experience. However, you can also approach the game with less vigor, and in return receive little to no fitness benefits.

Lack of Nausea 5/10

I spend a great deal of time in VR experiences and didn’t feel too nauseated. However, players move within the bar environment both through walking and using the trackpad, often at the same time. A player can be walking in one direction but the physical environment might be moving in a way that runs contrary to what should really be happening. Because of this, I can see how people not accustomed to navigating in VR environments could get nauseous.  

Social Competition

In DBF there is no competitive mode unless you are playing against yourself to try and beat your last score. That being said, there is cooperation where a player and a friend are both in the same scene and can take on bar patrons together. This is perhaps one of the most fun ways to play DBF. If you get knocked down, possibly by the limp right hand slap of a skinny VR NPC (it was a cheap shot), your comrade in arms can revive you.

VRFI Fit Score 6/10

DBF’s drunken antics provide players with enough action to keep them moving, especially their core and arms. Pauses in the action are sometimes too long providing players with extended rest periods, which result in a drop in heart rate. The experience doesn’t make the player use their lower extremities enough, however players can activate leg muscles better if they consciously make an effort to squat and duck more often.

The Good

  • Fun and entertaining
  • A number of manipulable objects
  • Enough movement and action to get the heart pumping

The Bad

  • Need a large play space
  • Too many breaks in action
  • No competitive mode

Drunkn Bar Fight is a great virtual reality experience that can be very entertaining.  It might not be the best game for getting a VR workout, but it does make players move around enough to offer some fitness benefits. You may not walk out of DBF looking like Ryan Reynolds, but you just might have gained the confidence and skills needed to emerge victorious next time you find yourself surrounded by angry boyfriends at the bar.  

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