Exercising isn’t something I have always wanted to do, but with the right motivation, I’m game. Since I’ve been using an Oculus Rift for a few years now, every now and then I’ll jump into BoxVR. Shout out to my friend K who bought an Oculus Quest and let me use it to do this BoxVR review.
Let’s get started.
BoxVR with the Oculus Quest vs. the Rift
I’m going to be real here. My first time trying on the Oculus Quest was so I could play this game. As far as first impressions go, it was not a comfortable one and neither was the second attempt.
There were issues with blurred vision because I had no clue where the IPD adjustment was (first try only). And both times the front heaviness of the headset made my head and neck start to hurt. This lasted for a few minutes and then I had to get over it to power through the review.
The Quest’s velcro straps, like the Oculus Rift, ripped out my front baby hairs when I was fitting it. That is not a good look for anyone. Strapped into the headset, my hair was all over the place and bunched up. No top knot or ponytail or braid will fix that. Good luck if you’ve got a man bun or a glorious heavy metal mane.
Words of wisdom: tie it back and bandana up.
I’ll be blunt – don’t exercise with the padding the Quest comes with. Invest in headset padding that’s good for long term use. Look online for covers to help pick up sweat and to keep your face comfortable. This will help keep the electronic parts less moist. It’s also easier to remove, clean, and switch out when friends use it.
On the following try, I got the headset to fit! I guess the third time’s the charm. BoxVR without wires was freeing and better than getting wrapped up in Rift cords. The Rift did its job, but the Quest allows pretty much anyone to jump in and get going. That is, unless you had the same issues as I did. Trial and error, my friends.
Classes and Levels
When you arrive at the BoxVR gym, there are 12 pages of different classes/workouts. There’s also a multiplayer option to choose from. There’s a beginners workout that’s less than 10 minutes and then the stages increase up to an hour and in intensity. Playing their 2-minute boxing classes is a decent warm up. Building up from there can help beginning users get more fit.
They also have a No Squat and Survival option to mix things up. No Squat option is good for working on hitting targets or when you want to give your gams and hams a rest. Survival is for when you want to see how long you can endure without missing punch shots.
There are 3 stages to box in: the gym, a dojo, and a futuristic otherworld. As someone who doesn’t like going to the gym in real life, I didn’t really enjoy being in theirs. I missed their Halloween and winter stages from their Oculus version.
They Got Rid of the Pumpkins and Other Changes
Honestly, working out in a cemetery with pumpkins and skulls is more enjoyable to me than being at the gym any day. Pretty sure I’m not alone on this. Psych me out with cooler worlds BoxVR! So much for punching skulls in the summer.
Although the fun stages are gone, the ones they have are fine enough for a workout. I did see some wavy textures that threw me out of the reality in the virtual reality of it all. Is this an Oculus Quest issue or a FitXR and BoxVR issue? Not sure. I’m not a developer so I can’t say. If you know what this is please leave a comment here or on my social media page about it.
A good change that they made is the upgraded timer display that appears close to the user. So, no more peering down the platform and squinting to see the time, calorie count, and points earned. Astigmatism be gone! Everything is up close and easy to see.
I do have an issue that the timer counts upward and is not a countdown. Personally, I like to know when I’m close to finishing my workout with the help of an approaching zero. I hate mentally stacking time when heart rate is already surging.
Movement & My Workout
Playing BoxVR in the Quest has the same movements as the Rift. Jabs, hooks, and uppercuts are all there. There are also blocks, squats, and dodges to throw some flavor and variety into a traditional shadow boxing workout. As a fitness game, it has personal trainer created workouts. This makes it a credible workout which only benefits the player.
As a fitness game, it has personal trainer created workouts. This makes it a credible workout which only benefits the player.
Wearing the Quest made it so much easier to box. At no point did I have to throw the cord over my shoulder or nearly trip into my coffee table. Plus I could take the headset on and off easily once it was fitted.
Bonus, there’s a recording feature so you can share sessions online or with friends. And that black and white look through feature is pretty neat. Overall, no wires meant no pain in my butt. That’s what the squats are for.
Overall, I got a decent warm up with each of the 2-minute beginner classes (though you could jump into something harder) and then went into longer workouts to elevate my heart rate. I didn’t do 30 minutes all the way through, but I did do three 10-minute classes with breaks in between. I’m trying to build up endurance here, not throw in the towel.
Do I Recommend It?
If you’ve got an Oculus Quest or are on the fence about buying one, I recommend getting the headset and this game (it costs $29.99). It’s basically an industry staple at this point and is a trainer-backed workout. It’s got a lot of punch, variety, and long shelf life. Plus, with the Quest, you won’t have the limitations of the wires and the hazards of being blind to what’s around you.
If you’ve got an Oculus Quest or are on the fence about buying one, I recommend getting the headset and this game.
There’s also a lot of potential here to add different workout environments and plenty of workouts to switch in and out. As for the music, they have upbeat rock, pop, hip-hop, and dance music to keep the rhythm of the punches moving forward. I could tell that they spent a lot of their time on the maps, which solidifies BoxVR as a workout app for VR.