Tuesday, November 19, 2019
ReviewsVR games

VR Game Review: OhShape Has Satisfying Rhythm & Obstacles

Pose, catch some rhythm, rack up points, and get some cardio.

 

OhShape, previously called OnShape, is an early access rhythm VR game by Odders Lab. The HTC Vive and Oculus Rift title fuses dance choreography with skillfully posing through carved out walls. For comparison, google the humorous show “Hole in the Wall” or think of it as “American Ninja Warrior” for pop ’n’ lock dance moves with walls.

Embodiment

VR can turn you into almost anything with reality shattering design. In OhShape, the player embodies a robotic version of themselves. This is perfect for getting over human excuses not to exercise or becoming a couch zombie.

Hold up those robot hands! These will come in handy for breaking through digital walls. Warning, before playing OhShape or any VR game for that matter, make sure you’ve turned on your boundary lines. Save your hands and controllers from smashing into walls.

ohshape VR game

Music

In the game, the menu quickly appears and the selection process begins. The player gets to choose from 8 song maps of varying music genres. These range from catchy and poppy tunes to trap music! There’s something for every music taste here.

For the music buffs among us, they’ll be adding customization options soon. Personally, I can’t wait for this update. Beat Saber allowed for it, and now it looks like OhShape is too. Their music is actually really well done, but like most songs on repeat, they get tiresome. So, having music customization could really work to retain players for the long haul.

Environment

Each environment takes place on a platform that looks clean and well-polished. Kind of like you’re in a beehive with honeycomb shapes surrounding you. The aesthetic theme is upbeat, bright, digital, with transparent gray, white, and yellows. This design choice includes the platform, ducking walls, and gems.

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The pose walls are transparent blue, which lines up dance moves well. They’re see-through enough to look through and anticipate what’s coming next. Walls are often coming at you mad dash if you’re in Medium or Hard, so transparency is a good move here. More on that later.

I really liked the look of the environment, yet the design of it all reminded me of the Numbani map and Symmetra Photon Barrier from Overwatch. There’s the glassy design, the focus on lengthy vertical environments, and their logo. Their logo looks like they took notes from Overwatch but tweaked it. Not bad, just a connection I made. Maybe they’re fans?

OhShape Levels and Gameplay

VR game ohshape

OhShape is easy to jump into with little rhythm and VR game experience. Since first playing it, they added an update to include a Tutorial. Doesn’t matter if you’re new or a dance machine – play this first. It’ll show you how to line up your dance shadow and pose. Poses range from single arms, to cross arms, to dabbing, lunges, squats, plus other choreography.

Rhythm games are my thing, so I had an easier time my first go through. However, it was an adjustment for my body to pose along like I was popping ’n’ locking in a series of cut-out walls. Plus, my legs were like jello the day after and burning like I had done a hundred squats and side lunges – because I probably did after 30 minutes per play.

The game has you punch through walls, which is satisfying because of the haptic vibration from the controllers. Powering through a series of leg movements to punch through a wall that shatters everywhere is super rewarding too.

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There were times where a few gems appeared for a swatting bonus. I wanted more of these. An example of it done successfully is in Sonic games. Collect tons of rings and feel good. To a varying degree, this could also work for OhShape, especially with haptic feedback.

Honestly, the Medium and Hard difficulty levels are in fact, really hard. In other words, it’s a jump from Easy to Medium. Medium is doable, but a real challenge. Also, I had a hard time aiming those dipping side poses. They’re really hard to stay in line with. Some of them I swear I posed correctly, but instead got marked for it with a red panel. The misses tally up quickly. Miss around 6 and you have to start over.

Would I Recommend Playing OhShape?

I would! OhShape is a rhythm and dance VR game players…game. To summarize, I can see how using the Quest for this game instead of the Rift would be much easier to shift left and right. Simply put, the Rift’s cord gets in the way. To conclude, the Quest hand tracking would be a welcome option when the time comes. Yet, the haptic vibes are so rewarding that I think I’d rather keep the controllers.

Juanita Leatham
the authorJuanita Leatham
Juanita is a writer for the AR, VR, and spatial realms. You can find her gaming, listening to music, writing, and hanging out with her husband and friends in her free time.