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Get Fit While Gaming With These Exercise Rated VR Games

Arcade Saga

Arcade Saga features three games in one. The title includes Fracture, which is VR adaptation of the classic 2D brick breaker games; Smash, which is a tennis-like game that takes place in a long corridor; and Bowshot, in which you must kill everything in your path with a bow and arrow.

Arcade Saga features 360-degree gameplay with spatial audio to alert you of potential danger outside of your field of view. It also includes leaderboards so you can compete against other players for the highest score.

Arcade Saga offers a slightly more rigorous workout than SuperHot, with an average of 4.12 to 4.4 calories burned per minute. The higher caloric burn rate bumps Arcade Saga into the Elliptical rating from the VR Health Institute.   

  • Platforms: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift
  • Input: Motion Controllers
  • Publisher: Devolver Digital
  • Developer: Free Lives
  • Multiplayer?: Yes
  • Calories per minute: 4.12 kcals to 4.4 kcals
  • Store Page: Steam
  • VR Exercise Rating: Elliptical


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Gorn

Gorn is the type of game in which you could burn a lot of calories without even realizing it. It puts you in the center of a gladiator ring where you fight for your life against big burly strongmen. The game features over-the-top cartoon violence and gore that will leave you giggling while you flail your arms around like a maniac trying to fend off your enemies.

The VR Health Institute rates Gorn as a comparable workout to using an elliptical machine. Twenty minutes of severing virtual limbs with virtual swords and virtual morning stars will get most people sweating.

  • Platforms: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift
  • Input: Motion Controllers
  • Publisher: Vive Studios
  • Developer: 2 Bears Studio
  • Multiplayer?: No
  • Calories per minute: 4.41 kcals to 4.67 kcals
  • Store Page: Steam
  • VR Exercise Rating: Elliptical


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Fruit Ninja VR

Fruit Ninja in VR is exactly what you think it is: Halbrick Studios took its wildly successful smartphone game of the same name and ported it to standing-scale VR.

In Fruit Ninja VR, you get two swords and a limited amount of time to cut as many pieces of flying fruit that you can. Because you’re racing against the clock, the gameplay feels more intense than it really is, but swinging two fake swords back and forth rapidly can really get your heart racing.

The VR Health Institute said that Fruit Ninja offers a comparable workout to using elliptical equipment.

  • Platforms: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift
  • Input: Motion Controllers
  • Publisher: Halbrick Studios Ply Ltd.
  • Developer: Halbrick Studios Ply Ltd.
  • Multiplayer?: No
  • Calories per minute: 4.68 kcals to 4.99 kcals
  • Store Page: Steam
  • VR Exercise Rating: Elliptical


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Sword Master VR

Sword Master VR is, as the name suggests, a sword fighting game for virtual reality. The game starts off easy, with one style of sword and simple foes to cut down to size. As you progress through the challenges, Sword Master VR gets harder and harder. Sometimes you’ll fight single enemies; sometimes you’ll face two at a time.

With each progressive level, you’ll unlock new weapons that demand different skill sets and playstyles. No matter which weapon you chose, expect to move around a lot.

The VR Health Institute gave Sword Master VR the Elliptical rating, but you should expect to expel more energy in a 10-minute run of this title than Gorn or Fruit Ninja.

  • Platforms: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift
  • Input: Motion Controllers
  • Publisher: Master Indie
  • Developer: Master Indie
  • Multiplayer?: No
  • Calories per minute: 4.73 kcals to 5.44 kcals
  • Store Page: Steam
  • VR Exercise Rating: Elliptical


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Drunkn Bar Fight

Drunkn Bar Fight is one of those games that is so bad, it’s good. The concept of the game is, simply, that you're at a bar full of rowdy, brawling drunks, and you have to fight your way through the crowd.

Drunkn Bar Fight isn’t a simulation game, but it requires you to throw repeated punches at the liquored-up idiots that keep coming at you. The key to winning the fight is to make sure you’re as drunk (or moreso) than your opponent. The more you drink, the stronger you feel.

The VR Health Institute gave Drunkn Bar Fight the Elliptical rating, but the company said that it’s just a preliminary rating because the game was tested with a heart rate monitor, not an oxygen consumption monitor. The VR Health Institute calculated that its test subject burned nearly five calories per minute while playing Drunkn Bar Fight

  • Platforms: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift
  • Input: Motion Controllers
  • Publisher: The Munky
  • Developer: The Munky
  • Multiplayer?: Yes. Online Co-Op
  • Calories per minute: 4.84 kcals to 4.89 kcals
  • Store Page: Steam, Oculus Store
  • VR Exercise Rating: Elliptical


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GoalKeepVR

GoalKeepVR is like a virtual batting cage for soccer goalies. The game features eight different play modes, which modify the gameplay by increasing the speed that balls are sent your way, alternating which hand you can block with, or by shrinking your hands every round to increase the difficulty.

When you break it down, though, GoalKeepVR is about blocking soccer balls and not much more, but despite the simple concept, playing it requires a fair bit of energy. The VR Institute gave GoalKeepVR the Elliptical rating, which indicates a caloric burn of four to six calories per minute. GoalKeepVR lands in the mid-to-high end of the Elliptical rating.

  • Platforms: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift
  • Input: Motion Controllers
  • Publisher: DigitalBadger Design
  • Developer: DigitalBadger Design
  • Multiplayer?: No
  • Calories per minute: 4.89 kcals to 5.5 kcals
  • Store Page: Steam
  • VR Exercise Rating: Elliptical


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Space Pirate Trainer

Space Pirate Trainer is an action-packed first-person arcade shooter. I-Illusions created Space Pirate Trainer to take advantage of the unique capabilities of room-scale VR. The game puts you on a platform in space, armed with two selectable-ammo pistols and a mandate to defend your position at all costs.

The first few levels of Space Pirate Trainer are fairly mild and likely won't make you break a sweat, but if you’re half decent at the game, you’ll be moving around like you would in a real-world dodgeball game.

The VR Health Institute rated Space Pirate Trainer as an equivalent workout to using elliptical equipment. However, top players should get a higher-intensity workout, as the difficulty ramps up significantly once you get past level 15, which is easier said than done.

  • Platforms: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift
  • Input: Motion Controllers
  • Publisher: I-Illusions
  • Developer: I-Illusions
  • Multiplayer?: No
  • Calories per minute: 5.16 kcals to 5.22 kcals
  • Store Page: Steam, Oculus Store
  • VR Exercise Rating: Elliptical


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Bitslap

Bitslap is a fast-paced game that will push the limits of your reaction time while challenging your physical and mental abilities. You must destroy cubes that spawn in front of you as fast as they appear. But there’s a catch; you must destroy them in the order that they appear. If you hit the cubes out of order, they won’t break.

It’s hard to describe how intense Bitslap is, but the trailer gives you a good perspective of the pace in the game. Let's put it this way: You probably can’t move as fast as the game wants you to. Bitslap has the bonus of being able to support third-party music files, so you can listen to your favorite workout playlist while you play.

Bitslap isn’t an intense workout, but it will get your heart pumping. The VR Institute gave the game the Elliptical rating, but this one falls on the higher end of that category. An average-sized person can expect to burn more than five calories per minute playing Bitslap.

  • Platforms: HTC Vive
  • Input: Motion Controllers
  • Publisher: Comrex AG
  • Developer: Comrex AG
  • Multiplayer?: No
  • Calories per minute: 5.34 kcals to 5.41 kcals
  • Store Page: Steam
  • VR Exercise Rating: Elliptical


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Racket: NX

Racket: NX is a combination between racketball and a brick-breaker game. It features fast-paced, competitive action and arcade-inspired gameplay. Using a racket, you hit a ball into the grid that surrounds you to score points and gain higher scores by hitting multiplier grids.

The VR Health Institute gave Racket: NX the Elliptical exercise rating, but the workout you can get out of the game is almost as intense as playing a game of Tennis.

  • Platforms: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift
  • Input: Motion Controllers
  • Publisher: Keshet International Gaming
  • Developer: One Hamsa, Waves Audio
  • Multiplayer?: Yes
  • Calories per minute: 5.53 kcals to 5.98 kcals
  • Store Page: Steam, Oculus Store
  • VR Exercise Rating: Elliptical


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Fastest Fist

Fastest Fist is a virtual reality boxing training game. You won’t be facing opponents in the ring, but your virtual trainer is going to get you ready for a fight anyway.

Fastest Fist puts you through a rigorous training exercise that will help you develop your punching, dodging, and blocking techniques, as well as improve your reaction time. It's a high-intensity game, and you can expect to get a solid workout while playing. The VR Health Institute’s test subject burned upwards of six calories per minute and peaked at eight calories per minute. Even the developer of the game warns that the gameplay gets intense and that you should take a breather once in a while.

  • Platforms: HTC Vive
  • Input: Motion Controllers
  • Publisher: Touch Art Technology Co., Ltd.
  • Developer: Touch Art Technology Co., Ltd.
  • Multiplayer?: No
  • Calories per minute: 6.24 kcals to 8.02 kcals
  • Store Page: Steam
  • VR Exercise Rating: Tennis


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  • bit_user
    It'll be interesting to see if standalone 6-DoF HMDs usher in a whole new craze of multi-player VR gaming in large rooms, parking lots, and maybe even soccer/football fields.
    Reply
  • COLGeek
    ...or go outside. Breathe fresh air. Take a walk. Run. Engage in a team sport.
    Reply
  • mrmez
    "Fit". That's a pretty loose term these days.
    Reply
  • JamesSneed
    Little bit of a presumptuous title, how about get some exercise while gaming? How many hours until the average gamer would be fit by playing these games. :)
    Reply