Fancy discovering how horribly out of shape you are? Then check out Hitstream.
We’re being facetious, of course. It’s not Hitstream or developer And 7 Limited’s fault that this VR rhythm-based boxing game all but exhausted us the first time we tried it. If anything, it was our own fault for diving straight into a half-an-hour workout and assuming we’d knock it out of the park.
But, once you find your pace, Hitstream is a entertaining way to push yourself. Is it a great, all-round fitness game, offering a full workout for every muscle group? No, but it doesn’t pretend to be. Instead, it focuses on boxing action, along with squats and a little bit of weaving.
And, while it may not have the scope of, say, Ring Fit Adventure, you can tweak the workouts and so forth to your heart’s content. Want to drop the squats? That’s fine. Feel like skipping the 360° movement? Go ahead, but having targets coming from different angles is half the fun.
Spinning around, then spinning back to face another stream of oncoming punch markers is taxing in its own right but to motivate you, all of this is accompanied by some great work-out songs. We may only have heard of one or two of them, but in the moment they give you the perfect push to keep up the pace. And believe us, on our first few runs we definitely had the urge to quit.
The distinctive use of colour means you can easily see which hand you’re meant to apply to which target. That said, Hitstream isn’t beyond switching sides or bunching the targets together. The game does everything it can to keep you on your toes, it’s not going to give you an easy ride. But stick with it and you’ll find it’s a satisfying way to work up a sweat.
The locations are non-interactive backdrops, but they range from the enchanting to the faintly harrowing. The skyscraper level certainly gave us the odd twinge of vertigo. And, should you manage to hit a 90% completion rate (we can dream) there are new “reward” levels to experience.
One gripe we do have with Hitstream is the off-putting computer-generated voice it uses. We’d sooner have had an actor, or multiple actors, record the lines. Given that it started life as an Early Access/Applab title however, budget may have been a factor.
Indeed, it’s the Quest version we tried, but it’s just made the leap to PC, supporting Valve Index, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Now PC players can master the fine art boxing and/or flailing about, depending on your skill level. Both versions report back on your progress, or lack of it. And, offering 10, 20 or 30 minute work-out options, it’s easy to fit around your schedule.
In short, Hitstream is a fantastic and fun cardio-heavy way to exercise we’ll definitely be getting good use out of it. If only And 7 Limited could get Brian Blessed to lend his booming tones to it…