OhShape comes across as a fairly simple concept but it easily delivers an enjoyable and fun experience with a solid foundation to add so much more.
One of the benefits of owning an Oculus Quest is how it manages to involve you in its vast growing library of games. With its room-scale tracking and 6DoF controls, YOU can be the controller, which is something you never really get to experience with flat, screen-based console/desktop games.
OhShape is a new rhythm music game title on the Quest that also lets you and your body become the controller. Inspired by a Japanese TV show called “Hole in the Wall”, you are tasked to position your body into a pose to fit through a series of oncoming body shapes that are cut out of each wall that approaches you, as well as dodge, duck, collect and punch through shapes, and all this is done in time with the music.
It may come across as complex, but it really isn’t. It is very simple, and this is OhShape in a nutshell. First, select your chosen music track from the 12 main tracks and 5 extra bonus tracks that are available to you. There is a fairly wide variety of music genres on offer in OhShape. From funk, pop, dance, the 80s, K-Pop and a little rock-pop/indie, the majority of music tracks on offer do all have a familiar feel to them.
With your track selected you can choose from Easy, Medium and Hard difficulties. From what I could tell in my play sessions with the game, each difficulty mostly alters the speed and number of walls/poses you have to go through, as well as gems to collect and walls to punch through.
The Easy difficulty has a decent entry-level feel to it that manages to raise your heart rate, whilst still making it fun and enjoyable yet it does not give an overall sense of feeling too easy. Medium difficulty ups the tempo of objects spawning ahead of you, and it does give a happy middle ground between Easy and Hard difficulty. The game’s Hard difficulty, however, is for those with rapid body movement abilities. It was too fast for my old-age brain and limbs to react to, however with practice, Hard could certainly be beaten, albeit at least not at 100% for me.
The good news for people like myself, you can still tackle the variety of Medium and Hard modes without the full punishment of increased speed and tighter accuracy. Similar to games like Pistol Whip, in OhShape you have the ability to modify the level’s overall Speed, Accuracy and Master audio track whilst still being able to compete in the higher difficulty mode. Making the level easier will affect your score by how much you have made it easier for you. This isn’t much of a problem when fun is your the end goal, but if you wish to compete on the online leaderboards you may want to leave them as is or even increase the difficulty to improve your score. This is a smart way of customising the game to your liking without having the feeling of being punished for just selecting higher difficulties.
This level of customisation continues in OhShape with the added ability to add custom mapped songs into the game. Sadly this isn’t a seamless process of browsing custom created content inside the game. Instead, you have to visit unofficial websites such as ohshapes.com to download these custom maps, unzip them and install them manually via USB on a PC/Mac into the game’s ‘Songs’ storage folder on the headset. After restarting the game you will see the custom tracks appear as selectable songs in the Custom songs area. Due to music licencing, it is obvious why this isn’t made easy, but at least it is there and there are already some decent custom songs that are out there – I recommend you give the “Eye of the Tiger” custom track a try!
The amount of physical actions required in OhShape makes this game another good game to enjoy fitness with your Oculus Quest. Depending on the track you select, you can get a decent mix of leg and arm workouts, and because it requires additional movement in your overall body, you’ll be working out your core a little too. Your level of exercise in this game will depend on the tracks and difficulties you chose, but by selecting the right tracks and difficulties for a good 10-15minute session, OhShape can easily become part of your VR workouts.
OhShape comes across as a fairly simple concept but it so easily delivers an enjoyable and fun experience. I do find that the gem collection mechanic hasn’t been utilised to its fullest potential, and the wall punching mechanic, although fun and satisfying, could do with just being floating shields or rings rather than an entire wall object. Overall though, OhShape will hopefully evolve over time, bringing added depth with extra music tracks, both officially and custom. The planned extra modes will help improve the game too as its developers hopefully listen to its community and continue to support it.
Right now, OhShape builds a solid foundation for an alternative to the ever-growing rhythm music genre of games on the Oculus Quest. Visually and audibly, OhShape looks and sounds great, and I like that it does not copy the usual neon trend of rhythm games that are already on the Quest. It feels fresh and so does it’s a relatively small but varied library of music tracks to play against. If you’re looking for another workout game to slot into your VR exercise regime, or you’re just looking to have some fun times, popping shapes in time to the beat, then be sure to check out OhShape.