Resistance training video game has you punching fantasy monsters
Video games are often associated with laziness, but more and more of them are using those engaging reward systems to help people stick to fitness routines. The latest is Quell, a game about punching your way through a fantasy world while getting a high-intensity boxing workout.
The key to Quell is what the team calls the Gauntlet. This wearable device was apparently designed with the help of professional boxers and athletes, and it consists of a set of gloves with motion sensors in them, connected via resistance bands to a harness worn around the shoulders and chest.
The sensors monitor the speed, acceleration and location of your fists as you punch, while the resistance bands make it feel more realistic and give you a better workout. The data is sent via Bluetooth to a phone, PC or Mac, running the game.
Rather than just a straight boxing simulator, the team has built a game about fighting a range of monsters in a fantasy world, each with their own tactics and combat styles. Players will be punching, blocking, dodging and even casting spells to progress.
Of course, sticking to an exercise regime is the hardest part, and the game is designed to make that more fun, whipping out all the usual tricks video games use. That means that completing quests and tasks will earn players new loot, equipment and abilities, to use not only in the main storyline but in daily quests and events. The team promises that the game will be supported and updated for “many years” to come, and other games will make use of the Quell system in the future.
But there’s a caveat. The post-launch content as well as multiplayer modes will be locked behind a subscription service called Quell+. As annoying as it can be for consumers, crowdfunded projects just love subscription services lately, and it’s not hard to see why – it’s a great way to turn a business from a one-off purchase into an ongoing income stream. For now, it’s hard to tell if Quell+ is worth it, without details on cost and what you actually get for it.
It’s also a little difficult to tell how good a game Quell is. There’s plenty of competition in the field of fitness games, and while it does look intriguing, it’s clearly lacking a level of polish compared to things like Nintendo’s Ring Fit Adventure. On the other hand, it’s much cheaper and looks like it provides more varied play than the Liteboxer.
Quell will launch on PC, Mac, iPhones and Android phones, meaning it should be relatively easy for people who aren’t necessarily gamers to get into it. The team also says that takes less than a minute to don the Gauntlet and get playing.
The company is funding Quell on Kickstarter, where it’s already raised over US$100,000 – smashing its goal of about $33,000. Early bird pledges start at $195 for the Quell kit and six months of Quell+, and if all goes to plan, the system should start shipping in September 2021.
Check it out in action in the video below.