AudioShield Review

Blog Posts ,Random Musings ,Virtual Reality
August 8, 2016

As promised in my last post, I wanted to spend some time writing down my thoughts and impressions of AudioShield, an amazing Vive application that lets you battle off glowing orbs set to the beat of music playing. Although AudioShield has been out for a while, I only recently picked it up, but it’s quickly become one of my favorite apps to play when I have a bit of downtime.

AudioShield brings some of the best parts of Dance Dance Revolution to the Vive, resulting in a game where it’s just you and the music – and any number of friends who you want to knock off of the leaderboards. With a variety of songs built in to the game, there’s not much to do in way of setup or learning the controls: you’re given two shields, one to block each of two colored light orbs, and you’re tossed into an arena where you defend yourself from orbs, creating an explosion of colored photons that give you more points the harder you punch them. You can also use songs from your own music library, though a Spotify integration would be the only thing that would make this game even better. Sadly, from a technical or licensing perspective, this seems unlikely, but rest assured – digging into the .mp4s is well worth it for AudioShield.

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I won’t lie – part of the appeal of AudioShield is how it makes exercising effortless and fun. Growing up, I had the PlayStation version of DDR, and I lost fifteen pounds one summer playing it for hours on end, day in and day out. I love video games that capture the best parts of being active, and make them incredibly playful, and AudioShield does a great job of getting players moving around – especially on the harder songs. Some music genres seem to lend themselves better to the game than others, but it’s a unique and novel way to interact with, and experience, music.

As someone who used to participate in a number of school choirs throughout childhood and college, I’ve missed having a way to respond to music and feel really in touch with it – a feeling that I get when I play AudioShield. It’s a great way to move around when I would otherwise be sitting around doing nothing (or reading reddit). I’m sure that I look ridiculous, but in the headset, I feel like I’m dancing in some futuristic nightclub, and the potential for VR and music-related experiences is just starting to see the first waves of innovation.

In related experiences, from the creation side, the Tiltbrush Audio reactive brushes are another great musical tie-in to a beloved VR app. Have you tried AudioShield or the new Tiltbrush update? What are your favorite songs to play? Share in the comments or on Twitter

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