Until You Fall combines close weapon combat and magical spells to defeat increasingly difficult enemies throughout the game. Exercise comes primarily from a combination of fast-paced, isometric arm extensions to block attacks, wide and rapid sword swings, and squatting and sidestepping to duck and dodge. Players must physically rotate to face enemies from multiple directions, requiring a fair amount of both upper and lower body movement. It also has the option for seated combat. While our raters did not collect metabolic data playing seated, we suspect it will be substantially less exercise than standing.
Rater noted activity was constant throughout the gameplay. During testing, Until You Fall was observed to have an average MET score of 6.50 METs, or an average 6.5x the rater’s base metabolic resting rate. Throughout gameplay, five-minute peak average was observed at 8.10 METs, or up to 8.10x the rater’s base metabolic rate. Studies have found that this is in the range typically seen while playing competitive singles tennis, making it a Tennis Equivalent on the VR Health Rating system.
Rater felt that the game would have likely been greater exercise in the later levels beyond their skill level, as the waves continued to become more difficult.
Until You Fall is rogue-lite. The player begins at the first level at each playthrough and progresses through levels until they die or beat the game. Game difficulty and exercise intensity increase the farther into the game a player reaches, and so average levels of exercise are dependent on skill and progress. However, even at early levels and moderate difficulty, Until You Fall is excellent exercise. Character experience carries over between playthroughs, allowing characters to get stronger over time, with better weapons. This increase in character ability may lead to easier gameplay over time, but the progressive difficulty will make it unlikely to negatively impact exercise for most players for quite some time.
The rater collected data while playing on Relentless Difficulty through the fifth level (repeatedly). There are four difficulty settings: Relaxed, Challenging, Relentless, and Nightmare. Nightmare difficulty unlocks in later play. More intense exercise may have been observed if the rater had been able to play farther into the game.
Higher energy expenditure was correlated to length of gameplay time. The more time the player can stay alive in the later levels, the more intense their average exercise will likely be. Dying and restarting less intense early levels interrupts intense exercise. Inversely, staying alive for longer periods, even on easier difficulty, is likely a greater amount of overall exercise than dying and repeating the lower levels over and over. We advise playing at the highest level you find challenging but can progress in for 15 to 20 minutes per session without death.
Temporary upgrades such as + max health points and regenerate health are great options to keep players in the fight. Dual wielding fast weapon types that deal low damage and require lots of movement (Rokari Keenblade, Ritual Dagger, High Arcanist’s Blade, etc.) may increase player exercise, since more swings leads to more energy burned.
At the time of data collection, the developer had just released an update allowing two-handed weapons. Unfortunately, the rater did not have access to these weapons at the time of data collection, and they will have to be rated in a later update. Please note that the developer believes that two-handed weapons likely lead to greater exercise than the dual-wield weapons we used in this rating.
Additional metabolic data collection will be needed to confirm this by the VR Health Institute… but it doesn’t hurt to try. 🙂