Hotel Transylvania is a popular film and cartoon comedy from Sony Pictures. The movie’s main characters — Drac, Mavis, and Johnny now have their very own rhythm, obstacle, and fitness game called Hotel Transylvania Popstic!
Sony Pictures Virtual Reality and Specular Theory created the game for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Windows Mixed Reality on Steam for $19.99 at the time of review.
Hotel Transylvania Popstic — Game Overview
If you like music and rhythm, and of course feeling like a spy swerving through lasers and magically slowing down time, you’re going to get a lot out this game, my friends! Drac, Mavis, and Johnny are DJs spinning some pretty catchy and pulse-pounding electronic and rock inspired jams.
Hotel Transylvania Popstic, or HTP from now on, is a single-player VR rhythm and fitness game where you use ice blue and fiery orange popstics to pop matching bubbles and coordinate long chains of double-handed arm movements.
This game uses blue and orange bubbles to match the rhythm which also adds other musical elements to the song being played. It’s also got white, green, and pink bubbles that you can pop with your popstics to slow down time, increase score multipliers, and to deactivate lasers.
HTP also has wild circular obstacles that rotate and spin down the platform. Players will need to pop bubbles with popstics but also get their body and popstics through without hitting the pink lasers. There are also lasers that criss-cross and create cool spiral patterns!
I used my Oculus Rift to play Hotel Transylvania Popstic and my Fitbit Blaze to track my 43-minute workout. To absorb the sweat, I used my VR Cover and a bandana so my headset wouldn’t get destroyed by sweat. I work out in it a lot, so this is a MUST if you do too.
For the following workout data, I’m giving two sets of info — one for the main playthrough of all the songs on Super Fun (Medium) difficulty and another for the game’s newest fitness level played with Drac’s song T-15 also on Super Fun difficulty.
- Calories Burned: 187 & 83 = 270 calories
- Average Heart Rate: 116 & 129
- Max Heart Rate: 138 & 155
- Steps: 1,627 & 726 = 2,353 steps
- Active Minutes: 43 minutes
Hotel Transylvania Popstic (HTP) has a range of intensity levels that you’ll see when you hit Very Easy, Super Fun, and Extreme for your workout. I picked Super Fun (Medium) difficulty because I didn’t want to get a supercharged workout, rather I wanted to see what the mid-range would be like.
Depending on how straight-on you pop the icy blue and fiery orange bubbles, you’ll get more or fewer points. Bubbles are worth 100 and spinning bubbles with lasers sticking out of them are worth 400! If you don’t hit them spot on you’ll get a decreased score.
The game ’s intensity was also increased from the long chains of bubbles and having to keep aiming along the light trail path. This part requires coordination and accuracy but is a bit forgiving if you’re not 100%.
Getting more chains of accurate pops gets you more points and so does popping bubbles and weaving through laser obstacles. The laser parts get super intense! Please know that you’re going to want a play in an area that has room to move side to side.
Just a heads up, when you play HTP the games and the song ends, there’s a few seconds in between the next song. This was a great fitness detail that kept my heart rate up! Loved it! However, I do wish I could pause it if I wanted to.
Credit to: Specular Theory and Sony Pictures Virtual Reality
Your arms will get tired out really quickly because there’s so much to pop! Popping is one part of the game but keeping long chains of delightfully rewarding popping is another.
You’ll get a lot out of the game if you don’t just hold up your arms and wait for the bubbles to come to you, that is unless you’re flowing and connecting light trails for points. Even then there’s a pop motion you’ll want to use. For the most fitness value look at where the bubbles are, aim, and quickly poke forward.
There will be doubles that you’ll double poke, triples where you’ll triple poke, and on and on. It almost works like a quick jab. Above all, do what needs to be done for that upper body movement. Put some thrust behind those popstics and don’t just fake it for points — your calorie count will reflect that.
Credit to: Specular Theory and Sony Pictures Virtual Reality
I’m giving HTP an 8 outta 10 for legs because the deep squat and side lunges are real in this game! Huzzah! A combo leg and arm game! The obstacles and laser beams not only made me feel like a spy in a famous movie it made my legs keep moving and pushing up my bodyweight.
Players will need to look ahead and plan out any weaving, side steps, lunges, and squats quickly. The game focuses on legs throughout, but the round that really made my legs get moving was during Drac’s song T-15 set on Fitness difficulty. I went two rounds in this level and the data is recorded above in the Preparation section of this review.
That round had me dropping down low into a deep squat. Their developers really brought out my inner ninja with this level. There will be bubbles and then lasers that appear above you like how BOX VR positions their overhead obstacles. Then there will be bubbles in between and then more lasers! You see where this is going? One ticket to sizzle station.
Core and Balance 7/10
Anytime you reach from top to top, bottom to bottom, side to side, and combinations of those movements you’ll use your core and balance. This is especially true for Drac’s T-15 Fitness level, which engages the obliques, core, and balance. No doubt, playing through this level on Extreme would kick up the core workout from spicy to habanero.
If you have back issues or don’t, remember to keep your abs tight and engaged while squatting and reaching for bubbles. If you don’t, you run the risk of letting your core and back disengage and fall behind in conditioning but also weakens support for upper body weight. If you already come with aches and pains, start off at easier levels and build up from there.
Time Perception 10/10
The soundtrack is a 10/10 for me because it didn’t sound cheesy and was up to trend. This helped keep my workout flowing, boosted my mood, and my workout was completed before I knew it. I even went over the 40-minute mark this time! *High Fives*
HTP is replay-worthy for sure! The studio says, “We are continuing to experiment with some fun new levels. Eventually, most of the songs will have a difficulty level called Bonus.” So you can expect to get more levels added, which means more game time!
The scoreboard is also a huge motivator to keep coming back for more! Pretty soon I’ll be burning a hole in my carpet where I play VR!
Fitness Scalability 8/10
The electronic and rock songs are super entertaining and go well with the bubble popping mechanics of the game. The range of difficulty levels like Very Easy, Super Fun, and Extreme means that it’s great for progressing fitness. You can start off as a beginner and work your way up to Extreme!
Lack of Nausea 10/10
There’s no flying or falling to this game — its all located on a platform. This is a great movement and rhythm game that won’t give you the cold sweats or barfs.
Social Competition 5/10
I typically would rate single player games as having zero social competition which would usually give it a 0/10 score. But, I’m turning over a new leaf on how I judge this section.
HTP gets a 5/10 because they have leaderboards for each song and difficulty level. This works for Beat Saber and BOX VR and it works here too. I’m pumped to get some top scores on this! See you on the board!
VRFI Fit Score 8.2/10
- The music is catchy and helped me forget about how intense the arm movements and squatting were.
- I loved the vibrant bubbles, challenging laser beams, and the full body workout.
- They’re adding more bonus levels to the game which will keep me playing Hotel Transylvania Popstic for fitness and as a game to show my friends and family.
- After a song and level are finished the menu doesn’t have a pause button. This would be helpful for screenshotting my scores.
- They could add sound variety when you hit the bubbles or miss them.
- Players that really like to compete would love having a competition or PvP mode.