Box opened, everything neatly packed inside...
All the goodies...controllers, sensor, charger for the sensor and batons for attaching the controllers, if you want to use the treadmill.
The set up for the Goji Play was really simple - just pull out the plastic tabs to activate the batteries in the two controllers, attach them to the handles of my stationary bike, charge the receiver for 20 minutes, download the Goji Blue app onto my iPad and boom, I was ready to go. Except that I realized I then needed to pick a game and download that, too. OK...I quickly picked a bike one (Spin or Die), since I was on a bike. Yes, I am that simple minded. I glanced at the game's tutorial and started riding my bike and playing the game.
Now, here's where I have to admit that I am not proficient in playing video games or using controllers - the last time I used one was when I played with my WiiFit, and that was over five years ago. I was supposed to push the A button to move right and the X button to move left but I was having a heck of a time keeping my bike rider from crashing. Something just felt off to me (beside my true lack of skills). I finally stopped riding and looked at the controllers - yes, they did say "L" and "R" on them, and yes I did look at them as I velcroed them to my handlebars, but no, I did not actually put them on the correct sides. Once I got that corrected, the game made a lot more sense to me! I also moved the controllers from the vertical part of the handlebars to the flat part - I covered up the spots where you can take your pulse while riding the bike, but I never used that anyway. This was much more comfortable for my thumbs to hit the buttons, and I eventually caught onto the game and even completed a round - I was crowned Weekend Warrior, woohoo!
Having to interact with the game is fun. There are quite a few games to choose from, with different genres - action, a Tetris-like game, and even a slot machine. The games have different levels, which keep me challenged...remember, though, I'm not a video game expert, so it doesn't take much to challenge me. So far the games I've returned to over and over have been Smash the Blocks, Fisticuffs, and Try Your Luck: Casino (although I have about as much luck playing those games as I do with real life gambling, and I usually run out of chips quickly...I can earn more by pedaling longer, but I usually switch to another game at that point). There is also a Reader app, but that one seems a little silly to me, as I could always read when I was riding my stationary bike.
I get so distracted with these games that I don't focus on the time, which is great - so far I haven't had those "OMG, how much LONGER do I have to ride this thing??" thoughts, which used to happen a lot, even when I was watching a show on Netflix. I've ended up riding longer that the goal time I set up in the Goji Play homescreen, which is huge for me. Anything that keeps me exercising to the end (and beyond!) of my workout is awesome.
My set up - I usually keep the iPad on the music stand. And yes, I wear my flip flops most of the time when I ride...you can see the sensor clipped to the strap.
The only issue I had was that the receiver wasn't always being read - the directions said to clip it to the pocket of your shorts. Well, I wasn't wearing shorts; I was wearing my workout capris, so I clipped it to my waistband. Apparently that wasn't always enough movement for it to be read, and I got messages saying the game would continue when I started moving (which I was). I looked through the Goji Play FAQs and they suggested moving the sensor to your shoe if this happened - I did, and never got that message again. It felt a little more secure than being on my waistband, which I preferred.
The unit comes with two foam tubes that you can put the controllers on, so if you are working out on a machine that is hands-free (like a treadmill), you just hold them like in your hands and play that way. It is also portable, so if you want to take it to the gym, it's very easy to drop the two controllers and receiver into your bag - and it works off of your smart phone, so you are all set. This would be nice for traveling, too, if you like to workout at hotel gyms.
The apps are all free. The Goji Play unit costs $99. If you are someone who is looking to add something different to your machine workout, this would be a nice thing to have. I received mine for free. Would I have bought it? No, but then, I'm very cheap when it comes to exercise equipment (except for running shoes, then money is no object if they make my feet and legs feel good). However, having used this, I really like it. I'm glad I have it - I've ridden the exercise bike a lot more often than I used to, and am having fun, which is saying a lot when it comes to me and exercise.
If you are a U.S. resident and would like the chance to win a Goji Play for yourself, just leave me a comment saying you're in for the giveaway. I'll announce the winner on Friday - good luck!
Comments are closed as this giveaway has ended.
FTC: I received a Goji Play unit for free; opinions about the system are all mine.