Peloton is developing a new game that will be played on its exercise cycles, and it appears to be both familiar and weird. Lanebreak is the game’s current name (though that may change once it’s launched), and it’s based on the same concept as Guitar Hero and Beat Saber.
Riders will change their cadence and resistance to reach various goals while controlling an on-screen rolling wheel in the game, which will be available only to Peloton bike owners and subscribers.
Before starting, players can select a difficulty level, the style of music they want to hear, and the length of the track. Although the game is not currently available, a members-only beta will begin later this year. Peloton hasn’t revealed any information about how individuals can sign up.
Instead of swinging a joystick or tapping buttons, you adjust your bike’s resistance level to move your avatar (a wheel with Tron-style lighting rims) from left to right and accelerate by increasing your cadence. The final aesthetic of the game may alter, although it so far resembles the independent music game Audiosurf..
As you vary resistance and speed, cues on your bike’s tablet will direct you, and you’ll have to evade obstacles and gather pickups that are coordinated with the music, just as in Audiosurf.
Picking up things will give you points, with those in higher-resistance lanes earning the most. ‘Breakers’ are objects that demand you to reach a specified power output, while ‘streams’ or ‘veins’ are spans that occur in one or more lanes and reward you with points for maintaining a specific cadence.
With a track flowing off into the universe, the game’s mood and interface are reminiscent to Mario Kart’s Rainbow Road. On Lanebreak, it’s similar to Mario, however you’re pedaling to keep your tire moving and accomplish particular goals, rather than managing Mario.
It’s a concept that should provide a workout akin to a hard interval session, with left-to-right movements offering the same challenge as switching between intensity levels at an instructor’s guidance.
The concept of a workout game is intriguing, and it indicates that Peloton is open to new forms of material. It’s particularly fascinating because Netflix is also developing in-app video games. Both firms appear to recognize the need of a diverse content offering in order to keep users engaged in their apps for longer.
Echelon and Myx, for example, provide very comparable setups on a subscription basis, including spin bikes and instructor-led exercises, while undercutting Peloton’s costs. A similar experience can be had with iFit, which offers not only studio workouts but also gorgeous virtual rides thanks to a partnership with Google Maps.
Lanebreak provides a unique experience for anyone who appreciates working up a sweat but doesn’t appreciate the traditional spin instructor’s unbridled excitement, as well as some escapism. We’re excited to give it a shot and see if it can get us to elevate our heart rates higher than a regular spin class.
The game will be released in 2022, and a Peloton open beta will be available later this year. In the US, the UK, Canada, and Germany, it will be available for the Peloton Bike and Bike+.