Wanting to smash your iPad or iPhone in frustration after failing a difficulty challenge is a common occurrence for many. Pulling just short of actually smashing a fist through your shiny new toy can be a real test, sometimes.
In Tech Bla's app Box the Bag though, you're asked to do that repeatedly. In a virtual gym, that is, with the added bonus that your boxing skills should increase as you do so.
Pranav Agarwal, CEO and Founder at Tech Bla, spoke to us about how the app works, how it caters for every skill level, and what future plans there are for it.
Stepping into the ring
So what is Box the Bag, and how does is work? Agarwal explains that it's set up to be a simple (yet satisfying) and rewarding experience.
"Box the Bag brings Kinect-style gaming experience to the iPhone and iPad," he explains. "It's a one of a kind app which works by accessing the front camera feed in real time, with the app then detecting when and where you 'throw punches' and makes sure you land them where the random target appears."
You can even view yourself in a small window inside the 3D world portrayed on-screen, and check your pose while hitting. You can see the app in practice below.
Box the Bag Trailer:
Box the Bag gameplay video:
Box the Bag isn't just for those with a knowledge of the sport though, as Agarwal is keen to emphasise.
"We have made sure that the users get to learn to play the game extensively in the practice mode, he says. "In fact, when you first start the app after downloading it, you need to go through the practice mode before you can enter the challenge mode, and this has been done so that people get a feel of how the app works."
"There is an excellent set of in game instructions to make sure that the user is able to understand and play the game smoothly."
It's not all about simply waving your hands in front of a punch bag on a screen of course, and the game has two very different ways to play available to choose from.
"The first is Practice," Agarwal says. "In this mode the user is required to hit a punching bag on the specific target points and amass as many hits as possible, and this mode is designed in such a way that users can use it in their own personal workout regimen as well. Whether it be for an early morning session, a lunch-break power workout or an evening distress."
Work your way to the top
The second mode is Challenge, where you have to go through 10 rounds and are required to register a specific number of correct hits on the bag.
"The catch is that in this mode," Agarwal reveals, "is that the game registers the mishits as well and there is a fixed time for each level within which the number of target hits need to be achieved otherwise the game is over. The mode starts off easy and progressively becomes harder - and is therefore for more seasoned users who have built their skills in the practice mode."
Agarwal explains you'll constantly want to improve those skills and your scores too.
"In both of the app's modes we have added access to email, Facebook and Twitter onto which you can post your scores," he says. "This way you can share your performance with your friends in real time, and in the challenge mode with the concept of mishits being introduced you are able to measure your hitting efficiency and gives you the incentive to further improve your score and better the previous one."
i(Pad) of the tiger
Agarwal says there are plans to bulk up the app in the form of updates in the near future as well.
"This is just the first version of Box the Bag, and therefore are a host of upgrades in progress," he reveals. "As we speak the team is busy working on introducing the speedball for lighter workouts, additional levels, Game Center integration and AI based characters which react to hits realistically."
As for those who want to get into the ring with the app – but lack the iOS device to do so – there is also the good news that Box the Bag will be taking on other formats in the near future too.
"We plan to launch the app on Android devices," Agarwal says. "The porting process is in progress and the finished product will be available, shortly. We are also exploring the possibility of launching it on consoles as the extra processing power found on these systems can greatly enhance the performance of the game."
Box the Bag is available on iPad and iPhone as a universal app, and costs £1.79 / $2.99 [iTunes link].