January 14, 2022
TLDR: you have to try it for yourself, it’s really good and you get an instant hit of well-being and feel great after a single use. Firstly this is a great app, there are a few really good mediation apps for VR and they mostly tread a similar path, some better than others but more or less the same. So when I was asked to try this one out my expectations were that it would be more of the same, perhaps with a different environment. How wrong I was! This app stands alone, in a space that’s increasingly crowded, The Gift stands out as they have chosen a completely unique path, it’s difficult to describe and easier if you just try it. But for the benefit of this review, rather than focus on teaching mindfulness techniques or helping you build a routine etc, this app is an instant hit of feel good. You only have to use this once to immediately feel the benefits of it, you get a physical feeling of well-being and you get what you bring to it, that is to say the way in which the guided mediation is worded, it’s open enough that you bring your own issues or challenges to it and the app guides you towards resolving them. Seriously I haven’t done it justice by trying to explain it, just have a go for yourself. I also like the personal touches, the first thing you see when you start the app is the dev team and the first thing you hear is the voice of the CEO explaining the purpose of the app, I found this very inviting and really brought across the personal nature of the work and the team who created it, it made me feel more like a guest in a one-to-one setup and I think I got more out of it because of that. By the nature of the small, independent team who created this it’s not without its bugs or issues. For example it doesn’t feel polished to me, the background contrast isn’t quite right so when you are in some of the darker environments (like my personal favourite where you are in space looking down on the earth) you can’t quite see the orb in the foreground and lose some of the definition. The voiceover is a little grating and I don’t feel it’s quite right for the aim of this experience. The actual method of selecting the background isn’t very intuitive, the number of times I’ve accidentally selected a background I didn’t want then instantly been taken into the meditation then I have no way of changing it or returning to the main menu unless I restart the app or continue with a background I didn’t want. These are small issues that will hopefully be fixed as the app moves forward but none of them are deal breakers for me. I’d like to see more meditations - a feeling of progress, day 1-10 etc. This would give more of a feeling of working towards a goal, more replay-ability so you are on a journey rather then one off experience. This would give you that all important dopamine hit and a feeling of achievement rather than a one and done experience. My feeling is if it’s too easy the outcomes won’t stick whereas if you feel like your working towards and building upon something and have earned it, the effects will be more long term. These are just my constructive suggestions though, my overwhelming feeling towards this application is a positive one and I wish the devs well. Just download it and give it a go.