Zwift has a new virtual world, the Makuri Islands, which leans heavily on Japanese-inspired imagery. I rode six of the eight new courses last night, and was impressed with the graphics.
I have long maintained that Zwift’s main attraction is the interaction, not the visuals — but I have to say, the visuals are pretty spectacular in this new world.
One cool way to explore the new world is with all the data and text removed. Press ‘H’ and you get a clear screen; press ‘H’ again to return to the normal data display.
Below are a few screenshots I took of myself and my teammate Matt Allen cruising around inside the Makuri Islands. There’s a fun mix of tight, winding paved roads through colorful villages, gravel/sand singletrack through verdant forests, and wide-open lanes through the countryside.
Pressing the ‘H’ key removes all the information screens. You can still press the number keys to change your view perspective.
The Spirit Forest course is largely on a sandy singletrack. And yes, you ride on the lefthand side on the Makuri Islands.
Riding through lantern-lit temples? Cool
Sea to Tree is a super-short 3.3km course that climbs up to a massive, moss-covered tree.
QOM/KOM and Sprint markers still exist on Makuri Islands, regardless of the road surface.
The Three Village Loop, as it sounds, connects you to three villages via countryside roads. As always, Zwift is better with a buddy to draft.
And the villages are happening!
The villages feature lots of sharp turns and limited visibility, which could be fun for racing.
The Two Village Loop connects the villages via roads and singletrack paths. One cool thing about Zwift is the rapidly changing time – from day to night, and from season to season.
Nighttime is fun on Makuri Islands.
You can do a workout when exploring new courses, but you can’t hide the data displays, which makes sense.
Eight new courses are available now on Makuri Islands. Go check them out.