Ever since Nintendo released the NES, they have been experimenting with exercise equipment and motion controls from the Power Pad to the Wii Remote. Their first big breakthrough, in terms of actually creating a big hype around fitness, was the Wii Balance Board.
While good for toning the body, it was also pretty boring and was an exercise regiment disguised as a video game. Their next big experiment, Ring Fit Adventure for the Nintendo Switch, is the opposite. This means it is actually fun while still being able to make one sweat. The $80 price tag may seem high, so before buying, here are ten things to know if this is a right fit for one.
10 What's In The Box?
First and foremost we should go over what one gets in the box. Inside is the game, complete in a case. Along with there is a leg holster that clips onto the left leg just above the knee.
This will capture leg movements, obviously. Then of course there is the big ring where the right Joy-Con will click in. This is used to stretch and bend for certain exercises, which we will go into further detail later on.
9 The Setup
Once the game starts up it will ask some general questions like if the player is male, or female. Even if one defines themself as a male, they can still create their avatar to be female.
Other questions will go into age, if the player exercises at all, weight, and the list goes on. This will help adapt the game into creating a custom theme for a workout regiment, which one can tweak at their leisure.
8 On-Rails Shooter
There is basically two ways that Ring Fit Adventure presents its gameplay. The first can best be described as an on-rails shooter. Players will jog in place, which will make their avatar move.
Along the path there will be coins that can be collected by simply running over them, or some out of reach ones will have to be sucked up by expending the ring controller. Players can also shoot fireballs to destroy objects by blasting the ring controller inward. As the game progresses, more activities will be thrown at the player to keep them more engaged.
7 Turn-Based Fitness RPG
There are also monsters along the path. This will prompt a turn-based battle. On a player’s turn they can select one of several exercises to perform, which will damage the monsters that look like anthropomorphized gym equipment. Each move will have a set number of reps one has to perform before their turn is over.
This can range from squats, knee crunches, squeezing in the ring for tension building, and so on. Experience is gained from coins, fighting monsters, and completing trails. Leveling up will expand the player's move list for even more diverse exercises.
6 Other Modes
We didn't exactly mention this yet, but players will traverse a map similar to something found in a Mario game. Each level can be replayed infinitely if one finds a particular course rewarding both for body and for the in-game bonuses.
Besides levels, there are also chests, shops, and even mini-games on said map. These mini-games can also be selected from the title menu along with quick warm-up exercises if one doesn't care to play the adventure, but still wants to get a few reps in for the day.
5 Not For Kids?
Have kids, or perhaps maybe one is a kid reading this? While this does indeed have the Nintendo charm found in a lot of their in-house developed franchises, it isn't something we found very kid-friendly.
While playing with children in our families we found that they love the mini-games, but weren't thrilled with the more strict exercise modes like running and doing crunches. This was from a small pool of testing so this is may not be true for all kids, but by and large we think this will suit adults more for those wishing to get into shape.
4 No Multiplayer
Speaking of kids, for those hoping this will be fun for more than one player, think again. This is single-player only. Sure, the controller can be passed around between sessions if one wants to work out with their partner, friend, or whomever, but it is impossible to do this simultaneously.
It is kind of a shame too because having a multiplayer mode, at least for mini-games, would be pretty killer.
3 10 To 15 Minutes Is All You Need
After about a week of playtime we have discovered that ten to fifteen minute sessions are all one needs. Even the game is fond of this timing. After about three levels, it will ask if the player wants to quit for the day, which depending on what one does, will range in that time field.
That may not seem like a lot of time to invest in daily so if one doesn’t feel the burn then go ahead, keep going. We just think this is a good starting range for the first couple weeks. Losing weight is a marathon, not a sprint.
2 Stretch And Cool Downs
Another healthy tip we want to emphasize is to follow the warm-up and cool down procedures. Stretching the body before a work out will help get the muscles loose and ready to play while a cool down will help relieve their built-up tension.
Listen. We aren't physical therapists so we honestly don't know a lot about how the body works. That said we did feel better when listening to the game's instructions.
1 An Investment In The Future
To end, $80 may seem like a lot, but this is an investment in the future. Let's look at another fitness peripheral from Nintendo. Wii Fit came with the Wii Balance Board, which was later used, or more like supported, by over a hundred games including other exercise based titles like We Ski and more “real” games like Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games and Punch-Out for Wii.
So hopefully we can see more support soon from other developers because the ring controller is surprisingly accurate and fun to use.