Ring Fit Adventure
© 2019 Nintendo of America, Inc.
$80 (includes game, Ring-Con & Leg Strap)
2.9 GB, Nintendo Switch
Teaches: Physical education, movement, coordination, gross motor skills, timing, exercise
Tagged for: Allsides10.21.19, Best of 2019
Laguages: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, Chinese (traditional), Chinese (simplified), Korean
The avatar in any game gets plenty of exercise. So why not be the avatar? That's the idea of this innovative exercise experience. In order to move in the game or score points in the mini-games, you must use the Ring-Con (a durable silicon-coated spring the size of a miniature hul...
The avatar in any game gets plenty of exercise. So why not be the avatar? That's the idea of this innovative exercise experience. In order to move in the game or score points in the mini-games, you must use the Ring-Con (a durable silicon-coated spring the size of a miniature hula hoop) and Leg Strap accessories. They let you run through fields, forests and factories to stop a bad guy named Dragaux (pronounced like Drag-O). This isn't the first attempt to gamify workouts. Remember the Kinect? And there was the Wii Fit, back in 2008. Ring Fit Adventure frees your body and instead focuses its hardware on a simple, sturdy resistance ring gives you the chance to move your upper, lower and core muscles. It's a great help that the motion controls, while still sometimes missing the beat on more subtle or nuanced movements, feel more responsive in their positive in-game feedback. Several modes are present, each with the end goal of keeping you in the habit of regular exercise. A world-spanning story mode is recommended for half-hour to hour long sessions as you reclaim abilities for your personified ring friend, aptly named Ring, and fend off Dragaux as he spreads monsters through the land. A selection of minigames are good for quick five to ten minute play sessions, and customizable workout routines allow you to tailor your own personal workout from the game's full exercise catalogue. You can set weekly reminders to alert yourself when you want to set time aside for an exercise session, and if you just want to settle down for more passive exercise, you can put your Switch to sleep and do up to 500 reps on the Ring-Con which can be redeemed for extra experience points the next time you play. Coins earned through story levels can be used to buy stat-boosting, restorative smoothies or ingredients to later blend your own with one of Ring's abilities, and a wardrobe of workout attire can be bought to make yourself look like a clashing pastel-clad aerobics instructor straight out of a VHS tape from the late 80s. The game pays special attention to your workouts. Each session begins with a dynamic stretch warm up and ends with a static stretch cool down, and the latter will change to accommodate which muscles you worked hardest during that session, the game offers tips and recommendations for future sessions as well. After each level, the Switch Joy-Con's IR Motion Sensor can measure your pulse by placing your thumb over it, letting you know your heart rate and whether you can go a little harder or should slow down your pace if it's too high. This attention to detail is valuable, and works behind the scenes to better cater to your individual workout preferences. The game assigns an initial difficulty number to you when you first create your profile by asking your gender, age and weight, but this can be tweaked any time as you desire for more or less challenge. This affects increasing repetitions for each exercise and other aspects of exercise intensity. Our first session -- in eagerness to cover the game's different systems -- left us exhausted and sore for the next two days after, but jumping back in felt right, and an encouraging message pre-warm up stated that the first two days are the hardest. Little pep talks and cheers like this really instill the positivity of self-improvement through the struggle of committing to something new and difficult, and through the soreness made us want to stick with the game. You may feel silly and even awkward performing some exercises, but even the skeptical may find there is something worthwhile to how Ring Fit Adventure has renovated the workout game formula. Younger children can use the ring, but make sure that the workout intensity isn't too much for them.