Nintendo Switch Ring Fit Adventure exclusive: Hands and legs-on with Wii Fit successor
Remember when Wii Fit launched with the Balance Board all those years ago? Nintendo at its innovative best, Wii Fit kickstarted a video game fitness craze by combining new technology with a user-friendly and entertaining gameplay experience.
More than a decade and a couple of console generations later, and Nintendo is back with a brand new fitness accessory and game for the Switch.
Ring Fit Adventure is a fitness-themed, turn-based role-playing game with a body building dragon as its main villain. Yes, really!
With an October 18 release date, the game is powered by the Ring-Con fitness band and Leg Strap accessory (both pictured below).
The Ring-Con – which houses the right Joy-Con – is a rugged resistance ring that can be squeezed, pulled and rotated. Attached to your left thigh is the Leg Strap, which measures things like running speed, squat movements and knee raises.
It’s another completely unexpected surprise from a company that only last year managed to make folding cardboard into a fun pastime for all the family with Nintendo Labo.
Unlike Labo’s companion software, however, Ring Fit Adventure doesn’t feel like a mere tech demo for Nintendo’s newest fitness device.
Based on Express Online’s hands and legs-on experience with the game, Ring Fit Adventure has the feel of a fully-fledged albeit casual role-playing game, complete with sublime visuals, turn-based battles, multiple worlds and a levelling up system.
With the Ring-Con in hand and Leg Strap attached, players explore more than 20 different worlds and battle monsters using over 40 “Fit Skills”.
Split into arms, legs, abs and yoga stretches, “Fit Skills” are individual and unlockable exercises that serve as your special moves and attacks.
So instead of casting a Fire spell or swinging a sword, Ring Fit adventurers inflict damage by flexing the Fit-Con, performing squats, or executing a perfect warrior pose.
The better you perform an exercise, the more damage you inflict, and there’s even an elemental system of sorts, where different enemies are weak against certain exercises.
You’ll also need to defend against incoming attacks by pushing the Fit-Con against your tummy and activating your core. It’s hard work and you’ll definitely work up a sweat, but it’s also a lot of fun.
If turn-based battles focus on strength exercises, then overworld exploration is much more cardio based.
Players walk, jog, run and jump through the game’s exceedingly colourful landscapes, where everything can be interacted with.
When you’re not breaking open crates, hoovering up coins and hovering over gaps by squeezing and pulling the Fit-Con, you’ll need to raise those knees to wade through water and climb steep sets of stairs.
You can even sail over stretches of water by squeezing the Fit-Con against your stomach and performing ab twists!
The stages we played were all fairly short – clocking in between 5-7 minutes each – but the intensity is high because you’re always on the move.
Needless to say, if you don’t think you’re ready to battle the body building dragon, Ring Fit Adventure also comes with a high-score based Quick Play mode, curated routines and mini-games for fans to enjoy.
The mini-games are a riot, tasking players with everything from flexing the Fit-Con as many times as possible in 60 seconds, to shaping pottery by performing squats and squeezing the tracker – now’s your chance to recreate that scene from Ghost while also getting fit.
If you’ve ever enjoyed competing against friends for leaderboard supremacy with the Fitbit, then Ring Fit Adventure’s competitive modes provide a little extra motivation.
Obviously, Ring Fit Adventure isn’t a miracle device that will magically make you fit. You’ll need to put in a lot of work to see any results, and it’s probably not ideal for anybody looking to make significant muscle gains.
It is, however, a lot more enjoyable than flailing around in a sweaty gym, especially if you lack confidence and find exercise boring. It’s also intuitive to use and easy to set up, while the colourful visual style and ability to alter the intensity makes it an ideal fitness gateway for children.
Express Online will bring you more from Ring Fit Adventure in the run up to its October 18 release date on Nintendo Switch.
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