As I do my first set of squats for the day, I think to myself how much I hate squats. I always have and I always will hate them. Then, I look at my screen and remember that I’m playing Ring Fit Adventure, a cool, stylish approach to fitness. Of course, nothing will ever replace heading to a gym and getting a proper work out in but thanks to Nintendo looking to innovate what gaming means, we get an addictive and gamified approach to fitness.
After reading Steve’s preview at the start of October, I was eager to get my hands on Ring Fit Adventure. The blend of RPG and workouts feels like something catered to me and what I like doing, so reading his thoughts on he believes this is a natural evolution of the Wii Fit. After spending a week and a dozen hours with Ring Fit Adventure, I’m convinced it is a winner for Nintendo, but more importantly those who want to work out at home.
Breath, Stretch, Shake
It isn’t news that the fitness world is huge, and we’ve seen previous examples like BoxVR attempt to get people active at home, but one of the most successful initiatives was the Wii Fit. When that launched, I didn’t know anyone who didn’t own the Balance Board, it was a craze that swept a lot of people I knew. A decade later and Nintendo seemingly has a new approach to fitness with both the Ring-Con and Leg Strap accessories service at your new cruxes into the world of fitness.
Once again, Nintendo knocks it out of the park in terms of the quality of the Ring-Con and leg strap. I’ve been rough and pushing the accessories as best I could, and yet, the device is sturdy as ever. The reliable Nintendo polish is felt in your hands as you squeeze and stretch the Ring-Con in a variety of exercises. More so, the responsiveness of the Ring-Con caught me off-guard, and
I levelled up!
Being an on-rails RPG, you start by discovering Ring, your new companion in all this. You’re tricked into releasing Dragaux, a dragon who is in much better shape than me, is bent on destroying the world. See, Ring sealed up his former workout buddy, but now it with his release it is up to you and Ring to stop him. The story is light and serves as a way to push you onto the next series of exercises, with a mixture of battles throughout putting Dragaux in his place.
In some battles, you’ll face off against enemies one on one and other cases you’ll face a group of them. Battles are focused on a series of workouts, for example, in one battle you might need to do squats to defeat an enemy. When facing a group, you’ll deal with colour-coded enemies, so performing a Chair-Pose hits certain enemies, while an Overhead Press affects others.
What I enjoyed about this is that you’ll learn a bunch of exercises and be performing them on screen. Nintendo does an exquisite job with the fine details. What do I mean? Well, if you’re doing a squat for example, and your form is off, the game is actively telling you how to adjust your form and fix your posture, which prevents any serious injury. As someone who’s been at the gym and hurt myself doing squats, these cues are extremely helpful and I’m happy to have them.
As it were, Nintendo allows for difficulty levels for every exercise according to your fitness level. I kept things around moderate for the majority of my review, testing out Expert mode and suffering for it. Given enough time and experience, I’d love to move to the higher levels and see how much I can improve. With the higher levels, it seemingly asks for more reps of each exercise rather than compound exercises like a deadlift or even a thruster.
In addition to the Adventure Mode, Ring Fit Adventure offers several extra modes and features to keep you going after completing the story. One of my favourite modes were minigames, which includes 12 different games to keep you busy. For example, playing Robo-wrecker, you’ll take robots and have to use the Ring-Con to battle them. This exercise engages your chest, core, and traps. Another one that I found myself coming back to is Gluting Gallery, which targets your waist, back, and shoulders. Squat Goals engages your legs, glutes with aerobics throughout. I can’t say I like squats but doing them is beneficial. In many of these, the workout is simple and keeps you sweating.
Testing out Multitasking, a mode that removes the necessity of a screen and options the Ring-Con for use without the Switch. By simply pressing the right Joy-Con analog stick, you can log upwards of 500 uses which are then transferred to Adventure Mode for bonuses, after that it won’t count towards your daily total. So, you can sit on the couch, and get in a few reps, move elsewhere and continue, and if you feel like passing along the rewards to a friend playing Ring Fit Adventure, that’s a possibility.
For the cost of admission, Ring Fit Adventure is more than worth it. I’ve always wanted to find a great way to gamify my workouts, and with this, I have that now. I don’t feel too guilty if I miss a workout at the gym because I can always find something that’ll engage me at home for an hour or so. At the end of it though, what you put into your workouts is what you’ll get and it’s only a viable alternative if you follow a schedule and keep at it. I like Ring Fit Adventure, this is something I plan on mixing into my routine, and even getting the family involved. Of course, none of this works without a proper diet, but at least with this, a good base is available.
[A retail unit was provided by Nintendo for review purposes.]
- Adventure mode is fun and is worth coming back to each day
- Minigames are great and pretty challenging
- Impressive build quality for the Ring-Con
- Legstrap is a big of a pain to keep on