Nintendo is on a never-ending quest to get us exergaming. You probably still have a dusty Wii Balance Board knocking about in a closet somewhere from the company’s last foray into the exercising world, but now there’s a new peripheral in town that promises to take you on a fun fitness-filled quest. Nintendo Ring Fit Adventure is marketed by the House of Mario as a game first, and an exercise device second.
The action-RPG game sees you squatting, crunching, and downward-dogging your way to success, as you set out on a quest to defeat a hench, bodybuilding dragon called Dragaux.
And that’s just the story mode, there are also plenty of mini-games and individual workouts to focus on specific parts of your body.
But is Ring Fit Adventure worth your money? We break down the pros and cons of Nintendo’s latest peripheral and how it stacks up as a fitness device.
Nintendo Ring Fit Adventure Release Date and Price
- What is it? Nintendo’s exercising action-RPG game
- When did it come out? October 2019
- How much is it? £69.99/ $79.99 / AU$125
Slip one Joy-Con into the Ring-Con and another into the leg strap pouch and you’re ready to start jumping around your living room.
There is some calibration to do at first – which takes around 10 minutes – but once that’s done you’re good to go.
This allows you to set up the experience for you and your strengths, but you can make things easier later on if you change your mind.
It’s advisable to go easy during the setup so you don’t overdo it in the game – but it’s up to you how you want to approach this.
Nintendo Ring Fit Adventure, Mini-Games, or Just Sets
The main crux of the game is to be found with the Adventure levels, although we are sure you’ll have just as much fun with the mini-games.
The Adventure levels see you team up with a “ring” to beat various bad guys, who are more Muscle Beach than Princess Peach, and how you move the Ring-Con or yourself will govern what happens on the screen.
Because of the controller on your leg, the game can determine how you are moving, which translates running on the spot as moving forward in the game, for example.
When it comes to baddies, you’ll have to beat them with exercise moves – and there are various ones to master.
You’ll find yourselves having to repeatedly do squats, overhead presses, and knee-to-chest movements.
Around 30 minutes into the game and three levels later we certainly had a sweat on, and a few days later we can still feel all those squats.
While the Adventure levels will give purpose to your exercise, we suspect the mini-games will deliver the smiles and laughs with friends.
With dozens to choose from, the games cover a range of different muscle groups to work – balance, squats, knee presses, mountain climbers – and each mini-game features the option to play “casual” or “hardcore”.
To get others involved you simply pass around the Ring-Con – there isn’t a way to connect two Ring-Con devices to the game – and if you’re happy with your score you can record it on a leaderboard for later.
When you’re done with the mini-games there are a series of exercise sets you can do.
These range from toning different muscle groups and will get you in shape to either do better in the games, or just in real life.
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The Ring Fit vs. a Traditional Gym
Where Ring Fit Adventure deviates from Nintendo’s workout projects of years past is that this time there’s more focus on the game aspect and less of a focus on using the peripheral as a platform for other games to tap into.
In fact, as far as we know right now, the only game that uses the Ring-Con and Leg-Strap accessories is Ring Fit Adventure.
Once you’ve attached your Leg-Strap and calibrated the Ring-Con, you can configure the game to match your fitness level.
This is based on your age, weight and how much of a workout you’re looking for (which is asked every time you start).
The game then alters the Ring’s level of resistance to match this level, while also adjusting things like the number of reps required.
In addition, using just the two Joy-Cons and the Ring-Con, Nintendo can measure your acceleration, angle, and position you’re in, plus use the IR sensor to track your heart rate.
It feeds all this data into the game, which it then translates to role-playing game-like stats such as damage output when fighting enemies.
It should go without saying that, without the game, the ring peripheral doesn’t really work.
So Nintendo is only selling a physical version as part of a boxed set.
Can You Do Too Much Exercise?
The idea is to only play for an hour at a time. We consider ourselves fairly fit, but certainly felt it the next day.
While this isn’t and shouldn’t be seen as a replacement for a decent circuits class, it’s certainly a fun way to get some exercise without explicitly realizing it.
Nintendo being Nintendo, there are plenty of warnings throughout the game about your breathing, making sure you keep hydrated, and overall making sure you don’t overdo it.
There are warm-ups and warm-downs included, but these can be skipped, at your peril.
Nintendo Ring Fit Adventure: Final Verdict
Ring Fit Adventure is definitely an improvement on the Wii Fit. It offers a more challenging workout, under the guise of a fun, adventure RPG.
The renewed focus on the game aspect means that you’ll almost ignore the fact that you’re working out and will be more likely to return to it day after day.
However, it’s likely Ring Fit Adventure may become just another novelty exercise item you throw in the closet and we’re concerned it doesn’t have the depth to keep people engaged for long periods of time.
If we examine the two elements – the workout peripheral and the game – separately then neither is overly astounding.
However, paired together, it works. Nintendo has utilized what most of us want when doing exercise -distraction. What better way to do that than with a game?
But at the £69.99/ $79.99 / AU$125 price tag, we can’t help but consider that it’s much cheaper to simply buy a Pilates ring and watch some YouTube while you exercise.
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