Nintendo has once again engaged with the strange world of exercise games, bringing Ring Fit Adventure to the Nintendo Switch. The game aims to bring you on a fitness journey by telling a tale of a swole dragon who wants to destroy the world. Your job is to get fit enough to challenge the dragon. It is, as Nintendo games often are, a delightfully strange premise, and would be a little cringe-inducing if it were not so wholesome.
It is a difficult thing to review because Nintendo has gone out of their way to blend game ideas with the concept of fitness and exercising at home. They have, in my opinion, pulled it off. Ring Fit Adventure is exciting, engaging, and well designed. It knows who it appeals to, and who it is trying to help. It takes great steps to provide a platform that will help people who are starting on their fitness journey. Ring Fit Adventure also gives people a better base of health a fun and engaging way to exercise.
What’s In The Box?
When you open the box for Ring Fit Adventure, you will find your copy of the game, a leg holster, and strap to hold the left half of the Joy-Con and the ring that holds the right side of the Joy-Con. These are how you interact with the world of the game. When you first start it up, it does an excellent job of getting some critical information from you, such as your height, weight, and how often you exercise. It uses this information to calculate various scores after a level, such as calories burned, and how much work to assign to you to get through each level and fight. You will also set your starting difficulty to suit yourself. The game will not challenge anything you are not comfortable with.
The large resistance ring you move around, push and pull on to control the game and exercise with feels sturdy and robust. I don’t anticipate it having any issues with wear and tear over time.
Once you get everything set up and calibrated, you are good to go! Missions usually involve jogging through levels in the game by jogging on the spot in your room. You then move the Ring-Con in different patterns and directions, or push and pull on it to take specific actions. The effort can build up pretty fast, and I was pleasantly surprised to find my, admittedly low right now, fitness levels get pushed.
Can This Help People?
My main interest in Ring Fit Adventure is some lingering professional curiosity. I used to do personal training as a living, and always enjoyed looking at how games like Dance Dance Revolution can drive up physical fitness. The original Wii Fitness was an exciting product, so when Ring Fit Adventure first got announced, I was curious about it.
For most people, the desire to exercise can be there, but the motivation isn’t. By wrapping up a workout as a fun level in an RPG, Ring Fit Adventure provides people with a reason to play, and a suitable workout for their fitness levels. It is essential to be honest with the questions you initially answer to get the most from this product. I was thrilled to see and feel that it is giving you a suitably challenging workout routine in a great and fun package.
Traversing the levels can be seen as a type of warm-up, while the real work comes from battling bad guys. You will need to do various exercises over a certain number of repetitions to win the fights, and it is a lot of fun to go it. You can choose the activities you do yourself to suit your own needs. When you are done attacking, you will need to defend by squeezing the Ring-Con and forming a shield to block incoming damage.
To make sure you don’t stick to a series of routine exercises, enemies, and exercises are color-coded. So doing the right type at the right time will inflict more damage on the enemy. You also unlock new exercises, or moves, over time, to take on different threats in the game. Like all forms of exercise, attention to form, and being honest about your level of effort will be important. Ring Fit Adventure does provide a great tool to help you get started on your efforts to improve your health.
As a game, Ring Fit Adventure isn’t exactly the most profound thing in the world, but it does have a full RPG campaign! You level up, get new moves in the form of exercises, can find items, and interact with characters. The game features over 100 levels in 20 different worlds, each one providing you with a challenging workout that you will need to get through to progress.
The game also provides you with mini-games, for when you want a quick hit of exercise. The Ring in-game acts as your friend and guide, leading you through the game world and your real-world efforts. It is all cleverly designed to make sense and feel natural, even if you haven’t exercised before with any intent.
One element that caught me by surprise is just how nice everything looked. The simple graphical style is perfect for the game, leading to a very readable screen, and an open world for people who might just be buying into the idea of gaming and fitness for the first time. Ring Fit Adventure also takes steps to gently prod you in the direction of increasing your level of challenge. There will be gentle reminders to increase the difficulty, but the game will never force you into something that you are not ready for.
From a personal point of view, I wanted Ring Fit Adventure to be something that could help me on my road back to fitness after a prolonged illness and a couple of more serious medical problems. I am at a point where the desire to get back on the right track is strong after so long, feeling unable to do it. I felt that if Ring Fit Adventure was inviting to me in my current state, then surely it can help other people as well. As a fitness product, it is a great way to introduce yourself to different fitness concepts and exercises. I’m confident it will be a great stepping stone for me, and many other people, on a journey to improved fitness.
The critical thing to remember is that like all fitness tools. It is just that, a tool. What you get out of it will be affected by what you put into it. But if you find the idea of working out tedious, and gyms intimidating, this is a great place to start learning.