Posts by Tag / GAME: Ring Fit Adventure (1)


Switch Fitness

Ring Fit Adventure is apparently sold out everywhere, which is bad timing for folks looking for electronically-assisted indoor fitness options during the COVID-19 pandemic. But it’s worth noting that while Ring Fit Adventure requires dedicated peripherals and is thus not available digitally, there are other Switch fitness games that just use the joy-cons and can thus be bought digitally. And in my house we actually prefer one of those - Fitness Boxing - to Ring Fit Adventure.

If you aren’t familiar, Ring Fit provides a workout, but does so as part of an overarching RPG-like game. The story is very simple and has a cartoonish feel, including a companion character named Ring who is the in-game representation of the ring-con controller and is excited, friendly, and talkative - to me, the overall effect feels weirdly kid-targeted for an exercise game.

In at least the first few regions of the game, you progress through an area and have some fights along the way. Going through the area looks like a forward-facing 3D platformer (a la Crash Bandicoot) and you step in place to move your character. Along the way are opportunities to point the ring-con in a direction and squeeze it to release an air burst to break something and get coins or open a door or things like that, or point it down and squeeze to hover across gaps. The battles are turn-based and your attacks are variously categorized exercises like squats and yoga chair-pose lifts and such.

I was left feeling like the target audience for Ring Fit is someone who doesn’t want to or can’t be particularly deliberate about their exercise and is looking for a distracting framework to motivate them through it. The idea seems to be that you just play regularly and get through some levels until you’re tired or whatever, and you’ll definitely burn calories but it’s not a consistent or targeted workout. There’s always plenty of stepping, but the other actions aren’t necessarily balanced, especially if you’re optimizing for combat effectiveness instead of a better exercise, which seems likely for the sort of person who wants to play this game. The idea seems to be that the RPG is appealing and distracting and you’ll get exercise in the course of playing the RPG.

I did not find the RPG appealing, given how kid-targeted it seemed. And for me, it’s more useful to get into a consistent rhythm with my exercise so that I can just get in the zone.

Fitness Boxing is much more suited to this. It’s essentially a rhythm game that gives you instructions on the beat via scrolling icons, similar to Dance Dance Revolution. And while you can pick specific exercises if you like, you can also just have it tell you what to do. For example, I told it my fitness goals were “Strength and Cardio” and that I wanted 15-minute workouts, and then I could just start the “Daily Workout” from the menu and it would give me a 15-minute-ish workout that gets slightly harder each day based on my history and performance. I know how long it’ll take, I won’t be unpredictably changing what I’m doing along the way, I won’t have to stop and think about what attacks to use, and I can just get into the rhythm.

(There’s also Just Dance, but those workouts are not progressive in the same way.)

So, you know. There are other options besides Ring Fit Adventure - ones that can’t sell out. And for many players those other options are better anyway.