A short while ago, Nintendo invited me for an exclusive preview and hands-on experience with their newest fitness game, Ring Fit Adventure! Announced in early September, Ring Fit Adventure offers an interesting take on mixing video games and exercise. The game is two-fold in that it offers a full-blown adventure story mode and mini-games along with workout routines.
The adventure mode involves going up against a bodybuilding dragon and his minions, they reminded me very much of Pokémon, using exercise. The mini-games are accommodating and fit just about everyone’s skill level.
To be honest, going into this event I was a bit nervous. I’m far from what you would call fit, and wondered if Ring Fit Adventure would be too demanding. When I left, after an hour of playing, I was tired but was smiling from ear to ear.
Getting ready to play Ring Fit Adventure
After checking in, I was greeted with my own personal trainer. She was there to help me and guide me through the game. To control in-game movements, Ring Fit Adventure comes with and uses the Ring-Con and Leg Strap accessories.
The right Joy-Con fits nicely in a pocket on the Leg Strap accessory, which wraps around your upper left leg and is secured with Velcro. Again, I was worried that it might not fit and surprisingly I had no troubles at all.
After the Leg Strap was on, next my trainer gave me the Ring-Con to hold. The left Joy-Con attaches via a rail at the top of the Ring-Con. The best way I can describe the Ring-Con is as a steering wheel sized flexible fitness band, which you grasp from both sides. You are able to squeeze, twist, shake and rotate it throughout the game. Now that I was equipped with both accessories, it was time to try out Ring Fit Adventure!
A fully-fledged Adventure mode
I started by playing one of the first few levels of the adventure mode in the game. I assumed the role of a fitness-centric hero with flames coming out of his head wielding a magical ring. In order to move, I had to jog on the spot. Additionally, by squeezing the Ring-Con I was able to shoot fireballs at the enemies and wooden boxes. And, by pulling outward it acted as a vacuum to suck collectible coins and other items in.
One of the first things I noticed about the game is it allows you to play at your own pace. I wasn’t penalized or told to hurry up for going to slow. If I wanted to stop and look around, I could with no consequence at all. The level I played included some platforming elements where if I faced the Ring-Con towards the ground and squeezed it, I was propelled off the ground. The longer I squeezed it, the long I was floating in air.
Now mind you, the level I played was only 3 or 4 minutes long but by the time I was done I was already building a light sweat. As you reach the end of the level, there is a giant staircase that requires you to lift your knees high to make it to the top. I pushed myself and made it to the top without stopping. After you complete a level, you are taken to a stat screen that allows you to measure your heart rate by placing your right thumb over the IR sensor on the Joy-Con that is attached to the Ring-Con. Additionally, the stats tell you how long you took and give you an approximation of how many calories you have burned.
Challenges and mini-games
After playing a few more levels in the adventure mode, I took a brief brake and a much-needed glass of water. Next, I was on to try out some of the mini-games to see what they were all about. The first mini-game I tried involved me squatting up and down while squeezing the Ring-Con molding clay. The goal was to match the design of a pot I was shown. My first result was a Stanley Cup like looking pot that did not quite match the picture I was shown.
Next, I played a game where I had to destroy as many boxes as I could in a set amount of time. To do this, I had to squeeze the Ring-Con as fast as I could to send out fiery blasts. Needless to say at the end of the 30 to 40 seconds, my arms were tired. I’m not sure if it was because I was having so much fun or the if it was the competitive edge in me but I immediately played again, trying to get the high score.
Finally, the last mini-game I played involved me walking across a giant balance beam with a stick trying to keep my balance while avoiding obstacles and collecting coins. This involved turning the Ring-Con sideways and pushing it up against my stomach. I leaned left and right collecting coins on either side of me and avoid well-placed bombs.
Ring Fit Adventure is a fun way to exercise
Before I knew it, my hour was up. I only scratched the surface of what the game offers, there was a lot I didn’t get to try out. Luckily, I got a copy of the game to take with me to review. Although I was absolutely beat by the time I left, I had so much fun playing Ring Fit Adventure.
As surprised as I am to say this, Ring Fit Adventure actually does make exercising fun. And, the best thing about it is that it is on my own terms. Ever since the event, I’ve been playing Ring Fit Adventure everyday and enjoying it. Look for my full review soon right here on the Best Buy Blog.