Ring Fit Adventure is the latest exergame from Nintendo for the Switch. For years, video games have received a lot of criticism for promoting unhealthy habits. All that has changed with the advent of “exergames”. One of the most popular exergames series to date is Nintendo’s own Wii Fit.
However, Ring Fit Adventure can see seen as an evolution of the Wii Fit series. One of the biggest differentiates is, Ring Fit Adventure‘s full-blown turn-based role-playing story mode. Earlier this month, I had a chance to try out Ring Fit Adventure. Now, after spending a few weeks with the game and a few aching muscles, I’m ready to share with you my thoughts and impressions.
Ring Fit Adventure Details
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Nintendo EPD
Genre: Exergame, role-playing gaming
Modes: Single player
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10+)
The Ring-Con and Leg Strap accessories
Ring Fit Adventure comes with two accessories, the Ring-Con and Leg Strap that use both Joy-Con controllers. It is important to note, that both accessories are required to play the game and TV mode as well as Tabletop mode are supported. Unfortunately, Handheld mode is not supported. As a result, Ring Fit Adventure is not compatible with the Nintendo Switch Lite.
When you start up the game, there is a nice tutorial that explains everything you need to know to setup and use both the Ring-Con and Leg Strap accessories. Within a matter of minutes I was ready to go!
A Joy-Con sits in a pouch, and the Leg Strap then wraps around your left thigh. I’d say, somewhere in the neighbourhood of your upper leg. I always ensured it was a snug fit and never had any problems of it moving around or coming undone. A Joy-Con slides on and locks on to a rail on the top of the Ring-Con. Initially, I had a few doubts on the durability of the Ring-Con. Though, after thousands upon thousands of pushes, pulls, and flexes over the last few weeks it has held up quite nicely.
Fight your way across the land
One of the biggest differences between Ring Fit Adventure and other exergames is its Adventure mode. You play as a fitness-centric hero, complete with flames coming out of your head. Your ultimate goal is to defeat an evil bodybuilding dragon known as Dragaux.
Obsessed with working out and taking over the world, you and Ring travel through colourful worlds trying to put a stop to his evil plans. I found it quite interesting and unique that the Ring-Con accessory is an actual character in the game. Not only that, Ring plays a vital role in the game’s story and has quite a bit to say.
Sure, the story is a bit cheesy and not epic by any means—but that’s ok. Its purpose is to draw people in who might not normally be interested in an exercised based game, and to provide entertainment. In my opinion, it does just that. There were many times while playing that my mind was focused on the story rather than the physical exercise I was doing. And, I’d say that’s a pretty darn impressive feat to accomplish.
Adventure mode, exercise made fun
The main goal of Ring Fit Adventure is to allow you to enjoy playing games and to exercise while doing it. In Adventure mode, you use your legs, arms, and core to earn experience points and to collect ingredients to make your own in-game smoothies to help you in the fight against Dragaux. Nintendo EPD didn’t skimp on content either, there are over 100 levels and more than 20 worlds in this mode alone.
Squeezing and pulling the Ring-Con
The Ring-Con is used to shoot out bursts of air that lets you interact with the world around you by smashing crates, opening doors and so forth. This is done by pushing in on the Ring-Con it self. The faster you squeeze the Ring-Con, the faster the bursts of air are emitted. Conversely, by pulling out on the Ring-Con it creates a mini vacuum and allows you to stuck things in, such as coins. Additionally, by placing the Ring-Con horizontal and squeezing it will propel you up in the air. This allows you to make it to spots that you might not otherwise be able to.
A full range of motions
Instead of pushing on a d-pad or analogue stick to move throughout the levels, Ring Fit Adventure offers you two different options. The first mode requires you to jog on the spot to move. The faster you jog, the faster you move on the screen. Movement is measured by the Joy-Con that is in the Leg Strap that is wrapped around your left leg. Climbing stairs and going through water or mud requires you to step up the pace and get your knees high. And, the game is surprisingly responsive too! The second is a quiet mode of sorts, which avoids disturbing others nearby you. For example, instead of jogging on the spot, you can perform squats instead.
A full body workout
As you make your way through the levels in Adventure mode, you come across enemies that you must battle. The battles are turn-based and require you to complete a mini session of various different exercises to complete. By following the on-screen guide you do each exercise and inflict damage on our enemies. The further along you get in the game, the more complex the exercises become. By the time you complete Adventure mode, you’ll have practically worked out each and every muscle in your entire body.
Overall, I was really surprised as just how well Ring Fit Adventure masks exercising as a gaming session. And, it does it in an educational way too. I was certainly tired after each session but I had fun while I was doing it and that made a big difference for me.
Bright colourful graphics with Pokémon like characters
Visually, Ring Fit Adventure isn’t going to impress your friends or family. Though, I never expected it to. However, I was impressed with the bright colourful worlds and Pokémon like characters in the game. The visuals are leaps and bounds better than any other game in this genre and are by no means ugly.
I was surprised to see that some of the characters were voice acted. And, Adventure mode contains a cutscene that sets the story up very nicely. The game is very encouraging and each of the exercises are well explained. Additionally, you are shown how to perform each exercise, which makes it very easy to do.
Aside from the Adventure mode, Ring Fit Adventure includes mini-games and a traditional general fitness routine without any fancy gaming. I really enjoyed the mini-games, there are several of them. You can play them by yourself or with another player by taking turns. In this way, mini-games can be used as a challenge to see who can get the highest score.
My favourite mini-game is where you must destroy as many boxes as you can that fall from above in a certain amount of time. You have to squeeze the Ring-Con as fast as you can to emit a blast. Also, there are special crates that act as bombs. If you destroy the “bomb” crate it will take out several other crates around it.
My second favourite mini-game is called Bootstrap Tower. In this mini-game, you propel yourself up a tower while trying to collect coins along the way. In order to propel yourself, you have to squeeze the Ring-Con in and then fling it downwards. Of course there are moving platforms and such that make it challenging to collect all the coins in the given amount of time.
Ring Fit Adventure is a great way to play games and exercise at the same time in a fun and entertaining way
Ring Fit Adventure does an impressive job of combing exercising and gaming into one package. Nintendo did a wonderful job in making the game accessible to everyone by allowing you to scale the difficulty according you to your fitness level. And, you can adjust it whenever you see fit. The Adventure mode is by far my favourite part of the game and offers an entertaining experience while also exercising at the same time.
There are several mini-games that work out different parts of your body and can be played with friends. Its a great way to challenge friends to see who can get the highest score. Tucked away is a traditional fitness routine for those members of the family that don’t want any gamification added to gameplay.
Ring Fit Adventure isn’t for everyone. However, if you are willing to try out something new and open to exercising—I’m sure you’ll have a fun time.
+ Combines exercise and gaming into a fun package
+ Adventure mode is entertaining
+ Fun mini-games that you can challenge your friends with
+ Adjust fitness level to your ability for accessibility
+ Plenty of content included with the game
– Finding a place to store the Ring-Con
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF RING FIT ADVENTURE
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 5/5