Nintendo has a habit of doing weird things with game consoles. The Nintendo Wii was already an innovative console thanks to the introduction of handheld, motion-sensing game controllers. But then Nintendo added a Wii Balance Board and turned the console into a fitness system with the introduction of games like Wii Fit.
The Nintendo Switch is a weird console that blurs the lines between handheld and living room gaming. And now it’s got its own Wii Fit… but even weirder.
Nintendo’s new Ring Fit Adventure is a new fitness-minded game that comes with new accessories. But unlike Wii Fit, which was a series of little fitness challenges and mini games, Ring Fit Adventure is basically a role-playing game that requires you to exercise as you play.
Ring Fit Adventure will be available October 18th for $80, and the game comes with a leg strap and “Ring Con.” The idea is that you slip one of your Joy-Con controllers into each and then perform actions like running, squeezing the ring, pulling it back like a bow, or other activities to move through a fantasy world and complete challenges.
Nintendo says there are 50 different skills to learn, and while the game plays out like an RPG, you’ll actually have to get some exercise while you play.
I’ve been using a Wii Fit as an occasional part of my workout routine for years, and honestly there’s only so many times you can do a fake hula-hoop or shadow boxing routine before it starts to get mind numbingly dull. So I’m intrigued by the idea of a fitness game that actually feels more like a game.
On the other hand, I only had to pay for my Wii Balance Board and Wii Fit game once and I’ve been using it for years. I wonder how well Ring Fit Adventure would hold up to repeated gameplay after you’ve completed all the challenges once.
I suspect if the game proves successful, Nintendo will line up additional titles in the series to keep you playing/exercising/buying… but I suppose buying a few new fitness games a year is probably still cheaper than joining a gym.