About a month ago, Nintendo, coy as they are, teased a brand new experience for Nintendo Switch that garnered a lot of curiosity, as well as moments of ‘What the heck are you doing, Nintendo?’ Players and families from around the world in the teaser were investigating this mysterious ring device, and were later seen performing several actions with it.
A week later, the sweaty veil was lifted, introducing Ring Fit Adventure, an RPG game that encourages you to keep in shape. Earlier this week, we had the pleasure of trying out the new experience. Check out what we thought in our preview, after the break!
Ring Fit Adventure adds two new accessories that are integral to the experience. The first is the Leg Strap. This stretchy strap has a holster for your Left JoyCon so you can append it to your thigh. There’s quite a bit of stretch, so even if you have fairly thick legs, you should still be able to fasten the velcro strap with ease. While playing the game, I never really felt the strap come loose, even with the more vigorous exercises. The strap can also be cleaned by taking soaking it in lukewarm water with a neutral detergent and hung up to dry (according to the Health and Safety manual). The Leg Strap will allow the JoyCon to detect if you’re running, how fast you’re running, and how your leg is stretched.
Next is the RingCon. This lightweight ring has a cosy little slot specially made for your Right JoyCon to slide into, as well as a pair of spongy hand grips. These grips are actually attached by velcro, meaning they can be cleaned in the exact same way as the Leg Strap. The RingCon itself can tell the JoyCon when it is tilted, rotated, squeezed, or even stretched. Whatever your accessories detect will be transmitted into the game live, allowing you to control your in-game avatar.
Ring Fit Adventure has four modes to choose from: Adventure, Quick Play, Custom, and Multitask. The main chunk of the game takes place in Adventure mode, where all of the RPG elements are situated. During Adventure mode, your avatar found a weird looking ring artefact, which strikes a strange resemblance to the RingCon by the way, and you accidentally released a bulked out dragon, who is the epitome of the Gym Muscle-head, named Dragaux. The more this self obsessed reptilian works out, the more his dark influence spreads across the land… though a certain online community can only see this as a positive thing!
Luckily, the artefact Dragaux was confined to, is itself a living entity named Ring. Ring was once Dragaux’s mentor and trainer, however events were set out that led the dragon down a muscular, dark path. With help from Ring, you’ll travel a range of different levels and worlds in an attempt to stop Dragaux spreading his influence further.
Each level is an on-rails experience. Jogging in place will allow you to progress further into the level. Along the way, you can squeeze the RingCon to puff out bursts of air, which can open doors or break crates and, if you point down, it will allow you to jump and hover for a brief period of time. Stretching the RingCon will let you vacuum up coins and ingredients… just be careful you don’t suck up any wildlife though. Sometimes you will encounter a skill test which requires you to perform an exercise to progress further. When approaching a paddleboard, for example, you are required to squeeze the RingCon into your abs (or tubby tummy in my case) and twist your body left and right to paddle across a body of water.
The hard work starts to really reveal itself when you approach monsters. There are various creatures, filled with personality, that you’ll fight through the power of exercise, with help from your personal trainer, Tipp… I wonder if there’s any relation to Wii Fit Trainer. As you progress through the adventure, you’ll unlock a range of different Fit Skills which are used to deal damage to you adversaries. My favourite skill from the preview is probably the Standing Twist. This requires you to hold the RingCon horizontally in front of you and twist your body in a big motion, almost as if you are swatting those pesky creatures with a giant fan!Between each attack, the enemy may retaliate, but if you perform an Ab Guard, by pressing the RingCon into your abs, you’ll be able to reduce the amount of damaged received.
Your set difficulty (which can be altered at any time) will affect how many reps you will need to do on some Fit Skills, or how long/hard you need to perform an action, for example, a higher difficulty will increase the amount of time you need to hold a squatting position or how hard you need to squeeze the RingCon in a Front Press. What I thought was pretty cool is how you could toggle different exercise modifications for specific parts of the body. These modifications will allow you to perform some exercises with buttons rather than the actual exercise which is perfect if you recently have had an injury in a specific location or if certain movements cause you pain. Unfortunately I did not have the time to try these out in my preview session, but I will have a deeper look in our review.
As you exercise more and more, you’ll earn experience points (EXP) to level up. When you level up, you’ll increase your attack power and defence, and you may also learn a new Fit Skill or increase your maximum health. You can also give yourself some temporary buffs by consuming smoothies. They have various effects, such as restoring health, or making certain types of attack more powerful. This is about as much as I got to experience from Adventure mode from my preview session.
Quick Play allows you to perform several exercises without the pressure of saving the world. Simple Quick Play allows you to train specific parts of the body by performing a specific move as many times as possible within a 20 second limit. The beginning of a challenge may seem pretty easy, but once I hit that 8 to 10 second mark, I definitely started to feel the burn; I was very proud to achieve a score of 105 on my first try!
Minigame Quick Play hosts a range of super fun minigames to really get your heart pumping. Swat frisbees with a giant fan, create pottery masterpieces with your glutes, stretch and squeeze in a robotic version of whack-a-mole and more! I’m particularly impressed with my perfect score in the whack-a-robot minigame! I didn’t have enough time to try out Set Quick Play, but from what I understand, this mode will allow you to play pre-determined exercises, inspired by those from the other modes, so you can work on specific parts of your body.
Custom mode is very similar to Sets Quick Play, but this time you get to create your own playlist of exercises. Finally, Multitask mode allows you to use the RingCon while your Nintendo Switch is in sleep mode, or even switched off, to perform small exercises while you watch TV or perform other mundane tasks. The amount of reps performed in Multitask mode will convert to EXP in Adventure mode, and you may even get a little bonus too. Once again, I did not have enough time in the preview session for these modes.
By the end of my one hour session, I was drenched with sweat, but I felt really good about it… though I wasn’t looking forward to the series of tube and train rides on my way home. At the end of the day, it is important not to neglect your body, and hopefully Ring Fit Adventure should be a great step to take care of it, especially for those, like myself, who find it difficult to go out to the gym or outside in general. With all the encouragement from the characters and story, as well from having fun playing the game, it’s never been easier to get a head start on that Summer bod’ for 2020.
Be sure to check back later for our full review of Ring Fit Adventure, which launches exclusively for Nintendo Switch on Friday 18th October 2019.
I am a huge Nintendo fan, hence why NintyBuzz exists. I especially love all things Zelda and Metroid. NintyBuzz was started by me back in the Summer of 2014, it started out mainly as a hobby, though the site has gradually grown, and I hope it grows for many years to come!