Imagine, if you will, it’s boxing day. You just had your fourth turkey sandwich, stripping the last piece of flesh from the carcass. You’re sitting on the sofa, nice and cosy, and you admire your protruding belly; be proud of that belly, no shame here! Then you think ‘oh no, I don’t think I can fit into my jeans anymore’ (don’t worry it happens to us all), and you don’t have the money or motivation to hit the gym every day, ‘nor do you want to purchase a new pair of trousers.
What if I told you there were a solution to your situation that doesn’t break the bank, is actually fun, and doesn’t require a new pair of jeans? That solution, my friend, is Ring Fit Adventure for Nintendo Switch. What’s event better, is that it’s good for any in most situations, whether you want to loose weight, gain some muscle, or even just keep a steady regime of fitness. Enter the world of exercise that is actually fun to save the world from dark forces while getting a head start on your Summer bod!
Will Ring Fit Adventure help you burn off those extra calories, or does it suffer from burnout itself? Find out in our review, after the break!
Ring Fit Adventure
Developed by Nintendo EPD
Published by Nintendo
Released: 18th October 2019
Review copy provided by Nintendo
Ring Fit Adventure is Nintendo’s new innovation on the fitness game genre. There are plenty of fitness games out there, some of them work, while some of them… not so much. Ring Fit Adventure is different as it combines elements of an on-rails RPG with an exercise title; note that it is exercise not exorcise… unless you want to exorcise that extra turkey weight from your body in a fun way.
The game introduces two new accessories that are integral to your Nintendo Switch exorcising experience: the RingCon and the Leg Strap. Both accessories are really comfortable to use. The Ring Con has padded grips on each side, which are detachable for cleaning… lets face it, sweat stinks! The Leg Strap affixes itself to your thigh using velcro and accommodates legs on the chonkier side. The strap felt pretty stable and not once did I feel it come loose, even during the more vigorous exercises, and there’s a lot of those!
Once inserting a JoyCon into each, the accessories will monitor your real life movements and replicate them within the game. Jog on the spot with your Leg Strap and your character will run across beautiful, fitness inspired landscapes landscapes; raise your knees up high to run faster or to climb stairs with ease. Squeeze the RingCon in to puff out blasts of air to destroy crates, or even hover for a brief time when pointing downwards. All of my actions felt pretty accurate, and in the rare case the calibration felt off you can point the JoyCon down for a bit to reset it, or quickly go through a calibration setup to set things on track again.
Ring Fit Adventure has four different modes to choose from: Adventure, Quick Play, Custom, and Multitask. The main chunk of the game takes place in Adventure mode; this is where all of the RPG elements are situated. During Adventure mode, your character finds a weird looking ring artefact, striking a strange resemblance to the RingCon. After being tricked by a menacing voice, you accidentally release 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… a certain online community would only see this as a good thing however!
Luckily, that ring shaped vessel is itself a sentient being conveniently named Ring. Ring was once Dragaux’s mentor and trainer, however events were set out that led the dragon down a muscular, dark path; this guy really is a bad dragon. 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. As mentioned previously, jogging in place will get your character to run further across 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 for smoothies… just be careful you don’t suck up any wildlife. Sometimes you will encounter a skill test which requires you to perform an exercise to overcome an obstacle. 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 using 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. There are four different categories, each focusing on a different part of the body such as your arms or legs and bum… there’s even some Yoga skills too. Take the Standing Twist for example. This abdominal focussed Fit Skill 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 damage 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. This means that, even though the game has some tough exercises, it still offers some accessibility allowing even some disable people to join in the fun.
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. After reaching a specific level, you’ll unlock a skill tree, adding even more abilities to your fitness arsenal. These skills range from being able to perform a second attack in a turn or event an opportunity to completely block an attack without taking damage… see, tough exercise does pay off.
There are just over twenty different worlds to sweat through. The first few only have a few levels, but these slowly rack up more and more, so expect to spend a few weeks to complete the entire adventure… assuming you aren’t a glutton for punishment and decide to play hours at a time (we’d recommend playing 30 to 60 minutes a day for the best results). Your cylindrical companion, Ring, will be giving you a lot of motivation, which is very useful if you’re having a tough time. If he thinks that you aren’t quite getting there, he’ll recommend how to improve your composure for better results during your exercise… just be careful though, he may compliment you on your sweat a bit too much! At the end of your session, you’ll also get an overview of all the exercises you have done in that session, as well as everything you’ve done since the beginning, you’ll even get rewarded titles for milestones you reach for each exercise. At the very end, you will also receive a fitness tip of the day so you can get a bit of advice for your general wellbeing.
Before each session, you get the option to do a warm up and a cool down at the end; you’ll definitely want to do these. Though the warm up is always the same, the cool down will actually vary depending on which muscles you worked the most during your session, which I thought was a really cool idea. I just wish that they weren’t just videos, I would’ve preferred if it monitored these sections so I know I am doing it correctly. After your cool down, the game will ask you how you found the session, giving you a chance to raise or lower your difficulty for the next one based on how you felt.
I definitely felt the results during my time with Ring Fit Adventure. My longest consecutive streak was seven days (I have been fairly busy and unmotivated in general recently, hence the late review) and from that I lost approximately 6lb, which I was immensely happy about. Every session I was sweating a lot, so it actually felt like I was getting proper exercise because… well, I was.
Next up is Quick Play. This mode allows you to take on several different exercise challenges 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 for the pectoral challenge!
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 the Robo Wrecker minigame! That minigame has you twisting the RingCon, squeezing or pulling to bop some of those pesky robots.
Quick Play Sets offers a range of various predetermined exercises; this is perfect if you want to work on specific parts of your body but are unsure of which exercises to do. These sets are all made up of the variety of fit skills that you’ll be using in Adventure mode. What’s pretty neat is that your robotic trainer will score each of your reps so you know if you are performing the exercise well. Additionally, Ring will chip in with advice to better your movements; listen well you must, young padawan. Be warned, some of these sets will really test your mettle, especially if you choose the hardcore difficulty over casual.
If you want better control over your workout, why not try out Custom mode. Custom mode allows you to create your own exercise playlists using any of the fit skills from adventure mode, even minigames too. You can make up to three playlists, each being able to contain no more than ten activities. Once an activity has been added, you can easily change their order, swap them out for new ones, or even change their intensity (the amount of reps or difficulty level). If you aren’t quite sure where to start, you can also randomise activities that work specific parts of the body, who knows, maybe you’ll get some inspiration… for perspiration.
Finally, there’s Multitask mode. This will allow you to squeeze in a wee bit of exercise without the need to turn on your Nintendo Switch; perfect if you’ve run out of juice! Slide a JoyCon into the RingCon, click the joystick button and away you go, the controller will record up to 500 reps of squeezing or stretching; try experimenting how you perform your reps. Once you’ve launched Ring Fit Adventure again, dash to the Multitask pane and cash out those reps as EXP to use in Adventure mode… rack up enough, and you may get a little gift too. Feeling a little generous? Why not donate your reps to a different user on your console, or even a friend online?
I very rarely click onto exercise games. I may play them for a little bit, but then I’ll quickly lose interest. Ring Fit Adventure, on the other hand, has me hooked. Though I don’t play it religiously with how busy I’ve been, I actually really look forward to making more progress in Adventure mode, and Custom mode will definitely come in handy after all my Christmas indulgences. I honestly see very little fault with Ring Fit Adventure. If I had one complaint, it would be that everything is pretty much unlocked from the beginning. I feel that I would feel just a tad more motivated to keep going if I unlocked things outside of Adventure mode at specific milestones… luckily the progression in the story is more than enough motivation for me.
Ring Fit Adventure should appeal to those with various different goals, whether that’s to loose weight, gain a bit of muscle,
Final Rating – 4.5 out of 5
Ring Fit Adventure is out now exclusively for Nintendo Switch.
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!