Nintendo’s new ‘Ring Fit Adventure’ helps gamers get gains

November 20, 2019 — by Rohan Kumar

Getting into the mood to do squats and planks is notoriously difficult. Until recently, getting yelled at by Ms. Aoki was the only feasible way to get those muscles working. Now, however, Nintendo’s newly released “Ring Fit Adventure” promises to make exercising significantly more entertaining.

Released on Oct. 18, “Ring Fit Adventure” is a single-player fitness game made for the Nintendo Switch. In order to progress to the game, players have to jog in place and complete various exercises using two accessories: the Ring-Con, a circular ring that players flex to build their muscles, and the Joy-Con, a leg-strap that measures players’ movements.

The game is innovative and full of potential. 

By rewarding hard physical work with immediate in-game rewards, “Ring Fit Adventure” encourages gamers to get out of their chairs and sweat a little. Specifically, players must jog in order to keep their character moving through the level and must squeeze the Ring-Con in order to fire blasts of air at enemies. By combining the fun of typical RPGs and the dreariness of exercise, the game can prompt people who typically never exercise to see it as a way to have fun.

I personally am atrociously weak and I find working out extremely tedious. Seeing my nonexistent biceps every time I try to get some gains is especially discouraging. I feel that a game like “Ring Fit Adventure” would give me a much more rewarding experience and make exercising a lot more fun. 

I remember playing Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort when I was 10 years old and I shook the remote and nunchuk so enthusiastically that I’m sure that’s where the majority of my arm muscles came from. A game that actually intends to build muscles and is fun to play would absolutely make me become more active and would be a great addition to my current game collection, which includes games such as Starcraft 2 where I sit at the computer and engage in a very intense staring competition with my monitor.

Many other features of “Ring Fit Adventure” make it an even better candidate for getting people into a workout routine. For example, it has several difficulty levels, and asks players whether or not they would like to increase the difficulty and challenge themselves. The workouts are customizable and let players target muscle groups that they want to work on through squats, overhead presses, knee-to-chest crunches or a yoga chair pose.

 Levels only take around 10 minutes, so fitting a workout into a busy day is simple. It also has an IR sensor that detects heart rate, determining how much of a workout players are getting.

Of course, “Ring Fit Adventure” is far from perfect. The levels are linear, making the game pretty repetitive, and the hardware does not always accurately record movement. On top of that, the game costs around $80, which is a somewhat discouraging price tag. The main problem for me is that I don’t have a Nintendo Switch either, so in total I would have to pay $400 to play the game.

Overall, however, the game is a step in the right direction. It’s not only innovative, but it has the potential to get people excited about exercise, a mindset change that is hard to come by. Many reviews say that the game is surprisingly fun, and even though it gets repetitive, it is a significant upgrade from not exercising at all.