Wii Fit Does a Body Good

Friday, May 30, 2008

Nintendo hopes to do for gamers' bodies with Wii Fit what it did for their brains with last year's Brain Age games.

Wii Fit is more than just a game or exercise motivator. The game comes with a sturdy balance board that other gamemakers, including Nintendo, plan to support as a controller. (Ubisoft is readying Shaun White Snowboarding.) That helps offset the cost, as should the good habits the game encourages: not only in exercising, but with posture and healthful eating.

Leave it to Donkey Kong creator Shigeru Miyamoto to make working out fun. Wii Fit is a collection of 48 activities divided into two fun categories (aerobic exercises and balance games) and two more gym-oriented activities (yoga and muscle workouts). Those who have been hesitant to try yoga at a fitness club or through a DVD can get real-time instruction via Wii Fit's virtual personal trainers. There are 15 yoga tasks and an additional 15 muscle workouts, including push-ups on the balance board, that can be linked for serious calorie-burning.

The real fun is blending exercise and physical activities through such games as the Super Hula Hoop (swing your hips to keep virtual hoops moving), Table Tilt (a variation of Marble Madness with your body controlling the action) and Tightrope Tension (an experience unlike any other game). Ski Slalom and Ski Jump are addictive games that also get your heart pumping. There's even a jogging game (done off the board), with the Wii remote acting as a pedometer in your pocket.

The daily calendar really infuses a fitness mentality into the game. As many as four players can track their body mass indicator (BMI), weight and time spent playing (FitCash).

Wii Fit hooks you early and allows you to set such goals as weight loss while encouraging you to come back for repeat play. It makes exercise fun, something few games (save the Dance Dance Revolution franchise) have accomplished. Those who stick with it should find themselves in better shape after spending just a short time each day playing.

-- John Gaudiosi

Wii Fit Everyone; Wii ($90) Nintendo Wii Fit Everyone; Wii ($90) Nintendo

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