Time To Burn Off That Turkey
Fitness games aren’t a new thing. From Stadium Events on the NES to Nintendo's punishing Ring Fit Adventure and every fitness app on the Xbox One at launch, it's not a novel idea to try to use your favorite hobby to get in shape. Unfortunately, most of these games involve very little movement and cardio to get a satisfying score or even manage to make the user break a sweat. So when I got an invite to check out Zumba Burn It Up! at this year's MashupLA, I was skeptical. While fitness games and apps are appealing (anything to get out of walking to the gym is a plus), I’ve never played one of these that either broke a sweat or was actually fun to play. Zumba Burn It Up! definitely checks both those boxes.
If you’ve played Dance Central on the Wii, you’ll already be familiar with how Zumba Burn It Up! controls. After choosing a song, you hold a Switch Joy-Con in one hand and mimic the moves on screen, and based on how accurate your timing is, you’ll get a rating. Unlike most rhythm games, there is no fail state or shame here when you do the wrong movement, which is pretty great for a product that focuses solely on fitness. The movements and dances on-screen were surprisingly easy to pick up and mimic (I’m literally the worst dancer on Earth), and there's a prompt on the top-right side of the screen that will show you what’s coming next. Everything was surprisingly intuitive, and after I got used to the mechanics, I found myself having a ton of fun. Because of the accelerometer inside the Joy-Con and the movements that were definitely tailored to work with the limited tech (lots of bouncing and hands on hips), Zumba Burn It Up! was able to register every movement I made and get my heart racing.
The game features a plethora of licensed songs from your typical current top of the pops selection such as Cardi B and Steve Aoki, and the game, much like the Zumba fitness program, includes multiple workouts tailored to your skill level and how long you want to work out. The assortment of classes, intensity levels, and Zumba instructors are what sets this fitness game apart from the other offerings on the Switch. With its ease of use (one Joy-Con controller in your hand), it definitely has an easier barrier to entry than Ring Fit Adventure and has the potential to become a family or couples activity. I was also able to play this on my Nintendo Switch Lite with one Joy-Con controller, although I think docking it to a TV would be a bit easier for obvious reasons.
Fitness games on the Switch are becoming a thing, and in the fast-paced world we live in, it's great to know that you can get a full workout with your home console that's not just waving your arms and occasionally lifting your knees. If you’re looking for a less gimmicky alternative to Ring Fit Adventure or just want to add an extra bit of cardio to your day, Zumba Burn It Up! is definitely worth looking into. Anyway, you gotta burn off that turkey and peppermint mocha somehow.
TechRaptor played Zumba Burn It Up! at a press event held at the MashupLA influencer mixer.
What do you think about fitness games on the Switch? Have you played any? Are you a dance god like me? Let us know in the comments below!