Ring Fit Adventure


After several years of terrible sleep and lots of nagging from my family and even my doctor to get some exercise, and getting pretty desperate for improvements to my health, I decided to start exercising. Problem is I absolutely despise exercising, but I was hearing about a fitness RPG that Nintendo recently released that was surprisingly good and effective, so I ordered a copy of it.

I am currently on week 4. I still have to drink coffee to get my day going, but my sleep quality has improved pretty dramatically and I feel better overall. I also started to replace my daily breakfast with a protein shake to lower my calorie consumption a bit.

Anyways, onto the game itself. Ring Fit is exactly what you expect it to be: A turn based RPG themed around exercising. It is divided into two core parts of gameplay: running sections akin to something like Temple Run, and turn based battles reminiscent of Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi. Only you have to physically run in place to move and squeeze an electronic Pilate ring to shoot projectiles in the running sections, and replace action commands and mini games with exercise reps in the turn-based battles.

Each part also has their own wrinkles for some variety. For example, in the running sections you can come across squat-powered spring boards and collapsing bridges that you must run faster to outrun in addition to many other obstacles (I even played a level that involved a lot of skateboarding, except you control it with body tilts). For the turn based fights, these start out very basic but over time new mechanics are introduced to make it feel more "RPG," like type advantages, consumable items, powerful attacks that either have long cooldowns or make you do the worst exercises ever (screw Planks), a skill tree, traditional boss battles, equipment with some having set bonuses, etc. None of it is that deep, but for this game I think that it is enough and even necessary in order for it to be accessible.

In terms of motion controls, the ring con is perfect and I have run into almost no issues with it (except for one part where it locked up during an on rails shooter attack from a boss and nearly killed me because of it). The leg strap, on the other hand, is a bit hit and miss. For the most part it is fine, but there seems to be a bit of a delay for when it detects that you started or stopped running. Also, some players have reported difficulties keeping the strap from slipping (I fixed that by strapping it to my bare leg), and the strap itself seems pretty cheaply made and I can see it breaking after a while of use. Fortunately it is also very cheap to replace ($10), so just order some spares from Nintendo's online store.

As for the story, well it is certainly there but definitely not the main focus of the game. It does get a bit more interesting when the Four Masters (think of them as the Elite Four of fitness) are introduced. Just don't expect too much. The soundtrack is really good, though, and the game runs at a rock solid 60 FPS.

Overall, I have been enjoying the game. It isn't the most exciting thing to play, but it serves its purpose as a lollipop for exercising quite well, and it usually leaves me sore and sweaty after each session.