Thanks to Nintendo’s lateral thinking, gaming has never been a more diverse experience. Just as the ‘serious’ next-gen consoles fight it out over Grand Theft Auto 4 with ‘ban this sick filth’ placards waving in the background, the Wii has come up with what is, in gaming terms, the polar opposite – Wii Fit.
Nintendo’s console has always been the only games machine to encourage any kind of movement and Wii Fit – which is essentially a 21st century Stepmaster – takes things up a notch with a series of games designed to make leaping around your living room fun.
Along with the game itself Wii Fit gives you a chunky white plinth that’s both motion- and pressure-sensitive, and connects wirelessly to the console.
Step aboard for the first time, and you’ll be asked a few questions about your height, age and sex. It then asks you to do a couple of simple balance exercises before determining your Wii Fit age.
This being Nintendo, it does all that in a excited helium voice while a friendly Wii Fit board bounds around your TV screen. Unsurprisingly, that cutesiness doesn’t help if the game estimates you’re ten years older than you actually are.
Feel the burn
Now all you need to do is choose your fitness instructor. There are four to choose from: yoga, muscle workouts, aerobic exercises and balance games.
To begin with, less than half the exercises in each category are available. Put in some graft, though, and you’ll unlock more complex and gruelling workouts. These are a mixed bag – while the yoga and muscle workouts are fairly basic and a little dull, you do also get asked to hula hoop, do slalom skiing and head footballs while dodging flying pandas.
It’s not just a solo game either. In party mode you can take it in turns to do, for example, a balance game called Tablet Tilt, although it’s a slight disadvantage that you can’t play any of these games simultaneously with friends.
Still, as a concept, Wii Fit is pretty much flawless. It’s bags of fun and, while the longevity of many of the exercises might be in question, it’s cheaper than the gym and no one gets to see your uncoordinated flailing. Best of all, you’ll feel much less guilty about playing Grand Theft Auto 4 in your pants.