This title is exclusive to Nintendo Switch and was reviewed as such.
I like my fitness. It’s a strange day if I haven’t worked out, gone for a walk, or done some form of relatively intense exercise. So, it goes without saying that when a developer combines one of my biggest passions, fitness, with my other big passion, games – we’re looking at a winner. Fitness games haven’t always been good, but it’s something that Nintendo has been getting right since the Wii. God that was forever ago. Anyway back to the point, Nintendo sent me their brand new game titled Fitness Boxing, which is something I’ve been interested in since it was announced, and now that I’ve got a Nintendo Switch, I thought I should be the one to check it out.
Developed by Imagineer, and published by the giant themselves, Fitness Boxing is the latest Nintendo exclusive title which aims to get us lazy ol’ gamers off the couch and working out in a fun and interactive fashion. I am a huge fan of games that encourage exercise, and when it’s a good game, well even better, right?
Just before we crack into gameplay, I want to touch on the health warnings for the game, along with the safety information. It’s incredibly informative. From a very in depth explanation of BMI, including that it does not suit everyone, from the young, to overly muscular etc., to recommendations of who should, and should not use the game. I know it’s expected for a title like this, but that doesn’t mean I can’t commend the devs.
The gameplay is fairly straightforward, taking advantage of the Joy-Con’s motion sensors to detect punches, and then relying on the player’s honesty to trust that they’re actually playing. Technically, you could sit on your couch and fake it, and you’d probably still get a little workout. But if you’re going to do that, you probably wouldn’t pay for the game anyway.
The co-op/two player mode operates in much the same way. When players use a Joy-Con each, the alternate punch is based purely on honesty, and you could do a round without punching that hand. When using two sets, gameplay is identical to single player. It’s fun, and more importantly, it’s incredibly easy to pickup. My partner and I spent many a night ”boxing” each other, racking up punches, or just jamming out to some tunes.
There are tandem workouts, which let you workout at the same time together. Combo chain which is about working together to get the highest combo possible, and of course there’s a versus mode. Battle your friends, loved ones, and enemies without any risk of harming yourself, or them.
The best part is that the more you play, the more songs you unlock, from Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance to Kesha’s Timber. There’s enough diversity there to keep you entertained. At this stage there are only 20 songs, but I hope with popularity we’ll see updates or DLC to expand the game.
The fitness elements aren’t world class, but I don’t think they’re expected to be in this game. If you’re looking for that, then best strap on an activity tracker and then do the workouts. The system keeps track of your height and weight and then uses that to track your BMI, and the calories you burn in every workout. Two player lets you login two accounts, meaning you can both make progress towards your goals. The home screen features a calendar showing off your workouts, calories burned, and more. It’s never going to be incredibly accurate, but if you’re honest and stick to the workouts, it’ll get pretty close. The Daily Workout is tailored to your BMI and Fitness Age and gives you a customised workout each and every day. It’s a fun way to keep you motivated, and to keep you returning to the game.
The visuals are probably the weakest elements of the Fitness Boxing with your instructors being very basic characters, that would look at home on the last generation of consoles. Thankfully, a game such as this doesn’t need strong graphics, which would only serve to potentially detract you from the main purpose of the game. To make it better, you’re able to customise your instructors: Choose from, four females and two males (Love that representation!) and then through completing various workouts, unlock pants, shirts, shoes, and more. It means that you can customise your instructor the way you like.
I went in really wanting to like this game, wanting to have another game in my library I could play with my partner, and a fitness game that wasn’t locked down to my lounge or a TV. Fitness Boxing is all this and more. It’s a continued success for Nintendo’s fitness games and I can’t wait to keep jamming out to the brilliant songs, punching the air and having a good time with my girl, working out and playing games.