I love exercise. I love video games. When I initially saw the first trailer for Fitness Boxing, I was definitely intrigued by the DDR-style game that focused on using the Switch’s Joy Cons to throw punches. More than a simple fitness aid, like the preceding Wii Fit games, Fitness Boxing has some gameplay elements that make it an addicting, fun, and rewarding exercise game.
Using Joy Cons, players punch, dodge, and step in rhythm; performing different movement sets or combos. Combos are guided by your selected fitness trainer, who will visually and verbally cue you to complete movements. Hitting a punch or dodge in rhythm will earn you a “Perfect” or “OK!” if you’re slightly off. You can also “Miss” a move entirely. The more punches you land perfectly, the higher your rating, and the greater the reward potential.
There are both single-player and two-player modes. In single-player, you can complete Daily Workouts and select your fitness target for the day, such as cardio or strength training, and select what parts of the body you wish to target like biceps or total body. You can also set the time for these workouts, anywhere between 10 to 40 minutes, and a “Recommended!” icon will flash next to the time intervals that are best suited for your selections. Players can also work out to a song, and can choose which combos they want to perform to a particular track.
In two-player mode, players can go head-to-head in a boxing ring. Filling up your meter by landing punches faster than your opponent will knock them out of the ring. You can also work out side by side, or play a combo-chain mode with the goal of racking up the most combos. The rewards are not as great in 2-player mode, but if you feel like exercising with a partner the option is there.
Fitness Boxing provides plenty of extrinsic motivation using a reward system. Outfits, songs, and combos all have to be unlocked by playing the game. Throw 10,000 punches and you’ll get a fancy new outfit. Play for a certain amount of days and you’ll unlock a new combo. Songs are pretty easy to unlock, just workout to individual songs to unlock these. There’s no way to cheat the system to get quick rewards either. You have to actually do the work to be rewarded.
The visuals for this game are good. The vibrant colors and ability to change instructors, outfits, and even your targets provide visual interest so you’re not looking at the same screen every time you play. In terms of the game’s audio, there is a lot left to be desired in the game’s song selection. There are 20 pop hits to choose from, and they can get a little stale after logging in a few hours of playtime. My hope is that Nintendo will update Fitness Boxing with some new tracks soon.
QUALITY OF EXERCISE
This game will definitely raise your heart rate, but as with any exercise your results will be proportionate to the work that you put in. The in-game statistics are about 50-70 calories off from what my Fitbit Charge 2 reports after a 30 to 40 minute session. Some of the calculations, like your fitness age, seem rather ambiguous, but the calorie burn is really what we’re after here, and there is at least some accuracy in the game’s reporting.
My Fitbit reported that I burned 295 calories after this session.
The perfect game for beating the winter blues. Fitness Boxing will get you up and moving, and keep you coming back for more with its reward system. The game offers a good cardio workout when played in 30 – 40 minutes sessions, and will leave your arms sore for the first few days. The addition of new music tracks would definitely increase the level of enjoyment for many players.
RECOMMENDED FOR THOSE WHO LIKE:
- Movement-based games