When working out is fun — Ring Fit Adventure review

When we picked up Ring Fit Adventure back in January, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. For multiple reasons, I decided to do a complete lifestyle change starting on January 1st. I cut out all sugar from my diet, stopped drinking all forms of alcohol, and went on a pretty strict version of the 21 Day Fix diet. Along with daily walks, I do thirty minutes of elliptical everyday, and thirty to forty minutes of Ring Fit Adventure everyday. So far, I am down thirty pounds and counting, and I owe a lot of it to Ring Fit Adventure.

Ring Fit Adventure is something very unique in the console gaming world. Think of it as a huge improvement on Wii Fit. While you can do individual exercises or activities, the “fun” part about it is that it is an actual game with levels, monsters, achievements, titles, and items.

A yoga exercise example.

The game comes with a fitness resistance ring called Ring-Con, and a leg strap that you wrap around your upper thigh. You place one Joy-Con in each piece of equipment, and it tracks your movement as you play. After a quick tutorial, and a lackluster character creation screen, you’ll be ready to hop into action.

I’ve been working my way through Adventure Mode, where the exercises start off easy as you work your way up through a series of quests and levels. There are currently over 100 levels in the game, and over 20 worlds to visit. You can raise or lower the difficulty level as you see fit, which will modify the amount of reps you do of each exercise. So far I have uncovered a decent range of exercises. Red moves target your arms, yellow targets your core, blue targets your legs, and green moves are yoga. I recently got some red stretching moves that regenerate hearts lost in monster battles. You’ll be doing everything from squats, to overhead presses, to planking! The good news is the game will show you examples and guide you through to make sure you’re doing the exercise correctly.

An example of a mini-boss exercise

It’s smart to keep a good mix of moves in your list, and replace them as you get stronger ones that will do more damage to monsters. You can swap your exercises around before each level, and the game will tell you if a certain color has an advantage on the particular level. The purpose of the colors comes into play when you fight monsters. Not too far into Adventure Mode, you’ll get advantages against monsters if you use the color move that matches the color of the monster.

At the start of your new game, you’ll meet “Ring”, which is an animated talking version of the resistance ring you’ll be working out with, and they have a series of quests you’ll follow to fight a big bad guy named Dragaux. As you and Ring get stronger together, they will “remember” more of their lost abilities which will give you more options in the game, such as being able to row a boat, or make smoothies to replenish your hearts. You’ll chase Dragaux across the worlds, battling him from time to time, all the while doing quests for the people you meet along the way.

The “bad guy”, Dragaux

Most levels will start out with jogging, and get progressively harder. One of the last levels I did had me doing squats to launch myself from spring pads to cross a lake, and my hamstrings are feeling it. You’ll get a variety of different and fun exercises on each level that target all of the areas mentioned above, to give you a well rounded workout. You’ll stop to “fight” monsters along the path you’re jogging on, which is where you’ll do your color coordinated exercises. There are also coins, ingredients, and tokens you can grab with Ring while jogging that you can use in the general store, or to craft with. The general store sells clothes and various other items, which will boost certain stats such as your defense or attack power, and they are always adding new items so check back as you level up.

The thing I appreciate most about Ring Fit Adventure is that I don’t focus on the fact I am working out. The games, levels, and mini-games are really fun and before you know it, you’ve done more reps than you thought you could. You can also swap out the exercises you don’t like. In Custom Mode, you can build your own workout, and if you don’t feel like getting involved with Adventure Mode, you can jump into some mini-games with Quick Play. I’ve walked away with jelly arms many times from Crate Crasher, where you blast as many crates as you can before time runs out. Hitting bombs will explode crates around the boxes. There are dozens of mini-games you can play that will give you a quick bang for your buck if you’re in a rush.

The mini-game Crate Crasher, which works your upper arms.

One thing that I love about the Switch is that it’s easy to travel with, and easy to set up. We’ve taken Ring Fit Adventure with us on a few trips now, and it’s a good way to stay active while on the road if you don’t have access to a gym.

The only hiccups I have found with the game is that sometimes you need to recalibrate the Joy-Con. It is easy to do by pointing the Ring-Con down towards the floor, but it can mess you up if it does it while you’re jogging through a level trying to collect items. The other wonky thing is the heart rate detector doesn’t always work. You’re supposed to be able to check it with your thumb via the Joy-Con’s infrared sensor but most times that I try, it either says to try again, or the reading seems way off. I use my smartwatch to detect my heart rate, and rarely do they match.

You can really take a “choose your own adventure” style to working out with Ring Fit Adventure. Do whatever you feel comfortable with, and boost the difficulty up as you see fit. I have slowly worked my way up in difficulty levels, and some days it kicks my butt. My six year old also enjoys playing daily, and it’s been a good way to keep him moving while inside for the Covid-19 isolation. We picked this game up on our own dime, and I loved it so much I decided to review it. It’s not something I am just reviewing and moving on from, I will continue to incorporate Ring Fit into my daily routine.



Ring Fit Adventure

Review Guidelines

As someone who spent their entire life being extremely athletic and active, I love being back in the swing of things again. I actually look forward to my Ring Fit workout everyday. I feel like people of all fitness levels can hop into this game and benefit from it. When I started this back in January I was as out of shape as it comes, and Ring Fit Adventure eased me back into things at a pace that felt comfortable. The combination of walking, Ring Fit, and elliptical has shredded pounds off of me, and I couldn’t be happier about that!

Holly Hudspeth is a best-selling author living in Fort Worth, Texas. She has six published novels to date; The Skyy Huntington Series, which is an epic dark fantasy adventure, and One Small Detail, a stand-alone medieval fantasy. Holly also enjoys writing fan fiction based on her avatars from games such as EverQuest, Elder Scrolls Online, and World of Warcraft. Her first major purchase at the established age of nine was the NES, and she has been gaming ever since. She enjoys fantasy games, city builders, RPGs, MMOs, SMITE, and The Sims franchise. Most nights she is in SMITE with her husband and friends, or playing ESO. When she isn't gaming, she is probably either at Disney or planning her next trip there.

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