Ring Fit Adventure review - Slaying monsters and calories

Nintendo has brought their health and fitness initiative to the Switch, but do things work out? Our review.

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With their last few console releases, Nintendo has developed a sense of health awareness, in addition to their family friendly reputation. From peripherals that help players break a sweat, to systems directly telling you to take a break and go outside, it’s become Nintendo’s M.O. to promote fitness in gamers. The latest iteration of this comes in the form of Ring Fit Adventure, an adventure RPG that is completely controlled by player movements and exercise. 

Fantastical fitness

Something unique about Ring Fit Adventure is how it seeks to marry fitness and traditional adventure gameplay. Set in a fantasy world being threatened by evil, you’ll go on a journey to save the land. Ring Fit Adventure features a fleshed out RPG experience; from character stats to exp that vary based on player performance. In addition, the main game is broken into levels that can be replayed for higher ratings and rewards. 

The RPG aspects of Ring Fit Adventure are clear cut and simple. This makes the fitness/action hybrid a great entry point for non gamers, while remaining familiar territory for the seasoned video game player.

A healthy gaming habit

With all of its traditional game elements, Ring Fit Adventure is a fitness game through and through. One of the shining aspects of the Nintendo Switch is how many different ways there are to play. Ring Fit Adventure introduces another way to play with the Ring-Con and Leg Strap peripherals. Not only do these add a healthier way to play, they completely transform the way you experience Ring Fit Adventure.

Players can traverse through levels by jogging in place. Movements are tracked by a Joy-Con into the leg strap. I was impressed with how accurate the Joy-Con was at sensing the speed and intensity of my jogging. The Leg Strap is also used when doing leg related workouts, such as lunges. What really blew me away was the diversity and integration of the Ring-Con peripheral. 

The Ring-Con is the centerpiece for everything you do in Ring Fit Adventure. By either pushing or pulling on the ring, you can shoot fireballs, navigate the world, and a complete various exercises. The Ring-Con is designed in such a way that it utilizes your own strength do determine a workout’s difficulty. 

Becoming a sweat

Before even getting into an organized workout, I found myself working up a sweat by simply racing through a level and shooting fireballs in attempt to gather collectibles. Once you do encounter an enemy, you’ll get to the core of Ring Fit Adventure’s gameplay. Battles are turn-based, and you’ll need to complete different exercises in order to deal damage to foes. 

The more HP an enemy has, the more exercise you have to do. This highlights the brilliance in Ring Fit Adventure’s design. Nintendo manages to gamify working out to a degree not previously achieved. 

The Ring Fit Adventure experience is fully customizable from the jump. Fill in your measurements, describe your lifestyle, and tune the game to fit your needs. Ring Fit Adventure can be a solid compliment to your daily exercise/workout, or your biggest sweat of the day. One of the toughest parts about exercising is simply sticking with it. It would've been pretty neat if Ring Fit Adventure did more to engage the player in a way that made them want to return on a regular basis. Time based objectives and more comparitive data could've done the trick.

Cooling down

Ring Fit Adventure is an excellent cross between fitness and action/adventure. Nintendo manages to create their best exercise game yet while weaving in classic adventure tropes to gamify the experience. Ring Fit Adventure is a great way to usher newcomers into gaming while helping longtime gamers stay in shape.


This review is based on a physical copy provided by the publisher. Ring Fit Adventure is available now for Nintendo Switch for $79.99

Contributing Editor

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. After interning for Shacknews throughout college, Donovan graduated from Bowie State University in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and joined the team full-time. He is a huge Star Wars nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

Review for
Ring Fit Adventure
8
Pros
  • Excellent integration of classic gaming tropes into fitness
  • Creative level design
  • Plenty of informative feedback
  • Extensive customization and tuning options
Cons
  • Lack of engaging ways to encourage player commitment
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