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The $ 299 Nintendo Switch is one of the most versatile video game consoles ever – and that includes a variety of ways to burn calories. Even the cheaper $ 199 Switch Lite is compatible with Joy-Con controllers, which is important because the smaller Switch can double as a portable gym.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s cardio workouts, more traditional sports like tennis, rhythm games featuring the latest chart-topping hits or even a traditional turn-based role-playing game; there’s a little something for everyone when it comes to exercising games on the Switch. More importantly, these titles will cost you a lot less than expensive monthly gym memberships. Be sure to check out the games below for some Nintendo Switch experiences that will put that body to work.
Since the release of the revolutionary Wii over a decade ago, Nintendo has continued to push the boundaries of motion control gameplay. There is no better example than the unique and surprisingly ambitious Ring Fit Adventure. This full-fledged role-playing game of over 20 hours is played with a single controller that could only have come from the mind of Nintendo. Players connect their Joy-Cons to a Pilates-inspired Ring-Con and Leg Strap to control a man or woman who can be described as the coolest evolution of the Wii Fit Trainer. As players move along a fixed path by running in place, they will encounter everything from monsters to obstacles that challenge you to make various movements with the device in order to beat them. Those who want more of a traditional workout can also take advantage of a general fitness mode.
Ubisoft’s ongoing dance-based Just Dance series has been a mainstay since its debut on Wii in 2009. More importantly, the annual installments are a cool snapshot of some of the most popular music of the year. Until the release of Just Dance 2022 in early November, Just Dance 2021 performs well as a rhythm game that is sure to burn calories. The gameplay is pretty straightforward. Players simply mimic the on-screen choreography with scoring based on everything from movement to rhythm. Those who have played previous versions should know exactly what to expect as well as new features like speed reading mode. Instead of being overwhelmed with large song selections, Quick Play randomly selects a song for players. It helps that the soundtrack in this edition features hits from The Weeknd, Billie Eillish, Dua Lipa, Lizzo and more.
One of the most inventive fighting games in quite some time, Arms is a futuristic motion-controlled boxing game with insane depth. Those more interested in competitive play will find that Arms performs best when using a controller or handheld mode. However, using the motion control option provides an incredible feeling. Boxing on Wii Sports was definitely a workout, but Arms adds a cerebral layer to the combat aspect and becomes a different fitness experience.
While Covid-19 drove the gaming industry to scramble to figure out how to work from home, it also led some genius coders at Nintendo to create Jump Rope Challenge. A free surprise for Switch owners, this game simply requires you to do the jump rope movement with the Joy-Con controllers. The game does a great job of providing the feel of skipping rope and tracking your improvements over time. Those who are serious about fitness will be happy to know that there are third party accessories available on Amazon to provide a more realistic experience. Plus, this bunny is incredibly cute.
More than any other game on this list, Fitness Boxing 2: Rhythm & Exercise really looks like a semi-substitute for the gym. This makes sense, as the Fitness Boxing series is the successor to the original Shape Boxing trilogy for Wii, which featured the Gold’s Gym branding. In Fitness Boxing 2, everything from the length of the workouts to the intensity can be adjusted to suit the player’s taste. Even the five coaches will ask the players if their water bottle and towel are ready or if they have stretched. Once training begins, players will find a fairly straightforward fitness game in which they will hit, dodge, and weave to achieve a high score. Players looking for a training-focused experience with excellent progress tracking should try Fitness Boxing 2: Rhythm & Exercise.
Related: How the Oculus Quest 2 made me fall in love with training.
1-2-Switch features 28 mini-games that serve as a showcase for the abilities of the Joy-Cons with many that don’t necessarily stick. That’s not to say that there aren’t some minigames that will make users sweat it out. Some games like Milk, in which players have to milk the cows as quickly as possible, are not incredibly intense workouts. Other games like Boxing Gym, where players mimic various punching movements, will certainly leave some players tired when finished.
When Mario isn’t trying to save Princess Peach from Bowser or toss bananas from extremely versatile go-karts, Nintendo’s favorite plumber is clearly a sports junkie. It makes sense that he could run extremely high and run seemingly forever. Players who have played Wii Sports or the Wii Port of Mario Tennis: Power Tour should know exactly what to expect from Mario Tennis Aces’ “swing mode”, which challenges you to swing your Joy-Con like a rock. it was a real tennis racket. Like many Mario sports games, the core gameplay is more complete, with features like zone shots and speed zones that add a bit more depth. It’s even more fun with friends during multiplayer, which you can enjoy both locally and online.
Before the more strenuous Crossfit regimen became the current fitness obsession, the biggest training craze in the world at one time was Zumba. Colombian choreographer Alberto Perlman has gone from selling VHS tapes in late-night infomercials to taking over the world with his interesting mix of hip-hop, salsa and martial arts. Of course, that craze eventually made its way into the games. Stylistically, one of the coolest aspects of Zumba: Burn It Up on Switch is that the visuals feature live Zumba instructors. Beyond that, it’s a creative cardio workout that’s definitely in line with many other rhythm-based games. It doesn’t hurt that the soundtrack features popular artists like Cardi B, Daddy Yanky, Ciara, and Steve Aoki.
Gamers looking for a light workout can find a lot of interest in Ubisoft’s Sports Party. Although the mini-games in the compilation use various movement controls, the intensity levels are quite low. From a fitness standpoint, this might be ideal for older people who can’t play more intense exercise games like Ring Fit Adventure or Jump Rope Challenge. Games like frisbee, golf and beach tennis will, however, make you sweat a bit. Players looking for a more customizable touch can also unlock various items for their avatar. Sports Party also offers a multiplayer mode for up to four players so you can burn calories with your friends.
Those looking for a title that has that budget-quality comeback feel of many Wii motion control games of the late 2000s should look no further than Instant Sports Summer Games. The sequel to Instant Sports, the latest version of Breakfirst offers 11 mini-games perfect for short workouts. Some of the more fitness-oriented include tennis, hurdling, bowling, and baseball to name a few. Those who might find themselves a bit exhausted soloing will be happy to know that Instant Sports Summer Games also offers local multiplayer support for up to eight players.