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Wii Fit

Huffing and puffing. Aching all over. Sweat glistening on a furrowed brow. All this just from lifting the balance board out of the box. Behind that nimble white exterior lies a weighty stash of blubber-monitoring tech, all designed to complement the Wii Fit software and rate you from fatty to flimsy. It’d be wrong to cast a health-conscious critical eye over Wii Fit, so instead we ask the simple question: is it actually fun?

Calculating the science of fun is a tricky business. Sure, you can boil a clown down into his base elements, but this would take several weeks and one clown that we simply don’t have. Instead we’ll rate each minigame on a 5-point scale.

Ski slalom

  

Although easy to ace with your hands, the Ski Slalom is one of the more sophisticated indicators of the balance board’s ability to supply control to a full-fat game. While carving a path is tricky, it shows enough nuance of control to prove the balance board could quite happily be used in a standalone skiing title. Thinking of SSX Blur, where some find the Nunchuk a tad over-sensitive, the body’s sluggish leaning certainly makes sense.
Fun Factor: 4/5

Forehead meets ball

 

You lean. You head the ball. Thus the name. And it’s one of the best. Successfully weaving your dome between the undesired boots and panda heads is not so much down to speed, but the ability to steady yourself - extra momentum can too often propel you into the path of a size ten Nike. A great grin maker, this.
Fun Factor: 4/5

The penguin game

 

Okay. So the sight of your Mii tucked inside a penguin costume? Cute. But the game itself? Left us cold (ho ho). Aiming to gobble as many fish as possible, you lean left and right to tilt the iceberg, sending ol’ Happy Feet in the relevant direction. Kind of like the polar opposite (again, ho ho) to Super Paper Mario’s Tilt Island - where you tilted Mario away from falling obstacles - this scoffing mission isn’t the deepest of Wii Fit’s an-tarc-tics (kill us now).
Fun Factor: 2/5

Ski Jump

 

Whereas the football and hoop tasks both offer on-screen avatars that respond directly to your movement - giving a clear indicator of how movement affects the game - the Ski Jump is slightly more secretive with its calculations. Crouched in what is best known as the impromptu outdoor toilet pose, your center of balance needs aligning with the small blue dot for maximum speed. It’s the jump itself that mystifies, a sudden shift into upright never quite giving you the air you’d hope for. Is there a premium angle? File under hmmm.
Fun Factor: 2/5

Ball puzzle

 

Not so much of a puzzle - any dolt can see that those balls clearly need plopping into those glowing holes - but getting your head around body/board movement can baffle even the most spatially aware. The trick is gentle leaning, followed by sharp jerks to flip teetering edge balls back into the center.
Fun Factor: 3/5

Tightrope

 

Proving that Wii Fit is in fact some form of covert circus recruitment tool, the tight rope game has you taking alternating steps to slowly shuffle forwards, while pausing to steady yourself when you begin to teeter. There’s also the matter of an anthropomorphic mantrap that needs bounding over with a sudden upwards tiptoe thrust. Quite simple to ace, but good fun nonetheless.
Fun Factor: 3/5

Step aerobics

 

The aerobics highlight is an intro movie in which a line of imported Miis performs a flamboyant chorus line bow - made all the more hilarious when said line is populated by Hitler, Jesus and Borat. The task itself plays like the slowest bemani title ever designed, a zombie-like shuffle on and off the board, performed to an auditorium of enraptured Miis. In fact, the slow lurching is reminiscent of old lady exercise classes. An evil sight indeed.
Fun Factor: 3/5

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