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Wii Fit review

Who needs PE when Nintendo can fix both mind and body?

As mentioned in the opening paragraph, these are exercise options open to you whether or not you decide to invest £70 in Wii Fit and board. Will handing over 70 big ones really motivate you into doing something you weren’t before? We’re not so sure. It certainly hasn’t made tying our bodies in knots any more fun. And so we turn to it as a games device.

Twelve games in total - divided into aerobic exercises (the hectic hip-flailing ones) and balancing games (the straight-up lean-to-control ones) - the resounding vibe is of Wii Play. Simple graphics, Mii incorporation, not too hard to master, little in the way of replay value; this seems to be the tick list for all the titles packaged with Nintendo peripherals (Wii Play and Crossbow Training), raising the question over which bit of the package is worth what. Are we getting a free game with the £70 balance board or a slightly rubbish game with, say, a £40 board? It’s all a bit of a mystery.

Saying that, like Wii Play and Crossbow Training, it’s not without its charms. Board calibration is impressive, the ease and enjoyment of ski slalom, snowboarding and the Kororinpa-like marble drop is testament to the one-to-one mapping. Other games translate simpler actions to delightful effect. Wobbling your hips and seeing your hula-hooping Mii follow suit is hilariously out there, as is heading invisible footballs in your living room.

Stepping on and off the board for some step aerobics and boxercise shows more hidden depths, even though these games play like Dance Dance Revolution redesigned for the fun allergic. Problems are more evident in the iceberg tilting penguin challenge and tightrope task. Angling the ’berg to slide your Mii towards fish and teetering to stay atop a wire are both technically fine, but the fun is soon exhausted. Contrary to popular belief, your face in a penguin costume is only so funny. Difficulty levels add new obstacles, but the skill that wobbled you through the first iteration is rarely challenged. This isn’t to mention the god-awful ‘sit still and stare at a candle’ task, one of the laziest ‘games’ since Ninja Reflex asked us to stare at a pause, sorry, meditation screen.

You can look at Wii Fit in two ways. On one hand it’s a pretty comprehensive selection of exercises, cleanly presented and given a novel twist thanks to the board. Alternatively, you can see it as a series of lacklustre tasks that beautifully demonstrate the technical abilities of the board, decorated with the silly lifestyle trappings we’re willing to overlook as long as Nintendo keep delivering the proper gaming goods. We have no doubts that the board will eventually become a must buy,but here and now, for £70? That’s heavy.

Apr 29, 2008

More Info

GenreOther Games/Compilations
DescriptionThe next great outreach program from Nintendo uses a balance board to test your physical fitness.
US censor ratingEveryone
Release date (US), 25 April 2008 (UK)