Fitness Circuit Review
Fitness Circuit, the latest game from Spike Chunsoft promises “Circuit Training for Every Body” — clever, I see what you did there — this is a home workout program on the Nintendo Switch. The last time I played a workout game was Wii Fit, which used a balance board and the Wiimotes to measure your movements. This time with the Switch, you will be holding two joy cons that will track your motion, no other equipment is required.
As soon as you begin the game the usual medical warnings are shown, and it reminds you to make sure you stretch first before you exercise, stay hydrated, and don’t over-exert yourself. You head to Extreme Park where you will enrol by answering questions like:
What is your weight? (metric or imperial), this allows the game to calculate how many calories are burned.
What is your height? This is used to calculate your BMI
Next, you get to select who your Fitness Runner is. They will accompany you when you work out and you need to help them complete their tasks by generating exercise energy for them. There are six different runners to select from, three female and three male, and each is voiced by an anime voice actor, in both English and Japanese. Since I usually watch anime in Japanese with subtitles, those voices were more familiar to me, I recognised voices like Hinata in Naruto and Kouichi in Cardcaptor Sakura. You can customise a few features of your runner like their hair and eye colour, skin colour, and which of the six outfits that they start with that you want them to wear. As you play and rise in rank, you will get new clothing that they can wear.
Now that this is selected, you get to begin with a warm-up. There is a specific way that you have to hold the joy cons so that your movement is accurately registered, you hold one in each hand and the buttons should be facing the middle, also be sure to wear your wrist strap because you don’t want any flying controllers. You begin with stretching to loosen your hips, shoulders, and chest. I recommend making sure you have space to move around, as it’s not too much fun to kick the table in the middle of an exercise! I was surprised at how much of a workout this warm-up was, but it definitely helped everything feel more limber and ready for the Daily Training.
Once your warm-up is completed, you will begin your Daily Circuit, which is made up of four events that alternate between cardio and strength exercises. In the beginning, you will do one set of each. Fitness Circuit will show you how to do the exercise and tell you what area of the body it targets — squats build your core strength, lower body strength, and tone your hips and legs — you have to time your moves with the bar and hit the circle to generate energy for the runner. The game lets you practise the timing a few times so you are ready to jump in. If your timing is right, it will say good or cool, if you are way off it says miss and your runner slows down. You have to make sure you generate enough energy so that your runner can get to the goal before they run out of time. Each of the exercises has your trainer doing different activities like jumping between platforms or running, so it’s not always the same thing. At the end of each, you will get a score based on how many targets you hit and you get a ranking and earn points to level up your rank. When you level up you will get Rank Rewards including outfits for your runner and new exercises that you can incorporate into your routine. The rank goes up to level 300, so you won’t run out of this to work towards any time soon. When your Daily Circuit is complete, you will do a cool-down with a variety of stretches to end your workout for the day.
You might think that with a warm-up, working out, and a cool-down it would take a lot of time to complete, but I promise you that this is all done within 10 minutes. Fitness Circuit recommends you play three times a week, which is a lot less than I originally expected. The game uses Super Circuit Training, which is a method alternating the two types to burn calories efficiently, improve your muscle strength, and increase your endurance in a short amount of time. This small amount of time that you have to dedicate to exercising makes it easy to stick to, even if you have a crazy schedule! If you ever get tired of the Daily Circuits that the game gives you, there is the option to create your own circuits with a selection of both cardio and strength exercises. There are 45 different exercises available in the game and with 20 slots for custom circuits, you can create a huge variety. Each exercise is categorised according to whether it is a strength exercise or cardio that can help reduce swelling or helps back pain. Fitness Circuit also gives you the option to play these multiplayer games by creating a room where you invite up to four online friends or you can jump into one of their rooms to workout.
The visuals in Fitness Circuit are really nice, and I love the anime style of the Fitness Runners, especially since you can customise the colour of their features and the fun outfits they are wearing. When you select outfits you can spin them around to check out the view from every side and I’m sure a lot of people will check out how good their butt looks in these skin-tight outfits. The voice acting is really great, and if there is a character's voice you don’t like, it is super easy to switch the runner to someone else. The music that plays in the game is upbeat and exactly what you expect for a fitness game, though it does get repetitive after a while. I’m more used to listening to my own music while working out, so if I get tired of the in-game music, I could just switch to my earbuds.
I think Fitness Circuit is a must-play title for anyone who wants to get up off the couch and get a bit of a workout in their day. With only having to commit 10 minutes three times a week, I recommend everyone should check this out, especially if you aren’t the type of person who goes to the gym or if you have a busy schedule and find it hard to make the time. It’s amazing how good of a workout you can get in that short period of time, especially when you increase the amount of reps that you are required to do. This is a game that I will be playing for a long time, and I’m actually having a fun time working out, which I haven’t had since I played Wii Fit years ago, but now I don’t have to worry about having enough batteries for both the balance board and the Wii-motes so I am able to get my workouts in.
Fitness Circuit (Reviewed on Nintendo Switch)
Excellent. Look out for this one.
Fitness Circuit is a great fitness game that requires a small time commitment and has a fun gameplay component that makes it feel more like a game than just working out. The biggest criticism I have is the repetitive music that you hear, I wish there were more options to select instead of just turning it down.