Obstacle Course – “Step in place to walk. Strengthen your legs to jump. This tests your timing and agility.” This one was surprisingly fun and challenging. Playing this game was as if I was place in a Super Mario World level. You could also compare it to the TV show Ninja Warrior. You have to get past swinging balls, rolling logs, moving platforms and sizable gaps. Yet, I felt teased. I’d run through some insane challenges, only to see the words “Checkpoint cleared!” The obstacle course was much longer than I thought it would be. This makes for great exercise, as I didn’t feel tired until after I stopped playing. After several attempts, I was able to get past the 500 yard course… with only one second to spare… and that was just the beginning course. One of the challenges is not jumping. You can’t bounce off the Balance Board. If you do, the level resets. I really enjoyed this activity, but I’m not sure if my Wii Balance Board is up to the punishment. There’s a lot of stomping on a fairly expensive piece of equipment.
Tilt City – “Tilt the Wii Remote and shift your weight. This tests your hand-eye coordination.” This is one of those games that is simple to understand, but it can be difficult to master. While I enjoyed this game, it was hardly a workout. I enjoyed the challenge of getting the red, blue and yellow balls (and later green) in the right holes, but I grew weary of just standing around. It didn’t take much effort to lean from one side to the other.
Rhythm Parade – “This will help train your sense of rhythm and coordination.” This one was a more strenuous activity. It also felt like Guitar Hero. Basically, you stamp your feet to the beat and wave your arms when prompted. It was very hard for me to do both at the same time. But when you do, your band grows bigger and more Miis will follow you. This one makes me pity parents. I can imagine what it will be like on Christmas day, when Wii Fit Plus is opened and unleashed upon weary ear drums. There’s a lot of noise with this one.
Big Top Juggling – “Juggle while balancing on the ball! This tests your sense of balance and timing.” While I hate the circus, I played this one a lot. I wanted to juggle five balls at once, but I kept messing it up. Having bombs lobbed at me didn’t help much. At first, I was making it harder than it needed to be. The balls will float towards your hands. You don’t need to chase them. You just need to wave the Nunchuck and the Wiimote at the right moments. I got a better score by keeping the ball steady and away from the bombs.
Skateboard Arena – “Try skateboarding with the Wii Balance Board! This tests your balance and agility.” To play Skateboard Arena, you turn the Balance Board and stand on it like you would with a real skateboard. I enjoyed the rock music with this activity. I also enjoyed the sense of speed. This game impressed me so much that I almost forgot that I was playing Wii Fit Plus. Wii Fit Plus is similar to the game Wii Play. Nintendo has a unique peripheral that is packaged with a game that helps to demonstrate the hardware. Skateboard Arena felt less like a demo and almost like a standalone game. If Nintendo added swarming bees, and an outdoor track, it could easily be a modern version of 720° – an old skateboarding game by Atari.
The three remaining activates are just expansions of previous Wii Fit activities,
Table Tilt Plus – “Table Tilt Plus tests your overall balance and coordination.” This game was too hard for me to enjoy it. I didn’t like the original, so a more difficult version was even less entertainment for me.
Balance Bubble Plus – “Balance Bubble Plus tests your lower-body balance and agility.” I played this one a little bit, but I lost interest without making it past the first course. This game is too rigid. One wrong move and you have to start over. I suppose that can add to the game’s suspense, but I was just tired. After a long day, filled with hours of playing Wii Fit Plus, this game just didn’t hold my attention.
Basic Run Plus – “Remember what you see along the way. Stay focused while you burn calories!” The mental focus questions at the end were interesting. I remembered that the Lighthouse was white and that there were seven doggies on the course. I also remembered the color of my cat… yes… a cat! A small cat lead the way. Cute things like that added to my enjoyment of this game.
There were new Yoga and Strength Training exercises too, but I didn’t bother with them. I don’t feel comfortable doing those exercises. I find a lot of them to be too complicated, with awkward positions and twisting. The ones I do understand, such as rowing squats, I don’t like to hear my knees cracking and popping. I’d rather walk up a few flights of stairs to work out my lower body… or just go outside and jog.
Yet, Wii Fit Plus is good at tracking your progress and it can also serve as a motivational tool. I have over 18 months of data stored in Wii Fit. Even if I never play another Wii Fit activity, I’d still likely go back to check my weight. I also like how Wii Fit Plus estimates the amount of calories burned. After 2:15 of playtime, I burned 437 calories on my first day. The game listed that as the equivalent to a Bagel with salmon and cream cheese. Wow… it was as if Nintendo identified my breakfast… minus the salmon… yuck… fish for breakfast?!