I was late to the Wii Fit party. I had heard about the peripheral, but my enjoyment of casual games didn’t quite draw me in. Fast forward six months after the game released, and I had read enough raving reviews (here and elsewhere) about the fun and exercise that can be had with the Wii Fit. Proof of its popularity, even six months after its release it was still hard to find a copy of the game. After a month of shopping around I bought a copy and haven’t looked back. Nintendo knows when they have a good title on their hands, and has recently released an update to the original Wii Fit that expands gamer options.
Wii Fit Plus is truly an update and expansion of the original Wii Fit rather than a brand new game. More than half the content of Wii Fit Plus is simply the content of Wii Fit, it even accesses any saved games players had and moves them over to the new title. You could, theoretically, throw the old Wii Fit disc away. Some of the best feedback on Wii Fit was on the training minigames. Wii Fit Plus adds fifteen new balance games to play. They’re all reasonable, but a few are easily my new favorites.
Some games use just the balance board, like Skateboarding, a fun new hip-moving math game, or one of my favorites: obstacle course. In the obstacle course, you run your Mii through a somewhat vanilla platform game, complete with swinging pendulums, rolling logs, and moving platforms. It is somewhat generic, but it is the closest I’ve ever felt to actually being Mario in a game. Many new games use both the balance board and a Wiimote at the same time. A Segway (you know, that two-wheeled gliding thing you stand on to ride?) game has you moving around a beach chasing beach balls and other things, a golf game measures both your swing AND your balance while you swing, and for those who like to multitask, there’s a ball drop game where you use the Wiimote and the balance board at the same time to filter balls from the top of the screen into their respective colors at the bottom. It starts off simple but can quickly get hairy as you try to keep up with steering the top and bottom at the same time. If you simply want to act a bit crazy, try the Bird’s Eye game where you fly between floating platforms by flapping your wings like a big chicken.
In addition to the new balance games, there are only five more exercises (and if you didn’t unlock all of the Wii Fit exercises, I believe Wii Fit Plus comes with them all unlocked) to try out, but the best feature for exercise-conscious gamers is a meter that attempts to monitor and report how many calories you burned during each game or exercise. Folks who use Wii Fit to exercise regularly will appreciate the ability to program in an exercise “routine” that they can go through each time. Don’t know what to choose? Several standard routines are included, depending on what you want to focus. While not a reason to buy the game, there is also a fun new feature that lets you weigh a pet or baby using the balance board. Just zero it in, and then pick up the baby and weigh yourself again.
Anyone who enjoys the minigames on Wii Fit should definitely pick up this expanded selection of games available on Wii Fit Plus, at only $20 it is a pretty good deal. However, if you have not yet tried the Wii Fit balance board peripheral yet, I highly recommend it for any casual gaming fan. Be sure to pick up the Wii Fit Plus version with the balance board, it is worth the $10 increase in price from the original Wii Fit package.
Kid Factor: This game is great for kids of all ages. While not all games are accessible for the younger set, my three year old son still loves to play several of the new minigames. He does great at the hip-swaying math game (just randomly hitting three different mushrooms with his hips until he stumbles on the right combination) and he loves playing the obstacle course, even though he typically doesn’t get halfway through the first stage. Any game that requires both Wiimote and balance board movement would be too much for him, though so at least half the games are best played by ages 5+, depending on a child’s coordination.