Zumba: Burn it Up (Switch)

Now that Christmas is over, many people are starting to think about their New Year resolutions.  If yours is to stay active and get in shape, you may want check out Zumba: Burn it Up.  It’s the latest in a long running dance game series based on the Zumba fitness craze.  Move your body to dozens of Latin songs in this Switch exclusive.

All you have to do is hold the right Joycon to play, and move it to the beat of the music.  They have dancers to copy and silhouettes of upcoming moves, but I don’t know if it really matters.  As long as you move to the rhythm you’ll be OK.  Although there were sometimes where I was moving and it counted as a ‘miss.’  This might be annoying to perfectionists, but I think as long as you keep moving, you’ll be OK.  Seems to be how Zumba works anyway.  And I always got at least four or five stars on each song anyway.

As you play well, you’ll fill a meter on the left side of the screen by getting good ratings like “Good,” “Great,” or “Zumba.”  When it’s full you’ll earn a star.  As you earn stars, more dancers will appear and the background will get flashier, which is neat.  I do like how they used real dancers and Zumba fitness celebrities (I met one once at E3, she was really nice), instead of just cartoon silhouettes.  There is another meter on the bottom of the screen that fills, but I don’t know what it does.  That’s really the only other problem I had with the game is that even though I got a boxed copy to review (which I appreciate, thanks 505 Games), but it had no instructions.  I do so miss the days of games coming with good instruction manuals.

There are several modes of play.  You can dance to a single song or try a class, which is just a bunch of songs in succession.  You can do short (15 min.), medium (30 min.) or long (60 min.) classes.  In Fitness Party, all players contribute by trying to earn at least one star each.  Up to four can play any of these modes.  You can also view fitness stats with the Fitness Tracker.  As you play, you can also complete daily and weekly goals and get badges you can put next to your avatar.  And that’s pretty much it.  While it’s not a perfect game, if you enjoy Just Dance titles but wish they had more Latin beats, then Zumba: Burn it Up may be for you.

Kid Factor:

Zumba: Burn it Up is rated E for Everyone with an ESRB descriptor of Mild Lyrics.  But the songs are nothing worse than what you’d hear on the radio, and I couldn’t understand what they were singing most of the time anyway.  Reading skill is helpful for some of the menu text, but not necessary just to play.  Just make sure the kiddos use those wrist straps so they don’t let go of the motion controllers!  Similar to Just Dance, I could see this game being a hit at kid slumber parties and family gatherings.

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