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Review

Family Trainer (Switch) Review

With Ring Fit’s success, I’m surprised we haven’t seen more ports from the Wii/Wii U fitness/mini-game genre getting in on the leg strap action. Family Trainer is stepping up, so prepare to strap on that Joy-Con and let’s get moving!

Family Trainer brings 15 mini-games to the Switch. You’ll get to run obstacle courses, drive a minecart, steer a canoe, whack a mole and plenty of running and jumping (or lifting the leg with the Joycon strapped). There’s enough variety across the mini-games; how much you enjoy them will come down to what movements they require.

Some games have you using motion controls with the controller in your hand while still making you use your feet. For example, the whack a mole game, where you tilt the controller to move a cursor over the holes and stomp down to hit them with a mallet. There’s also paddling a kayak and enough running/jumping mini-games to keep you on your feet. And then there’s the more leg-based run and jump games, like running a gauntlet with obstacles to jump, which in traditional motion control form feels finicky. The truth is every game feels like there is a degree of wrangling the motion controls. Your legs register as taking steps on the spot and raising up to indicate a jump until they don’t. This leaves you getting a bit of extra exercise to get the game to pick up your movements.

You can play the mini-games solo or with a second player. You can also hop into the Outdoor Adventure mode, which will give you several mini-games one after another. Depending on how competitive you feel there’s Friend Battle to try and win the mini-games, or there’s Teamwork for when you don’t want to get competitive.

While there are different difficulty level courses, this seems to mainly be how many mini-games you have in a row. If you don’t like how the game groups the mini-games together, you can also put your own course together. This isn’t a bad idea if you want to focus on the mini-games you enjoy most or want to pick the best to play with a friend.

If you purchase the game digitally from the eShop and you have the Ring Fit Adventure leg strap you can save some money and reuse that. Athough if you don’t have a leg strap for a Joy-con or want to play this game in co-op, you’ll need 2 leg straps and an extra pair of Joy-con. You can get the physical copy which comes packed with 2 leg straps. If you have a Nintendo Switch Lite you’re out of luck unless you have a pair of Joy-cons on hand too.

Those with large thighs who might have had trouble with the Ring Fit leg strap will come across the same problems here. They’re essentially the same strap. It’s not the developer’s fault that everyone’s bodies are different. Just be aware that if the leg strap didn’t fit well previously, it’s no better with this game.

Following (some time) after Ring Fit Adventures, there is definitely a market for these games, Zumba and fitness boxing amongst others. There is definitely a space for games like Family Trainer, although its longevity is limited. Work out games like Ring Fit encourage you to come back daily and there’s progress to make, while a mini-game collection can’t offer the same unless it feels like a worthwhile exercise or the mini-games are enjoyable to return to on a daily basis. Family Trainer feels like it wants to get in on the Ring Fit success, but adding a leg strap to your mini-games isn’t enough.

Family Trainer is a fun distraction with friends as you compete against each to decide who is the ultimate champion of leg strap wrangling. By yourself, it’s a very lonely affair as the mini-games aren’t that fun that you’ll want to just do them as part of a work out. It doesn’t have anywhere near the legs of Ring Fit Adventure, nor does it really fulfil the same purpose. Family Trainer will keep you moving for a night and if bought physically, it will help you build up a leg strap collection.

Rating: 3/5

The Good

+ Entertaining mini games
+ Making your own collection to play through
+ Back up Leg straps

The Bad

-Motion controls are finicky
-The mini games aren’t enough to keep you coming back

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Final Thoughts

Family Trainer is a fun distraction with friends as you compete against each to decide who is the ultimate champion of leg strap wrangling. By yourself, it's a very lonely affair as the mini-games aren't that fun that you'll want to just do them as part of a work out. It doesn't have anywhere near the legs of Ring Fit Adventure, nor does it really fulfil the same purpose. Family Trainer will keep you moving for a night and if bought physically, it will help you build up a leg strap collection.

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About The Author
Paul Roberts
Lego enthusiast, Picross Master and appreciator of games.

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