Ring Fit Adventure Review

For our Ring Fit Adventure review, we thought we would take a slightly different approach to our time with Ring Fit Adventure, given it’s not the usual game.

Paul: Starting with opening the box, the Ring and leg strap are a decent bit of kit. My main concern from seeing all the stretching and pulling of the plastic in the trailer was that it may not stand up to rigorous exercise. While I’m hardly at risk of that, it turns out that the Ring is study and flexible for the exercises the game asks of you. 

Now to the game part. I went over the profile set up, having Tipp the faceless fit guy showing me how unfit I am. Cool it Tipp, I know this game isn’t a proper replacement for other exercise, but I do still hope to do some good with it. I thought it was neat how the game has you changing and selecting the options through movement with the Ring, squeezing or pulling on it. I don’t know if it’s entirely the 3D rumble in the Joy-Con attached to the Ring, but the feedback that it outputs through the Ring helps feel it’s more than a stretchy bit of plastic.

There are lots of options to help set up my new regime. I might regret setting it on extreme, but I’m not going to let Tipp judge me. So I have everything calibrated and tried out some basic moves, it’s time to actually get into the game. One of the other interesting options that stood out was ‘Quiet mode’ which is meant to keep you from loudly stomping. As an owner of wooden floorboards and heavy footsteps, this is more helpful than it might seem. 

The adventure portion starts off with some mysterious talking ring, all bound and starting to talk at me. Why wouldn’t I help out? Nothing bad ever comes from ominous talking objects that are all tied up. Although I also assumed that maybe someone has just bound up the Ring needed to go on the journey, and I might be doing something good.

But oh man, the dragon tricked me! The very buff dragon Dragaux broke out, you muscular scoundrel! I now have the Ring talking to me. There’s a little talking head on the Ring, and with their help I’m going to have to take down that sweaty muscle mountain of a dragon. 

A cool feature I didn’t expect was to have the game asking me to check my pulse. This is done through pretty smart use of the IR camera. You place your finger over the IR camera on the Joy-Con attached to the Ring, holding it there as you watch it measure your pulse. At first, it told me I must have done a little bit of a workout. 10 minutes later I bumped that up to intense workout; if I went to another ten the Switch might preemptively call an ambulance for me. 

So actually taking on the levels involve jogging through a course, using the Ring to either blow a gust of wind or suck up items (there is no way to word anything better in regards to this game). As you jog on you can suck up coins or blast open crates and other bits of scenery, keeping you physically squeezing or pulling on the ring as you keep moving. 

You get to choose what exercise you attack the enemy with. I avoided ones sitting on the floor. Mostly because I just didn’t have that kind of space, but fortunately there are always several different options. I wound up having a decent mix of all the other styles; upper body, squats and yoga stances. You can’t just spam the one technique because there is a cooldown time before you can use them. As you get further into the game you also acquire new moves to add to your options, so you can tailor it to your preferences. Although the further you get, the more you’ll need to take advantage of enemies type weaknesses (although not this early in the game, but later) Just like RPGs, enemies can be weak to different forms of attacks so you can’t ever just lean too far into one area of exercise.

The Extreme difficulty had me doing an insane amount of reps. I thought it would be alright, at the worst, it would make me really sweat it out. I found out straight away when in combat that intense requires you to do a lot of each movement, at least double of what I saw for a much lower setting. It still felt manageable until I reached the last portion of the attack phase, where you have to do it faster. It wasn’t so bad for the arm and yoga movements, but that many squats at that pace were surely going to have some kind of consequence on my thighs.

Multitasking is really cool, or at least the concept is. When the Switch is off you can connect the Joy-Con with the Ring and use it for exercise outside of using the game. Even cooler is that the HD Rumble makes noise with each squeeze or stretch so you can tell every movement it counts. You can then build up points that can either go back into your game when you have the game running, or you can be nice and gift them to a friend. To keep you from gaming the system you’re limited to only 500 actions with the Ring before it shuts itself off. The noises that come from the HD Rumble even indicate when you’ve hit each 100 mark. Like the game itself, it’s never going to replace a full workout, but it does help with being more active. 

Paul: After two days on the intense setting and focusing too much on squats, I have obliterated my leg muscles. It was bad enough when I played Fitness Boxing until my arms were useless, let alone making my legs barely useable. It was not only a learning experience of my limits but also a very harsh reminder that this isn’t a game you can push your way through. 

Second Opinion from Vook

My journey with Ring Fit Adventure so far has been one of wanting. I want to play the game more, but clearly I am entirely too unfit to play it every day – or at least play it as much as I want to.

When you buy a new game you want to play it and play it as much as you can – I want to do that with Ring Fit Adventure. The story mode, although a little cheesy is fun, and it drives home enough urge to want to continue. The only problem is my body won’t let me. I’m far far away from being a fit person, I play soccer once a week but this is different.

Ring Fit Adventure gets you moving in ways you normally don’t, at least if you’re a couch potato like me. It stretches and pulls, you squat like you didn’t think you could and it’s amazing how easy it is to work up a sweat. But you know what, it’s fun. You forgot you’re straining, your stretching and your sweating when you play the game because using the game is just a blast.

My tip? When the game says to take a break do it, trying to play too much in one day will just mean the next day you might be too sore too. That being said if you’re a super fit person you’re probably going to have no troubles!

Paul: I did return to the game after the breakdown of my body, now a bit more wary about overdoing it again. With the adjustable difficulty it was easy to set it with more realistic expectations. The overall experience continued being the same, although more mechanics are added and more depth introduced as you progress. It’s smartly paced out to keep giving you an incentive to come back, or if you’ve only done one or two levels to jump back in for at least one more to open a chest or progress your adventure. 

The biggest obstacle I have experienced since the initial two weeks is one that I encountered back with Wii Fit, it’s not just turning on a game. You’re making the space, you’re getting set up and you have to make sure you’re not going to be interrupted for a good 30 minutes or more. Worse is that this isn’t the fault of the game, although it’s something I doubt I’m alone experiencing. If you can stick with it there is a lot of levels. There are also minigames and customisable workouts outside of the main game. It’s something I intend to see all of, but it would help if it hadn’t been such a busy period for other big Switch releases. 

I’m very impressed with the simple looking equipment that comes with the game, and how well Nintendo implements their use on every level. Even just the basic moving around the options and selecting felt good just using the Ring. No matter how many times I had to press or pull on the Ring, it never felt like it would suddenly snap. The only issue I had was the leg strap. I’m fortunate that it would wrap around a chunky thigh, but getting it to stay there was another matter. Throughout every jogging section (which is a lot of the level), I found myself having to keep readjusting the leg strap. Now because everyone’s bodies are different, this will differ for lots of people. It won’t be an issue for some, it could even be I’m just bad at wearing the leg strap. It was just something that helps make the decision to get a Ring Fit workout going that little bit less enticing. 

More thoughts from Skye

The idea of fitness and committing to fitness has always been super exciting to me, but over the years I’ve never been able to do it. Whenever I’d try doing any kind of reps or attempt regularly jogging, the only thing that tended to ring in my head was “I’m tired and don’t want to do this anymore”. It turns out, the solution to my problem was a really silly looking Nintendo game! For the past 3 weeks or so, I’ve been playing through the Adventure Mode of Ring Fit Adventure every single day. Most of the time before breakfast, even! Skye from just a couple of years ago wouldn’t believe it.

It got me really sore at first… like, really sore. I felt the temptation to quit early on as I did with all my other fitness attempts, but something about Ring Fit Adventure kept me coming back. I guess it’s simply the fact that it’s just plain fun! After trekking through 7 Worlds, I’ve also found myself strangely invested in the story – as simple as it is.

All the minigames that are found in their own separate mode are also sprinkled throughout the Adventure Mode, which is how I was able to experience most of them. They are delightful. I haven’t had the chance to try out Ring Fit Adventure with any friends yet, but I’m really excited about the idea of getting them all to try out the minigames especially. Each time I’d reach one in the campaign, it would evoke the same feeling of hearing an ice cream truck come down your road and dropping everything you’re currently doing to sprint for it at fast as you possibly could.

Since I’ve started using Ring Fit Adventure my sleep has been better, my stamina has been great, and that soreness that I initially felt is mostly gone. I’m telling you, this game is doing crazy things to me. I’m even regularly drinking vegetable juice and eating Nutri-Grain for breakfast like some kind of monster. Please help me.

Overall Ring Fit Adventure is an enjoyable game. If you enjoy games that encourage fitness then this is one to grab. At no point is this a proper replacement for getting out and walking, or more vigorous exercise. Although it is good for helping maintain a routine and get in some extra exercise, or even to help make you more mindful of some good techniques. 

Rating: 4/5

The Good

+ A fun way to exercise
+ The Ring and leg strap are more than sturdy enough
+ Also happens to be a good goofy game

The Bad

- Leg Strap might not sit the best depending on your thighs
-To get the most out of the game you need real space to move
-Too easy to overdo the same exercises

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Final Thoughts

Overall Ring Fit Adventure is an enjoyable game. If you enjoy games that encourage fitness then this is one to grab. At no point is this a proper replacement for getting out and walking, or more vigorous exercise. Although it is good for helping maintain a routine and get in some extra exercise, or even to help make you more mindful of some good techniques.

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About The Author
Paul Roberts
Lego enthusiast, Picross Master and appreciator of games.
  • Jayden
    November 26, 2019 at 6:37 am

    I relate to Skye on this one. Ring Fit Adventure has been great for me. I know fitness trainers and experts can mention all the flaws in the game. But I really don’t care because I really appreciate the fact that I’m actually doing a decent exercise on a regular basis, pretty much everyday. And that’s a huge improvement to when I was barely exercising. With this game I’m actually surprised how many sqauts or other exercises I can do in this game. I really recommend this game to anyone who struggles to exercise on a regualr basis.

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