Some would argue that Wii Fit, like many Touch Generation games isn't actually a 'game' as such. Instead, some see them as ways for casual gamers to have a bit of fun while believing that they're doing themselves some good. Yet, we've found ourselves strangely drawn to Wii Fit for a while now and have played it practically every day since we first got our preview version.
The best thing about Wii Wit is that it actually works. The board is fantastic and the various exercises genuinely make you feel like you've had a work-out if you do them properly. But please don't be under any illusions that the balance games are effective when it comes to making you fitter: the truth is, leaning from left to right to head footballs, cross tightropes and ski down a hill effectively does nothing for your fitness. They're fun, but they have pretty much no impact on your body.
Fit And You Know It
Think of these as a Balance Board version of Wii Play. One minute you're simply leaning left and right (for skiing and the like), the next you're crouching down to build up speed during a ski jump then quickly standing up to shift your weight up and make your Mii jump. Then, as you make progress, you unlock the ability to bring the Remote and Nunchuk into play in a nice boxing mini-game where you have to step off the board with the right foot while swinging with the right punch. It's fun.
That said though, as fun as the balance games are, it's very unlikely that you're going to spend £69.99 on a bunch of leaning games: it's the yoga, muscle-building exercises and aerobics mini-games that are the main event here because they're the ones that genuinely build up a sweat and make you feel like you're doing yourself some good.
Wii Fit succeeds in making you do the exercises properly and you'll really feel the benefit. One of the yoga exercises sees you standing on one leg and tucking your other leg to the side. While standing like this, you have to clasp your hands and slowly point both arms up to the sky. The beauty of Wii Fit is the small meter indicating your balance, which tells you how straight you're standing. You have to stand straight and perfectly still on your foot to keep a small red circle as close to the middle of the meter as possible. Doing it properly like this makes it much more difficult but, more importantly, it puts extra pressure on your standing leg, making the exercise more effective.
It's All In The Balance
Once you've done your exercise the required number of times, you're given a score out of 100 based on how well you managed to keep the red dot in the centre. So getting yourself 100/100 means not only that you've kept the dot bang on the middle throughout, but you've also performed the exercise perfectly.
Although Wii Fit is clearly different to the Brain Training games in terms of content, the two titles are laid out in a similar way. When you start playing each day you're encouraged to weigh yourself. After each weigh-in, the results are placed on a graph which shows how your BMI has (hopefully) dropped over time. You mark that day with a stamp and can then take part in as many of the various mini-games and exercises as you see fit.
No Pain, No Gain
Not all the games are available at first. You start off with simpler ones and the more you play the more you unlock. The order in which you unlock the games is well thought out; they get progressively more tiring and complicated. You can also unlock harder versions of each game, so while the jogging game may seem a bit short at first since you're only jogging on the spot for a couple of minutes, you end up unlocking longer and more tiring routes the more you play. Similarly, you may be able to master six slow press-ups (where you place your hands on the Board instead of your feet), but after a while you'll unlock the option to do ten, and then even more.