Sunday, 18 September 2011

Fit & Fun - Your Virtual Personal Coach - Game Review

Fit and Fun is a fitness orientated game that introduces so couple of games that also aim to contribute to developing fitness skills.  The game combines elements of fitness routines with a handful of accessible and responsive games that can be described as more fun that the routine element.  The game offers the opportunity to use the balance board within two of the games and relies on the holding and positioning of the WiiMote (and Nunchuk at times) to work through the exercises.

+/- Click for more/less

Clear instructions are given both pictorially and written on screen reducing the potential of getting the movements wrong.   The two fun games found on Fit and Fun that can be played in a sitting position are the Bobsled and the Gliding.  The Bobsled is designed to be controlled in a sitting position whilst the gliding is ordinarily played in standing.

The menu screen presents different options which include the following:-
Fitness test
Workout Scheduler
Fast Games

The fitness test initially walks the player through recording heartbeats per minute/pulse followed by how many squats you can do, bike crunch and press ups.  These exercises are explained well with the squats and stomach crunch exercises recording the reps by the movement of the WiiMote held in your hand.  The press up requires the player to enter the reps after the exercise manually,so can easily be skipped if the player is unable to achieve the exercise.

The workout scheduler offers the player to organise a selection of exercises and stretches to perform during one session. The options available include:
Warm up (Beach jogging, Rope Skipping, Wae Bo)
Strength training (general strength exercises e.g. squats - but wide selection covering all areas of the body)
Body shaping (Beach jogging, Rope Skipping, Wae Bo)
Relaxation (Stretches,  Qi Gong, Meditation in sitting or standing)
Fun (Gliding, bobsled, badminton)

Qi Gong and meditation elements of the relaxation option are nice additions and offer good clear written and pictorial advice with regards to how to perform the movements or poses.  Included within the Qi Gong option are 10 movements to practice which are all easy to follow.  The stretching element of the relaxation option demonstrates 14 stretches of which you can choose as many or as few as is appropriate (as with the Qi Gong).

The games included in the programme are as follows:
Gliding - this can be played with or without the balance board.  Without the balance board the player uses the WiiMote on its side and has to employ very subtle and fine control to guide the glider through hoops, scoring points.  When using the balance board the player is intended to stand, but can access the game in a sitting position.  Again, fine control is required to steer the glider through the hoops using forward, back and sideways movements of the body.  It offers enough time to work on balance exercises and is challenging enough for those working on higher levels of control.  Different levels of the game make it easy or harder, depending upon ability and control and also offers plenty of room to improve and demonstrate progression of skills and ability.

Bobsled - this activity is ideally played with the player sitting on the balance board which is placed on the floor.  It requires the ability to lean backwards to increase speed which can be created by sitting the player further back on the board.  To steer the player must lean in a controlled manner to the left and right.  The slow and steady movements that are required by the game offer plenty of time to perform the left and right leaning movements.  The game is based on a time limit whereby the player must reach the next station before the time runs out.  This can limit the use of the game but can also act as a way of measuring a patients progress.
Over or under steering cause the bobsled to via off course and into the barriers, slowing the sled down and causing a loss of time.
The bobsled game is a unique and interesting way of encouraging the control of weight shifting in sitting.

Rope Skipping - The player holds the WiiMote and jumps at the appropriate moment to clear the rope as it is swung on the screen.  This game can either be used to practice jumping and timing or it can be used as a tool to help develop timing and reaction speed in those who are unable to jump.  By shaking the WiiMote at the right moment the character will jump the rope - without the need for the player to be able to actually jump.  Using this method of control would focus on timing, reaction speed, rhythm and upper limb control of fine movement.

Beach Jogging - Uses both the Wiimote and the Nunchuk.  The player is required to jog on the spot whilst performing upper limb jogging movements.  The controllers register the jogging motion and represent forward motion of the on screen character.  Part of the game requires the use of the B and Z buttons to move the runner left and right to avoid other runners and collect water - both of which also gain you points.  The faster you run the more points you collect.
This game could be used as an upper limb fitness test and used as an outcome measure to be tested again at a later date.  The points collected in the given time offering a measure of the quality and pace of the upper limb movements performed.

Wae Bo - Uses the WiiMote and Nunchuk and requires the player to react to the instructions on screen and perform movements of the arms as instructed by the on-screen character.  This game seemed difficult to get the timing right on, with moves being performed but scores not registering.  In principle its a good game to work on reaction speeds and following instructions with regards to movement, but there is a risk of disappointment if the game doesn't register the move.

Badminton - Uses just the Wiimote in the dominant hand.  The game itself takes a little time to get use to as it slows down to allow the player to swing the Wiimote at a certain time to allow for placement of the return shot to the opponent.  Whilst this could be quite distracting for some it could be considered advantageous for some players who have slower reactions speeds with this game offering a small amount of extra time to process the need for the return shot and required upper limb movement.   
For the more able players this game can be quite competitive whereby winning a shot may take considerable effort and sustained periods of concentration and physical effort.

Unlike Wii Fit the game can be played without performing the initial fitness test.  It has potential to be integrated within therapy sessions but in an adapted fashion by using the games and their controls to encourage movement of a varied quality.

The mini games are different to previous fitness or balance games and therefore offer choice for those looking to expand their game collection.

Publishers website for images and more info

Purchase from :


1 comment:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.