Nintendo’s latest weird game-fitness-thing, Ring Fit Adventure, has been a lot more difficult than I expected. Not because its attempt at integrating fitness into an RPG is too complicated or obtuse, but because its honest-to-goodness workout is kicking my butt. For the past two weeks I’ve spent a daily session not much longer than my regular gym time with it, and it almost always leaves me sweating. But it’s a challenge I’m excited to face every day, even when I’m not feeling its simple adventure elements as much as that burn.
The ring itself is basically a fancier pilates ring with a slot to attach a Joy-Con, allowing you to use it as a more traditional fitness device with custom workout routines and quickplay challenges built into Ring Fit Adventure. There’s even a neat feature to do exercise reps with the ring that count toward your daily experience while the actual Switch is still in sleep mode. But it’s the surprisingly lengthy adventure mode campaign that serves as the main attraction. It actually does a decent job of adapting fitness ideas into an RPG adventure, ideally played about 30 minutes to an hour at a time. That said, Ring Fit Adventure clearly attempts to be an accessible RPG that can still be played by people who have never even heard of Final Fantasy, so don’t expect a lot of depth to its mechanics.