Locked up at home and needing something to keep you active? Looking to get in shape but find the lure of gaming too hard to resist? Well, worry not, because with Switch it's easy to mix your favourite pastime with a little cardiovascular exercise to get your blood pumping, and here we've collected together our picks of the best Switch games for fitness and exercise.
Of course, you'll need to combine this with a balanced diet and the odd session of more taxing exercise if you really want to feel great and benefit from a dynamite bod with a washboard stomach, rock-hard pecs, etc., but Nintendo Switch has a whole host of games and software aimed at getting you off the couch. The console's portability also means there's no need to skip a session when you're away from home, either. So, no excuses!
Whether dedicated fitness software or games with motion controls that get you moving, below we've assembled a collection of Switch games that'll get your blood pumping and help you get into shape at any time of the year whether out-and-about or cooped up and cosy at home.
So, grab those Joy-Con and get on your feet for the best Switch games for fitness and (non-stationary) fun...
Nintendo's latest entry in the fitness games genre succeeds in properly gamifying exercise where Wii Fit never quite hit the mark. If you're a gym addict you probably shouldn't throw out your membership card just yet, but for everyone else looking to get fitter, Ring Fit Adventure is a fantastic way to do it that won't bore you senseless. Play it properly and you'll definitely feel it the next morning – a sure sign that it's at least doing you some good – while the compelling adventure mode with its RPG elements will ensure that you'll keep coming back for more.
A brilliant meld of fitness and fun, stock shortages have made it difficult to track down for the last couple of months, but keep an eye out as Nintendo gradually replenishes stock.
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Just Dance 2020 is a celebration of the series’ tenth anniversary in more ways than one, with years’ worth of releases all leading up to a formula that has truly been perfected and a decent new song list to boot. You’ll want to be subscribed to Just Dance Unlimited to get the most out of your purchase, and if you've already got Just Dance 2019 or Just Dance 2018 or Just Dance 2017, it's probably not worth picking this up as well unless you're assembling a Just Dance collection on the shelf. Newcomers to the series won’t find a better experience out there, though, and jiggling about to chart-toppers with costumed dancers doesn't get much better.
Fitness Boxing positions itself as a lifestyle app – software to tide you over while you’re on holiday and can’t get to your Boxercise/Body Combat class – and in that capacity it's a breezy, energetic success that gets your blood pumping. For the one-time price of a month’s gym membership, it delivers some light CV and takes pointers from the Just Dance series and various rhythm games to provide a convenient and engaging workout as you box to the beat. It’s no substitute for hard hours at the gym, but there’s certainly potential to tone up those arms and shed a few pounds. It would be a mistake to buy this thinking you’re getting a game or some magical antidote to your spare tyre. However, it kept us coming back and if you’re after a reason to justify cancelling that direct debit to Gold’s, this is as good as anything you’ll find on a console.
Also known as Just Dance Without The Unnerving Bleached-Out Mannequins, Zumba Burn It Up! is exclusive to the Nintendo Switch and plays very similar to the Just Dance games in that the Joy-Con track your movements as you follow the on-screen instructions. You dance along with one of the game’s real-life instructors with the aim of burning off as many calories as possible, and you can do so with a partner in Fitness Party mode. Full Class mode offers workouts lasting from 15-60 minutes, so there's definitely scope to burn some calories here, but as with all the software on this list you only get out what you put in, so the onus is on you to commit. Go on - grab those sweatpants and get down.
Not an exercise game per se, ARMS is still an excellent way to work up a sweat with its motion controlled-fisticuffs. The core fighting mechanics are easy to grasp, but they also showcase the kind of depth which rewards dedicated players. Mixing up light and charged punches with your dashes and leaps allows you to create an almost balletic style of play, but add in grabs, stuns and features unique to each stage and you've got a truly formidable foundation for burning a few calories and toning up your... arms.
Collecting all the different Arms provides motivation to keep coming back and although the game arguably failed to find an audience - certainly not on the scale of super hit Splatoon 2 - it's still polished, addictive and immensely rewarding and well worth grabbing.
And the best of the rest!
If you're after something that gets you on your feet, there other games that'll get you off the couch, even if they won't have you breaking a sweat. Mario Tennis Aces has a Joy-Con control option a la waggle classic Wii Sports. Again, Swing Mode won't exactly provide a workout that'll get your biceps bulging, and you'll lose the shot accuracy you get from an analogue stick, but it'll get you and yours moving while having a laugh as you knock balls back and forth.
There's also 1-2-Switch which encourages you not only to stand up but also look your opponent in the eyes rather than look at the TV screen. No, you won't be burning to many calories by quick-drawing and firing your 'gun' at your gran, but at the very least the movement should keep you alert and on your toes. It should be noted that 1-2-Switch only really works in a party-style context, though. The game otherwise struggles to justify its status as a full-price retail release, but if you catch it on sale and you've got the right crowd, it can still be a winner. Plus, we know you've been dying to try out that HD rumble ice cube thing since Switch launched.
That's all for now, although we'll update this selection as and when more 'exer-tainment' titles arrive on Switch. Think we've missed something? Let us know below and tell us how you've got on with the titles above, too.