Out of all of the family-centric games introduced during the lifetime of the absurdly popular Nintendo Wii, only a handful have seemingly thrived and continued into the present day. Perhaps the most prevalent is the Just Dance franchise, which releases every year like clockwork, but the Zumba series is just about hanging by a thread, doggedly determined to remain relevant nearly a decade after the first game’s release.
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. Featuring over 30 songs ranging from low to high intensity, you dance along with one of the game’s real-life instructors with the aim of burning off as many calories as possible. Keeping up with the instructors can be pretty difficult (these folks can move), but the game does try and make things slightly easier by signposting the next required move ahead of time, so you’re not just flailing around when the instructor suddenly changes things up.
The game respects your time quite well by giving you a range of different modes to choose from. You can play one track at a time if you wish, or you can take part in a ‘Full Class’, which features a range of routines of varying intensity lasting for either 15, 30, or 60 minutes depending on how much time you’re willing to commit. Additionally, if you want to work out with a partner, the multiplayer-focused ‘Fitness Party’ mode only accumulates an overall star rating if every player manages to get a star rating of their own, so there’s good incentive here for everyone to pull their weight.
Ultimately, Zumba Burn It Up! knows its audience, and thankfully there’s really nothing much to complain about with this new iteration; it’s a perfectly fine addition to a series that continues to truck along relatively painlessly. A bit more variation with the songs would have been nice, and whilst we appreciate that this is targeted to people who likely already have a certain degree of fitness, the game could do a much better job at easing in newcomers. Look, we’re not getting any younger...