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A few notes for those who design exercise games for the wii

January 8, 2010

1) Assuming that someone dressed for exercise has pockets is kind of bizarre. This has only come up in The Biggest Loser game, but still, all the floor exercises assume I can put the wiimote in my pocket. I do not own a single pair of workout pants with pockets. Am I odd in this? Is everyone else drowning in pockets?

2)Explain more. If I’m doing a lunge and the game is registering it as wrong, then you need to provide some tips as to how to do it right. Is my weight distribution off? Is it just some way I’m holding my arms? It’s frustrating to just be told something’s wrong without a way to correct it.

3)Make sure you have testers of all fitness levels and ALL WEIGHTS. I’m pretty fit and pretty strong. I’m also pretty fat (still obese by bmi standards) and it makes it a little harder to do certain bodyweight exercises. I feel fairly confident in saying that if I have problems with several minutes of tricep dips, someone who weighs more and/or is less strong will have even more problems. Same with long stretches of plank to push up to side plank or whatever. Remember, you want to challenge people, not frustrate the crap out of them. Maybe offer ways to modify or an option to do an easier movement that works the same muscles.

4)Music. Oh please please please find a way to make this better. Allow downloads or maybe have an option with captions so people can listen to their own music. Some of these workouts are fairly long. Too long for muzak garbage.

That said, I do like wii fitness games. They’re a fun way to get some movement when the gym or outside is not possible (I’m snowed in currently.) Just a few tweaks would make them even better.

Have you tried any of the wii games? Is there any other video or home fitness gadget you love?

13 Comments leave one →
  1. vesta44 permalink
    January 8, 2010 11:08 am

    The Wii Sports game is good. I like the baseball and bowling (so does DH). The AMF Bowling isn’t all that great, not much pin action when you bowl, no matter what lane you pick; you can’t customize your player (you pick one of a line-up of players) and you can only use one remote even with multiple players. The Carnival Games is another good one, that one takes a lot of different skill sets to get through the games. I’m looking forward to being able to get the Chicken Shoot game too, that one looks like fun.

    • January 8, 2010 1:55 pm

      I love Wii sports bowling and tennis. I run around like a fool even though it’s been pointed out to me that you don’t have to move all that much to play. Another fun one that includes movement is Wario smooth moves. It’s basically a collection of mini games. Weird, but hilarious.

      I haven’t tried the carnival game. I’ll have to rent it. I’m really curious about their new dance game, but haven’t tried it out yet.

  2. January 8, 2010 11:12 pm

    I’m a Wii Cheer addict. I find the exercise games kinda boring but I adore me some music and flailing about. And I can actually beat Wii Cheer, as compared to Dance Dance Revolution, which I failed miserably at.

    • January 9, 2010 6:18 am

      I’ve never even heard of wii cheer, but if it involves music and flailing, then I’m going to have to check it out.

      I mastered the super easy level of DDR. That was it. Everything else resulted in lots of fail.

  3. January 10, 2010 6:59 am

    When you do lunges, you should be able to lift your front toes. If it is sensitive to weight distribution, this might be what it’s complaining about. It’s not intuitive, and squats are the same way. This is why I like the classes, it’s too easy to have the wrong form and continue that way, if nobody corrects you.

    • January 10, 2010 7:27 am

      Yeah, I always make sure I can lift my toes when I lunge or squat. Although I’ve seen people in the weight room doing squats where they’re actually on their toes so yeah, very important to have someone teach you the correct form.

      On the wii game, it was side lunges that were the problem and it ended up having something to do with the way I was holding the remote which is kind of silly, but whatever. Hopefully the more of these games they make, the better they’ll be.

  4. January 10, 2010 11:29 am

    Yes, the music! I love my Wii fit, but the music has got to go.

  5. funnie permalink
    January 10, 2010 12:37 pm

    Hi! 🙂

    No answers, but a Q: How did/do you like the software that came with the Wii Fit? Is buying more mandatory?

    The Wii is an xmas gift that I never would have bought myself, but now that it’s here I’m motivated to keep it guilt-free rather than return it. I’ve never paid attention to gaming systems, though an am just flabbergasted about how much addtl games cost. We’re trying out a month of blockbuster gamepass to see what’s out there, & will prob buy super mario & leave it at that.

    Except for wanting the Fit (I think).

    The EA Active game and legstrap thingie seem popular and look fun to me. The “step” risers also seem popular (but look like stepaerobic hell IMO).

    Anyway, I want to only get the Wii Fit if it’s fun and at least somewhat useful OOTB at the $100 pricepoint. What do you think? Are you looking at other games just for extra fun/variety or because you feel kind of pushed to & like you’ve exhausted it?

    • January 11, 2010 12:34 pm


      With the wii fit, it depends on how quickly you get tired on the same exercises. They have special challenges you can unlock as well as more ‘advanced’ versions of the same exercise that you unlock once you master the initial movement, but once you open those, that’s it. The exercises themselves though are varied enough where you can just do some gentle movement or work up a sweat. However, it doesn’t allow you to design a routine so you have to stop and choose each exercise as you do them. They do have a cheapish new extension you can buy that has a few extra movements and allows you to create a full workout routine, but I haven’t tried it. I used it regularly for about 5 months before it became intensely boring which is when I started branching out to other exercise games that use the board.

      Also, the new super mario game is awesome.

  6. funnie permalink
    January 12, 2010 11:26 am


    Got it last night, actually – thanks to holiday gifting & new year’s resolutions, it’s sold out almost everywhere here, including the first couple of places I looked online. But it turns out that Target not only had it, but was running a sale where you get the board (with the new version of the software) plus a free extra “game.” I use the term “game” quite loosely given its horrific title: Fitness Ultimatum. Oh? Or else WHAT?

    If I can bring myself to work past the gut-churning to actually try it out, I’ll let you know if it’s any good.

    If you see a used or cheap copy somewhere, I think the “plus” version of the software is prob worthwhile. Everything comes unlocked (not relevant for you), you can pick their routines or make your own, and it seems like there are a lot of new games. Some of which are really effing hard, though I’m not sure they’re actually fitness-inducing. :p

    Re: nonfitness Wii-ing & your Ratatouille twitter — have you tried the game? I rented it and found it fun, pretty, and surprisingly difficult (with lots of options to make it more difficult, incl. insane cheat codes). I don’t have a clue what makes a game purchasable, but did spend a couple of embarassingly long days btwn xmas & ny hogging the system (and tv), obsessed with it. But exchanged it as soon as I finished the storyline, though there was lots of other stuff to monkey with.

  7. funnie permalink
    January 12, 2010 11:33 am

    “it depends on how quickly you get tired on the same exercises.”

    BTW “on” is probably a typo, but made me laugh bc it’s accurate given my currently destroyed state of personal fitness.

    I am rehabbing a broken ankle from over a YEAR ago & am finding the seemingly pathetic balance games on the Wii pretty challenging. Esp since balance/control/flexibility were the few athletic things I used to be good at, my lack of these has kind of freaked me out. Nice to be able to see a graphic representation of how I’m compensating for its weakness, though.

  8. Annie permalink
    January 20, 2010 9:26 am

    Just Dance is an awesome Wii game. I get a great workout and it’s so much fun!

  9. meerkat permalink
    July 9, 2010 7:03 am

    Has no one touched here on how incredibly fat-shaming the Wii Fit is? OMG your BMI is not 22! UNHEALTHY!

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