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Review of Nickelodeon Fit


Nickelodeon Fit

Reviewed by Nutwiisystem on November 19, 2010.
Summary: Finally, a great great workout title for little kids featuring some of their favorite Nickelodeon characters.

nickelodeon fit reviewWith all the Wii exercise games out there, it seems that there’s been a paucity of active fitness titles suitable for younger members of the family. The two main attempts to reach this market have been D3’s Family Party Fitness Fun and Knowledge Adventure’s Jumpstart Get Moving Family Fitness. But both of these games have been dreadfully disappointing.
And so I’ll admit I was a little wary when I first tried Nickelodeon Fit. But after spending a few hours with it, I’m happy to report that finally, we have a kid-friendly fitness game that is a lot of fun and does provide some decent exercise value. And it’s a bonus that our familiar friends Dora, Diego, Kai-lan, and the Backyardigans are part of it.
Each of the four friends has seven activities you can choose from (as with most Wii games, they have to be unlocked as you go). There are also two activities that involve all of the characters.
Here’s a complete list of activities available. Each character basically has “beginner” and an “advanced” versions of three activities, and you need to play the beginner version to unlock the advanced one.
The Backyardigans
  • Skip Rope – Thrust the Wii remote upwards to jump over a jump rope.
    MVPA Rating = 3 (wii remote) or 2 (Balance Board)
  • Big Bowling – Help the Backyardians push a huge ball up a hill by thrusting the Wii remote forward in a circular motion. Then, once you’re over the hill, steer the ball with your Wii remote.
    MVPA Rating = 3 (wii remote) or 2 (Balance Board)
  • Color Bounce – Move the Wii remote left, right, back, and forth to kick colored balls out of the way.
    MVPA Rating = 2 (wii remote) or 2 (Balance Board)
  • Double-Skip – Like Skip rope, but you’re jumping double dutch over two ropes at a much faster pace.
    MVPA Rating = 3 (wii remote) or 2 (Balance Board)
  • Golden Pin – Like Big Bowling, but as you roll the giant ball up, you need to jump to get it over bumps in the road. As it rolls down the hill you have to steer to avoid obstacles and aim for a golden pin which is worth more points.
    MVPA Rating = 3 (wii remote) or 2 (Balance Board)
  • Shape Bounce – Like Shape Bounce but you’re matching shapes.
    MVPA Rating = 2 (wii remote) or 2 (Balance Board)
  • Great Stretch – Brings you through a series of stretches to warm up or cool down. All are proper stretch moves which are demonstrated very well by the Backyardigans.
    MVPA Rating = 1 (wii remote)
Go Diego Go
  • Rescue Boarding – Diego is racing sitting on a rescue racer board. Steer the board by tilting the Wii remote, and make him go faster by making circles with your arm. Quickly accelerate by speeding over acceleration panels on the floor, and steer to avoid puddles and bushes.
    MVPA Rating = 3 (Wii remote and Balance Board) or 3 (Wii Remote)
  • Beach Blast – Launch beachballs out to dolphins at sea with a giant slingshot by mimicking the motions of pulling back and leaning forward quickly with a pushing motion.
    MVPA Rating = 2 (Wii remote)
  • Rescue Rafting – Row Diego in a canoe by simulating rowing motions with the Wii remote. Row really fast as Diego approaches waterfalls to make him do a cool jump.
    MVPA Rating = 3 (Wii remote)
  • Skateboarding – Like rescue boarding, but you don’t need to move the Wii remote to accelerate. You do need to steer to pick up glowing bonus patches, and as you’re jumping on ramps you can move your Wii remote to do tricks.
    MVPA Rating = 1 (Balance Board) or 2 (Wii Remote)
  • Double Blast – Like Beach Blast, but you also need to control the direction of the ball to the left or right.
    MVPA Rating = 2 (Wii remote)
  • Extreme Rafting – Like Rescue Rafting, but as you enter rapids you need to steer around rocks and jump over logs.
    MVPA Rating = 3 (Wii remote)
  • Flying Condor – A pretty cool game where you control Diego as he flys on a giant condor.
    MVPA Rating = 3 (Wii remote)
Dora the Explorer
  • Hip Hoop – Move Wii remote in a circular motion (like stirring a pot). Toss the hoop to Boots the monkey when prompted.
    MVPA Rating = 2 (wii remote + Balance Board) or 2 (Wii remote)
  • Pogo Adventure – Bounce your Wii remote to make Dora jump on her pogo stick. You can make small jumps by moving the remote up, or make large jumps by making a jumping jack motion. Shake the remote when she gets stuck in the bushes.
    MVPA Rating = 2 (wii remote + Balance Board) or 3 (Wii remote)
  • Bike Explorer – Move arms in a circle to make Dora pedal her bike. When going downhill, steer Dora around bushes by tilting the Wii remote. “Pedal” harder to help her go uphill. There are cool little touches, like ringing the bell on Dora’s bike by pressing “2” and how the Wii remote rumbles when you go over rocky surfaces.
    MVPA Rating = 3 (wii remote + Balance Board) or 3 (Wii remote)
  • Double Hip Hoop – Like Hip Hoop, but you have two hoops, requiring you to occasionally toss the hoop and twirl in circles to your side.
    MVPA Rating = 3 (wii remote + Balance Board) or 3 (Wii remote)
  • Extreme Pogo – Like Pogo Adventure, but you need to master the controls to help her collect glowing stars, avoid icky sticky mud, and more. The high jumps are a bit difficult to master on this one.
    MVPA Rating = 2 (wii remote + Balance Board) or 3 (Wii remote)
  • Super Biking – Like Bike Explorer, but along the way you can bike over ramps and do tricks.
    MVPA Rating = 3 (wii remote + Balance Board) or 3 (Wii remote)
  • Explorer Bounce – Bounce Dora on a giant trampoline and help her do tricks.
    MVPA Rating = 2 (wii remote + Balance Board) or 3 (Wii remote)
Ni Hao Kai-lan!
  • Balloon Bounce – A fun game where you control Kai-lan to bump balloons with her head and try to get them to a vacuum bin on the side before they touch the ground.
    MVPA Rating = 2 (wii remote) or 2 (Balance Board)
  • Race, Race, Race! – A racing game where Kai-lan races against Rintoo on a track.
    MVPA Rating = 3 (Wii remote)
  • Football Throw – This was a timing game where you need to make a throwing motion with your Wii remote to throw it through swinging tires.
    MVPA Rating = 1 (Wii remote)
  • Super Bounce – An advanced version of the Balloon Bounce game. At one point in the game you have to bounce three balloons at once and watch out for special balloons.
    MVPA Rating = 2 (wii remote) or 2 (Balance Board)
  • Hurdle Race – Like the first racing game, but you also need to jump over hurdles.
    MVPA Rating = 3 (Wii remote)
  • Catch This! – An advanced version of the football throw where you have Kai-lan throw to her friends.
    MVPA Rating = 2 (Wii remote)
  • Fireworks Burst – An interesting game where you control Kai-lan as she causes beautiful fireworks to blast in the sky.
    MVPA Rating = 3 (Wii remote)
Everyone Together
  • The Great Relay – Dora, Diego, the Backyardians, and Kai-lan all compete together in a relay race.
    MVPA Rating = 3 (Wii remote)
  • Round Robin – All your friends take turns stretching and you need to copy them. It’s like a virtual game of Simon Says.
    MVPA Rating = 2 (Wii remote)
Some of the activities are simple (thrusting the Wii remote up to jump rope, moving it in a circle to hula hoop, etc.). Others are impressively interactive and fun. In one game, you help the Backyardigans roll a big ball up a cliff, and then once it starts rolling you steer it towards a giant set of bowling pins. There’s a similar game involving Dora and a bicycle.

There’s another fun game that involves Rintoo throwing a football into a set of tires on a tree. A lot of the games are just good fun, and even more so when competing against someone else.
One thing I love are the little details in the game. There’s a game involving Dora on a bicycle where you’ll feel a rumble in the Wii remote as she rolls over rocks. You can have her ring her bell by pressing one of the buttons. And of course, the whole time she’ll be shouting out exclamations like “fant√°stico!” and “excellente!”
The animation is impressive and true to the actual cartoons. The Backyardigans are rendered in 3D, just like on TV, while Dora, Diego, and Kai-lan are all their familiar selves. The background animation is beautiful, very much like on TV.

Happily, the controls are never too difficult for youngsters to learn. They mostly involve moving the Wii remote up, down, left, right, and in circles to control the on-screen character. Before each activity, Tyrone the Moose will explain exactly how to use the controls. And during the game there’s a stick figure in a box at all times that shows exactly what movement to make. Most games do support use of the balance board, but after trying a few times I decided to turn it off–kids will get better exercise using the Wii remote alone, and there are too many games where kids will want to jump on the balance board, which of course will eventually break the board.
One thing I also like is that each game gives an “MVPA Rating”. It took me a while to figure out what this was, but it turns out it stands for “Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity”. While few of the activities would be considered very vigorous for adults, chances are kids will get a pretty good workout from them, especially if they’re motivated by competing against their siblings (or parents!). Like the cartoon, I’d say the game is most suited for kids from 4-7. For older kids, I’d recommend the excellent Active Life Explorer.
There’s a whole section for parents where they can view statistics (including BMI and MVPA) in any date range for up to 5 different profiles, and even create different custom exercise routines for their kids by stringing together different activities.
If there’s a pet peeve I have about this game, it’s that navigating the menus is not very intuitive. You have to hold the Wii remote horizontally, and then use the 1 button (instead of B) to go back or the 2 button (instead of A) to select. Also, there are all kinds of icons that tell you what kind of exercise kids will get, but it’s impossible to figure out what they mean, and there’s no legend of any kind.

Overall, I was impressed with Nickelodeon Fit. It’s not perfect, but it’s certainly a solid title that’s better than the others out there. As I always tell parents, the best kind of exercise with kids is always outside with a ball or a bicycle. But on those days when the weather is bad, Nickelodeon Fit is a great way to ensure that the kids stay in shape.


Rating:
4 of 5

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