Wii Fitness Game Reviews 3

Review of Jumpstart Get Moving Family Fitness for Wii

Jumpstart Get Moving Family Fitness

Reviewed by Nutwiisystem on June 13, 2010.
Summary: A not-too-stellar collection of sports oriented mini-games which provide little fitness value.

I had high hopes for Jumpstart Get Moving Family Fitness Wii. This was the first Wii fitness title released by Knowledge Adventure, a leader in educational software. I figured with the higher price point ($29.99), maybe we’d see a fitness game of the caliber of EA Sports Active or Wii Fit rather than the shovelware that so permeates the landscape.

The game is a combination of eight different sports categories: basketball, volleyball, football, baseball, race (running, speedskating, flying, and bicycle), boxing, step aerobics, balance games (including dodgeball and “pinball”). You can play each activity individually, or you can go through circuits.

There are a few kid-friendly gimmicks. You can choose different workout locations, including Atlantis, Beach, Bug View, Castle, Egypt, Farm, Jungle, Jurassic, Ruins, Space, Volcano. But all this does is display a generic animated background–you don’t really interact with the environment.

Unfortunately, this game is a big disappointment in many other ways.

First of all, the vast majority of games are blatant copies of activities already found in EA Sports Active, Wii Sports Resort, and Wii Fit. This wouldn’t be such a bad thing in itself if they improved upon the originals. But in most cases the games here They did not–to the contrary, in most cases they took a big step backward.

Secondly, the activities really aren’t that strenuous. Given its title and its price, I would have thought this game would allow entire families to work out together. But with the exception of one or two activites, the workout really isn’t much better than any other Wii game.

Here’s my take on all the activites:

  1. Balance Games. There are two activities under this heading. The first is Dodgeball, which is just a complete and utter ripoff of “Soccer Heading” game on Wii Fit Plus. Because it uses the Wii remote held sideways instead of a balance board, there’s really not much workout or balance benefit here. Plus, the controls are extremely inaccurate. The other is called “Pinball”, where you tilt the Wii remote to control a ball on a pinball machine. Again, not sure how this could be considered “fitness”.
  2. Baseball. There are two activities under Baseball–fielding and batting. Both are very obvious imitations of the same activites in EA Sports Active, with much less sharp graphics and much less accurate controls. At the end of the day neither are as good as the original baseball game in Wii sports, even though that was released years ago.

  3. Basketball. Again, there’s a passing game and a three-point shooting game. The passing game, again, looks like it was ripped from the “lunge right, lunge left” exercises in EA Sports Active. The three-point shooting game looks like a complete copy of the same game in Wii Sports Resort. I did like how they improved it to add support for the balance board so you could simulate a jump shot, though.

  4. Boxing. This is the typical punching and ducking game that has already been done well on the Wii, most notably with games like Wii Sports and Gold’s Gym Cardio. This is another low-quality imitation. The controls are woefully sluggish–you’ll often throw punches that are not at all registered.

  5. Football. This was the one bright spot of this game, maybe because it’s the only game which is truly original. You wave the Wii remote to throw the football short or long, and all the time you’re moving left and right with the nunchuk joystick to avoid tacklers. Again, you don’t get much of a workout and the controls can be inaccurate, but at least it’s original and fun.

  6. Race. You can choose from Bicycling, Skating, Flying, or Running. Bicycling is a copy of the same title in Wii Sports Resort, where you alternate moving the remote and nunchuk with your left hand and right hand or step lively the balance board. The steering is pretty much automatic, which younger players may appreciate (you can move left and right with the nunchuk joystick, but it’s mainly to avoid obstacles). Skating is basically a timing game. You alternate moving the remote and the nunchuk in sync with an on-screen prompt which simulates the skater pushing off. Crouch to duck below yellow barriers as they come. Again, not a very “fitness” intense workout, but it’s fun enough.

    Flying is a game where you swing your remote and nunchuk up and down to flap your wings and tilt to steer through the course. It’s not bad, but not great either–the same idea was executed much better on Wii Fit Plus.

    Running is much like the same game in Wii Fit. You alternate the Wii remote and nunchuk to run, and press “B” to jump over the occasional hurdle.

  7. Step Aerobics. Once again, a complete ripoff of Wii Fit. Aggravatingly, it tell you to “Dance along with Brooke to the music”, but the “music” is actually a frenetic tune that has nothing to do with the beat and actually throws you off your steps. This one is a major disappointment.
  8. Volleyball – A poor imitation of EA Sports Active’s volleyball game, where you can practice setting, bumping, and serving. You use the nunchuk joystick to control your direction, and swing the remote upwards when bumping the ball.

It probably should have been a warning sign that Jumpstart signed on Brooke Burke to be the B-list celebrity featured in this game. As with Daisy Fuentes’s disastrous Pilates title or Jenny McCarthy’s disappointing Your Shape, it seems that having a celebrity endorsement for a Wii exercise game is the kiss of death.

There are some bright spots of the game. One thing I did like was the ability in many activities to compete head-to-head against someone else in a split-screen. There’s also the ability to choose from three difficulty levels, a good way to have parents and children competing against each other.

In short, I would not recommend this one as a serious “fitness” game, but if the price goes down it might be a decent collection of mini games to play with your family that’s a step above shovelware games. That said, you can find much more polished “family fun” games in Wii Sports Resort and Wii Fit Plus and much better “family fitness” with games like DDR and Just Dance. As for Jumpstart, I hope the next time they try this, they spend more time creating original ideas like their football game and the improvements they made to the basketball game, instead of focusing all their energy on copying others who have already done it better.

3 of 5


  • Reply
    Jun 15, 2010 4:06 pm

    After reading your review I almost didn’t buy the game, but my kids begged and my kids love this game! It sounds like you are not taking into account the main audience this game is for. My little ones have a hard time playing the more adult fitness games, so this has been perfect for them and very entertaining. Because they are kids, they don’t need the intense workout an adult does as they are still experiencing movement and balance as they are growing and working on their motor skills. This game seems to be great for helping them improve on those elements.

  • Reply
    Aug 11, 2010 1:09 pm

    Thanks for your comment. Actually, I did write the review with the game’s target audience in mind. Ironically, the issues I describe above end up making the game more frustrating for kids–adults can compensate for things like inconsistency in controls much more readily than kids can. Since my writing, I’ve had a lot of corroboration from plenty of kids aged 5 to 12.

    Bottom line, it’s not a bad set of mini-games, and I do like that you can play against each other and “handicap” the adult players. But I hope next time Jumpstart can put a little more original thought into its games.

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