I’m always in the mood to try out Switch fitness games, and I’ve done so ever since the pandemic occurred. Of course, since most spaces reopened, I’ve been using the Switch as an exercise machine less. However, the spring season brought two amazing exercise games to the Nintendo console! They’re great if you have a few minutes to kill and a few calories to burn. While one is basically a reskin of a Nintendo-published franchise, the first game I’ll cover is an entirely new experience. Whatever your skill level, you can rest assured that these two games will help you start healthy habits. Get set to get sweat(y), grab some water, and check out these Switch fitness games below!
Fitness Circuit (Available May 26)
Up first in our Switch fitness games duo is an upcoming release (thanks for the advance code, Spike Chunsoft)! Fitness Circuit is a game that requires a pair of Joy-Con and some room. As the name implies, the game utilizes circuit training in its regimen. You’ll alternate between cardio and strength training, and can customize sets and play length. The optimal time to spend with Fitness Circuit is ten minutes a day, three times a week. While this is admittedly short, this is to accommodate the effort needed to do these exercises. From leg curls to wide squats, there are 45 different moves to experience, and you can unlock them regularly.
Compared to other Switch fitness games, Fitness Circuit has a variety of activities that will keep you on your toes. I enjoyed the alternating cardio and strength moves, and the overall presentation makes this a fun experience. The guides in each stage are easy to follow and you can review any move before you start. You can adjust your movement based on how much effort you’d like to exert. Each move will last (at most) 45 seconds, so you’d better give it your all if you want to succeed.
Why Should You Play Fitness Circuit?
The short time length of daily routines should be an issue, but surprisingly this makes Fitness Circuit great for casuals. You don’t have to make an excuse anymore since event sets run around 3 or 4 minutes. Getting a standard workout in (around 10 minutes) is ideal for busy officer workers that can’t squeeze a full workout. It’s also great that the game doesn’t require any extra equipment. Additionally, the game works great in tabletop mode, so you can get a quick workout wherever you are.
Considering this comes from Jupiter (the developers of The World Ends With You!), the style is unmatched here. The setting is a futuristic fitness park with characters dressed in a cool robotic bodysuit. (Also a nice touch that all six characters are voiced in English and Japanese!) The setting also makes mundane activities like climbing or rowing look epic. Swinging like Spider-Man while practicing lunges? Sign me up! You can also play Fitness Circuit with friends, though I prefer a local option rather than the included online mode. If there’s something that I would love to see in a future update, it would be that.
Fitness Circuit is fun in short bursts and provides a meaningful workout if you only have a few minutes. If you have a little more time to spend toning your arms, however, this next game is a great addition!
Fitness Boxing: Fist of the North Star (Available Now!)
Even in the apocalypse, you need to prepare your muscles! Fitness Boxing: Fist of the North Star is a special anime-themed version of the Fitness Boxing series of games. Here, you’ll workout with Kenshiro and a few other characters from the classic hot-blooded shonen series. It’s a weird premise, but this anime fits oddly well with Imagineer’s series of fitness games. You won’t learn the Hokuto Shinken here, and Kenshiro explicitly tells you as such in the beginning.
However, what you CAN learn is how to box like a pro in a variety of routines. From uppercuts to sidesteps, you’ll learn boxing fundamentals while jamming to covers of classic Fist of the North Star songs. By playing every day, you’ll be able to earn outfits for your instructors as well as new routines. Many of the unlockables are earned by acquiring points when playing. You can also do warmup and cooldown stretches as well as customize your workout, changing muscle focus and time spent.
Why Should You Play Fitness Boxing: Fist of the North Star?
What makes this version different from the previous two Fitness Boxing games is the emphasis on violence. Mainly, the game has you beat up baddies in the new battle mode. While it’s basically just another way to do combos and routines, there’s just something entertaining about knocking down the enemy. You’ll have to completely clear a combo with at least all OKs judgments to make it count, however. The best parts are the boss battles, which pits Ken against rivals at different points of the series. You’ll need to continually attack and dodge in order to succeed in these levels, and makes for a more challenging yet flash experience.
From hard-rocking tunes to gritty backgrounders, the presentation is perfect for Fitness Boxing: Fist of the North Star. There are little easter eggs peppered throughout the game that references pivotal moments of the series. Supporting character will also provide commentary on your performance in the battle mode when fighting enemies. That said, it’s a T-rated title, so the game dials down the violence, much like most Switch fitness games. (White blotches instead of red bloody ones seem a bit suspicious, but I assume it’s sweat coming out of enemies.) I also enjoyed the cheesiness of the premise with the English dubbing, which is charming while not too distracting. Like the other Fitness Boxing games, this one is also portable too, which means you can play docked or undocked. (No more trying to find a gym in your hotel, you can make your own!) If this is your first Fitness Boxing game and you want something unique, Fitness Boxing: Fist of the North Star should be on your radar!
Work Up a Sweat With Switch Fitness Games!
These are only two of the most recent examples of exercise games I’ve played on Switch. I’ve also made a column with a few more picks a while back, so check that out when you can. Stay tuned for more fun gaming impressions here on Miso!