Nintendo unveiled a new Switch RPG, Ring Fit Adventure, which will task players with getting in shape while exploring a fantasy world full of monsters, weapons, and yoga. Nintendo teased the existence of Ring Fit Adventure last week when the company unveiled a strange ring peripheral for the Switch without explaining what it was, leading many to speculate a brand new game using it was being released, since it didn't appear to slot in to any pre-existing titles and felt like a strange fit as a stand-alone device.
Nintendo has a long history with using its consoles to help people get into shape. The most prominent example of this is Wii Fit, the game that moved scores of Wii units into households on the premise that it was a video game that would actually benefit people's long-term physical health. That game has left a lasting impression on the industry and even cemented the Wii Fit Trainer's status as a Smash Ultimate character, and it makes sense that with the success of the Switch, Nintendo would look ahead to the next step in games that blend fitness into traditional video game entertainment.
In Ring Fit Adventure, players will require the aforementioned ring and a leg strap to play, with both housing a Joy-Con controller. These devices will help the game read its player's movements - running in-game is triggered by jogging on the spot, for example, while flying requires players to mimic birds and flap their arms. As an RPG, there will also be battles with monsters that are simplified turn-based mechanics mixed with fitness poses and positions. The game has four attack types that each work out a different area of the body, and are effective against monsters that correspond to those attacks. Ring Fit Adventure was announced in a video earlier today, and releases on October 18, 2019.
The campaign mode will be broken up into levels called courses which give players experience points as they're completed, unlocking new skills and advancing the player into more difficult levels. It's a basic premise, but when paired with fitness-based gameplay, it makes a lot of sense - players will need to master the easier workout routines before progressing to more challenging ones. Other than the campaign mode, there will also be something called Quick Play mode that has a bunch of mini-games for short workouts or, even more interestingly, for local multiplayer.
Ring Fit Adventure is exactly the sort of game fans have come to expect from Nintendo's brand of innovative design. In theory, it sounds like a fun successor to Wii Fit that could move a lot of holiday Nintendo Switch units, but it remains to be seen just how much staying power this sort of conceit has. It's also worth noting that the game requires detachable Joy-Con controllers, meaning those who want to pick up a Nintendo Switch Lite and this game will need to spring for extra hardware, too.