A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a workout program for the Wii rather than a game. While there are sports minigames incorporated into some of the fitness programs, the focus of this product is working out. While more serious than Wii Fit (which introduced the Wii Balance Board), EA Sports Active incorporates the use of the Wii Balance Board in some of its exercises. With a two-player, split screen option, this is a good program for a parent and child to use together.
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- Kids say
What's it about?
Touted as a \"personal trainer in a box,\" EA SPORTS ACTIVE is a compilation of more than 30 different physical fitness activities that can be combined in different ways to provide you with varied daily workouts. Joining you on your quest for fitness is your own virtual personal trainer (either female or male -- your choice), who both instructs and encourages you as you exercise. Also helping to motivate you is fitness guru Bob Greene of Oprah fame. The activities focus on three areas: cardio fitness (running, walking, high steps, and kick-ups modules), sports activities (tennis, boxing, dance, volleyball, basketball, inline skating, and baseball), and upper and lower body muscle training (lunges, bicep curls, squats, etc). For the latter, the game comes bundled with a resistance band and a special thigh strap to hold the nunchuk control. Some of these exercises can also incorporate the use of the Wii balance board, but it is not mandatory.
The game comes with a 30 Day Challenge of preset workouts which can be explored on three levels of intensity. Or you can select your daily workout from the over 60 preset workouts created by fitness experts. There is also an option to create your own workout by dragging and dropping exercises into a timeline. Families can even workout together because the preset or custom workouts can be explored by two players, each with their own personal trainer on the screen at the same time. This two-player option requires the purchase of an EA Sports Accessory Pack (for $20), which includes an extra resistance band and thigh strap.
Is it any good?
This program is perfect for families who are serious about exercise. While the overall vibe of the activities is less fun than Wii Fit, the presence of your own personal trainer really motivates you to exercise. Plus the ability to create your own workout is a real plus for kids because they can select the sports minigames and dancing to get them moving. And they can do all this exercise with a buddy or a parent. By using the enclosed thigh strap to hold the nunchuk, the game is able to register your motions accurately so that, for example, when you squat, so does your avatar; and if you're not squatting down enough, your trainer will notice and comment.
One of the complaints about using Wii Fit with kids is that it can inappropriately label kids as being "overweight" or "obese" based on the adult BMI index. Unlike Wii Fit, EA Sports Active doesn't track weight, rather is focuses on calories burned, hours working out, and the number of workout sessions you have completed over a period of time. A small complaint is that you can not make your onscreen avatar look like a kid -- all avatars are adults. Bottom Line: If you liked Wii Fit, you will love EA Sports Active.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.