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 application uses an animated female model to demonstrate various Pilates techniques for players to try at home. As she goes through the poses, she offers helpful advice like "Imagine you have an accordion between your hands. Open up the accordion as you inhale, then close it as you exhale." While it's quite thorough, kids could also benefit from attending actual Pilates classes to get interactive feedback from a real instructor, who can observe and correct improper techniques. Unlike other fitness games, this one does not ask players to input their height or weight.
What's it about?
LET'S PILATES! is a fitness application for the Nintendo DS that teaches people about Pilates, a workout regimen that can improve core strength and posture. Players watch a female instructor demonstrate dozens of different Pilates exercises like the Seal, Swandive, and Shoulder Bridge and then try the moves themselves in their own living room.
In Quick Pilates mode, players can select a long 18-minute routine or short 3-minute routine based on goals like Tighten Your Waist, Tone Your Legs, or Flexible Hips. My Sets lets players create a customized routine by selecting exercises of their choice which can be stored. Challenge mode is where players master new exercises to unlock extras like new outfits and mats for the instructor, tips about how to incorporate Pilates into daily life, and trivia about the history of Pilates. A calendar keeps track of how many minutes are spent on exercising each day.
Is it any good?
Although it can't replace the expertise and real-time feedback of a human instructor, Let's Pilates does an admirable job of using an animated model to demonstrate each exercise in several steps complete with instructions presented in both text and voice-over. The atmosphere is relaxing and the background music is pleasant, making Let's Pilates a more than passable substitute if you'd rather do Pilates at home instead of signing up for classes. The voice-overs and visuals mean that even younger players can follow along with the instructions, and they'll appreciate the game-like unlockable tasks in Challenge mode.
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