Wii Fit Plus
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Wii Fit Plus contains the original Wii Fit and adds more content. It can be purchased with the Wii Balance Board or as a separate disc if you already own the Wii Balance Board. This upgraded version provides 15 new games bringing the total activities to over 60 covering yoga, strength training, aerobics, and balance games. New to this version is the ability to create your own workout and to play multiplayer. By providing you with your own virtual trainer and encouraging you to play every day, Wii Fit Plus helps to make working out fun for all ages. Parents with kids who are sensitive about their body image need to know that this program uses Body Mass Index (BMI) to label users who have created profiles as either underweight, normal, overweight, or obese. For children, that label may be inaccurate because they are growing so fast. Parents concerned about this labeling can avoid it by having their kids play in Trial mode or in Multiplayer mode.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- following directions
Health & Fitness
- body awareness
Engagement, Approach, Support
Offering exciting games like skateboarding and snowball fighting, Wii Fit Plus is a terrific way to get your kids moving. They can also create their own workout.
Kids can learn about movement and body awareness by playing the exercises and activities. This game encourages kids to play together by taking turns on each exercise to compete for the higher score.
All activities come with a good visual tutorial. Creating your own workout would have been easier if you could have dragged-and-dropped individual exercises and games onto a timeline.
What's it about?
WII FIT PLUS contains the original Wii Fit game with expanded content and a navigational face-lift. The expanded content gives you 15 more balance and aerobic games, as well as 3 new Yoga poses and 3 new strength training exercises. The original Wii Fit has 40 activities, while this new expanded version has 60. Also new is the ability to see your calories burned during your play session. In terms of navigation, you can now personalize your workout so that you can exercise your way through a series of activities without having to break in between to deal with navigation screens. You can select from a series of options to build your own workout, including deciding its intensity and length of time. Some of the fun new games include an obstacle course where you time your running to avoid giant swinging balls (ala the popular Japanese game shows), and one where you flap your arms while leaning forward to fly onto targets set in the ocean.
Is it any good?
Yes, this is an improvement over the excellent Wii Fit. If you have been thinking about buying Wii Fit but haven't gotten around it yet, buy the Wii Fit Plus version that comes bundled with the Wii Balance Board for $99.99, which is only $10 more than the original. If you already own Wii Fit, you can buy just the new disc for $19.99. If you have kids, this decision is easy. $20 is a great price for the 15 additional games that will get your kids moving. Even adults will enjoy the games, although kids may be better at virtual skateboarding and snowball fighting. But don't get too keyed up over the multiplayer mode – it isn't head-to-head split screen. It is about taking turns and seeing whose score is better.
The ability to create your own workout is also an improvement, but this personalization isn't completely open. You cannot simply choose to string a series of the zany games together as a workout (which is what kids would love). Instead you have to target a body part or a type of exercise. Nonetheless, this is better than the original Wii Fit where you had to stop between each activity. Wii Fit Plus makes doing exercises fun and motivates both kids and adults to get up and get moving.
Families can talk about...
Do you find Wii Fit Plus made it easier for you to exercise? Is it easier to exercise when encouraged by a virtual trainer than when you try to do it on your own? How does this workout compare to other forms of exercise?
Wii Fit Plus offers multiplayer ability by letting players take turns one after another and then comparing scores. Did this kind of multiplayer gameplay work for you or do you prefer split screen head-to-head competition?
This game labels players that create a user profile as being underweight, normal, overweight, or obese based on the BMI Index, which may not be accurate for growing children. How does this labeling make you feel? Do you think girls or boys respond differently to this labeling?