A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Zumba Burn It Up! is a dance/exercise game available exclusively for the Nintendo Switch. Players choose their dance style and mimic the moves and instructions of live routines from Zumba instructors, all to the tune of over thirty different musical tracks. Players can set personal goals and track their progress, doing "classes" alone or with up to three other players. The game's generally acceptable for all ages, though a few of the songs do have mild profanity and make vague references to drug use.
What's it about?
It's time to hit the dance floor and burn some calories in ZUMBA BURN IT UP!. Players can take the popular exercise program out of the gym and into your home … or anywhere else for that matter, thanks to the portability of the Nintendo Switch. You'll choose your style and pick your routine with a selection of more than thirty songs, from original Zumba tracks to hits by top artists such as Cardi B. and Ciara. You've got the option to work out alone or start a dance party with up to three friends, using the Joy-Con controllers to follow along with live videos by top instructors as they encourage you while you work towards reaching your own personal fitness goals.
Is it any good?
One part dance party, one part aerobics class, Zumba has been a staple of many gyms for the past two decades. Zumba Burn It Up! gives players the opportunity to get their cardio in from the comfort of their own homes, or anywhere else they choose, thanks to the portability of the Switch console. Just how effective it is, though, heavily relies on what the player's looking to accomplish, as well as how they choose to play the game. At its core, the game's little more than a collection of live action video lessons with instructors encouraging players regardless of what they might actually be doing. It's an overlay on top of the videos that actually gives players feedback on their performance, which can cause a heavy disconnect when the two don't seem to mesh. It just feels off to hear how great you're doing from the instructor while the game's telling you the exact opposite.
The way Zumba Burn It Up! measures your performance brings up another issue. While the Joy-Con controllers are great for measuring basic movements, there's no way for them to register exactly what you body position is. Players just looking for a high score can run through just about the entire library of routines without ever getting off the couch. It's just a matter of mimicking certain movements and angles with the Joy-Cons to the correct rhythm. While this is more about the player than it is about the game, it's still becomes an issue when a lack of any real effort is potentially rewarded. It doesn't help that those "rewards" don't do much to measure genuine progress outside of time played and calories counts. Aside from this, Zumba Burn It Up! is essentially an average dance party on the go.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the importance of physical activity. What are some of the health benefits to having physical activity as a part of your regular routine? What are some good examples of ways to get exercise daily?
What are some of the ways that video games can be used to help keep gamers more physically active?
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