A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
This game mixes high calorie-burning activity with gameplay. It doesn't feel like a "fitness" game because players mainly just dance along to a series of high-energy songs, but its focus on creating an intense workout shines through. The message of fun fitness comes across solidly, even though there are substantial shortcomings to the game's overall execution (detailed below in the "Is It Any Good?" section).
Positive Role Models
Although there is no real story to the game, players are introduced to Zumba Fitness instructors who encourage them to work out, be active, and get fit.
Ease of Play
Hard to play. In theory, this game should be easy to play for all users. On-screen commands are basic and because it's a Kinect game, it requires no controller. However, the game is rarely successful in recognizing even basic maneuvers like spins and arm thrusts. Compounding this is the fact that there is no fleshed-out tutorial in the game, leading to a gameplay experience that is unnecessarily difficult.
Products & Purchases
This game is based on the Zumba Fitness brand, which sells its own lines of fitness DVDs, exercise equipment, and workout clothes.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Zumba Fitness, an exergaming title for Xbox 360 Kinect, doesn't work well. While it should be a perfect game to get kids to be active and working out without even realizing they're "exercising," its poor execution of gameplay makes it a tough title to recommend. The game's collection of pumping, high-energy Latin music would make anyone want to get up and move, but there are other music-based dance/fitness games that function better.
Is It Any Good?
It would be extremely easy to recommend Zumba Fitness if it functioned as it is supposed to. However, even after hours of play we still had difficulty with the game recognizing our movements. As such, it ends up being an exercise in futility instead of providing an enjoyable exercise experience. Additionally, even though the game's selection of music is designed to be fun and easy to dance to, some players may dislike the lack of variety of musical genres. The game does offer a lot of interesting features, such as letting four players dance simultaneously, competing for the highest fitness level, and a variety of background scenery to mix it up. Too bad it is almost impossible for the game to pick up players' movements.
Online interaction: Up to four players can compete online, just like in the offline play modes. This motivates players to do the best they can against their peers and encourages the idea of being active with a group of friends.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.