Developer: Blitz Games
Release Date: Out Now
The Biggest Loser - Ultimate Workout is the latest game based on the highly successful ‘Biggest Loser’ weight loss and fitness TV series. It offers more than 125 exercises, allowing you to focus on your upper or lower body, as well as specially designed moves for cardio fitness, yoga-based strengthening and stretching exercises and even a bit of stress-relieving cardio boxing. You can choose from 10 pre-set fitness programs such as ‘Belly Buster’ or ‘Boot Camp’, or select your favourite moves and custom build a routine to suit you. Along the way you’ll be encouraged and lead in each exercise session by a personal trainer, either Bob Harper or Jillian Michaels, and several former contestants from the TV series pop up to add their encouragement too.
You start by scanning your body shape and measurements into the game. Fortunately you are given the chance to amend any measurements the scan gets wrong (otherwise I would have started with a 40-inch neck!), but the good thing about inputting your details is that you instantly feel a connection with the game—and you get a real, ’Hey that’s me!’ feeling. You input your age and weight, the game tests your initial ability with a few exercises and then suggests a level of difficulty for you, and areas to focus on.
The actual exercises work well—unless you are already fairly fit, you will get out of breath and your body movements appear on screen so you can see how well (or how badly!) you’re doing. The trainer will encourage you and occasionally check that you are coping OK and don’t need a rest or a drink. This does mean you end up shouting your replies like a breathless maniac—so don’t try and sneak down to do this in the middle of the night when the rest of the family are asleep!
You can record a video diary to track your progress and you set your own goals, such as how long you want to exercise and how often. Then you can monitor your progress and check your results using the Body Analyser. You can enhance your workout by incorporating resistance bands, a stability Ball or Weights and the game also offers tasty healthy recipes for you to follow to improve your diet.
An online link up mode means you have the option to get together with up to 3 other players, to workout together and congratulate and motivate each other.
Although the initial set-up can be a bit fiddly, Biggest Loser - Ultimate Workout uses the Kinect effectively and the Body Scan adds a real sense of involvement because you receive immediate feedback and encouragement to carry on if you’re starting to fade. You will need a lot of room; some exercises require you to lie down and stretch out and make sure you check above as well so you don’t damage yourself on the ceiling light. On the down side, the repetitious comments from the trainers can get irritating fairly quickly, but if you respond well to constant but gentle support and have a plenty of room to move about in your designated play-space/living room then this one’s definitely worth a look.
- It’s fun to see your on-screen shape. - Kinect response is excellent. - Real encouragement if you need it. - Plenty of variation in the exercises. - Some tasty recipes to give you a few healthy eating ideas.
- The start up process and menus are a bit fiddly. - Trainers’ voices get irritating fairly quickly. - As with all Kinect games, you need PLENTY of room to play.