As the Kinect gains in popularity more and more games are introduced to the market. I’m excited to take the time to review for you the games I have had the pleasure, or sometimes not the pleasure, to try myself. This weekend I had the chance to pop in Jillian Michael’s Fitness Adventure for the Kinect and give it a try with my daughter. Though this is a one player game I try out all games with my daughter, because she wouldn’t have it any other way. Before I start with my review and thoughts let’s give you a little background on what the game is about and provide you with a short clip of the graphics and game itself.
The latest iteration of the Jillian Michaels franchise that has sold more than a million units, Jillian Michaels Fitness Adventure takes your fitness routine beyond a classic workout, turning it into a true adventure through a mission-based journey set in a lush jungle environment. The high-energy motion-based experience offers intense, results-oriented personal training that you could only expect from teaming up with Jillian to achieve your fitness goals.
Jillian Michaels Fitness Adventure features include:
- Core Exercise Modes:
- Fitness Adventure Mode – featuring over 50 predefined circuits filled with freeform-style action (running, climbing and jumping) and plenty of surprises all set in a unique jungle temple environment. Reach for those bonus medallions along the way for extra points.
- Fitness Training – Select from ten predefined circuits with 12 exercises each that have been handpicked by Jillian to give you the best results based on your personal goals. Or create and save a custom built circuit by choosing from any of the exercises within the game.
- Social Integration: Check out how you stack up against your friends’ performance in the online leaderboards. Keep up the great work because Jillian will monitor the boards and honor the best performers on her Facebook page.
- Stats and Fitness Calendar: Review your performance on completed workouts and preview or change upcoming scheduled workouts in your training plan. See the number of Adventure Levels, Training Circuits, and Single Exercises completed, calories burned, and how much time you’ve put into each.
Shibley Smiles thoughts…
There are some pro’s and some con’s but for the most part I feel the pro’s out weigh the con’s. The game itself is a workout from the portions I have tried so far. I started out just learning a few exercise moves, well I knew the moves but wanted to see how the Kinect re-acted and read me. I started with some lunges, back kicks, sit-ups, push-ups, etc.
Once I got a feel for where it wanted me to stand (pretty far back) I moved on to the first option “The Circuit”.
Pro: When it comes to the exercises as a circuit you have two options. You can chose one of the many circuits that have been provided, or you can customize your own. I think it is a brilliant option to give you the ability to create your own routine, especially if there are certain exercises you are unable to do for medical or other reasons. I found the list of programed circuits to be bountiful and in vary in intensity. When you select a circuit you will see which exercises it includes. This along with the name of the circuit will give you an idea of how high or low the intensity will be for that program. Also the number of different programs gives you a variety of routines so that you do not get bored day to day.
Con: I found while both learning the exercise as well as participating in my first circuit that the Kinect had a harder time recognizing me when I was doing floor exercises such as crunches, push-ups, etc. I tried moving forward and back as well as re-positioning how I was facing the television but was not able to find the sweet spot. With that said the good part is despite the fact the Kinect did not recognize my moves it did not pause the game, so I still got the work out. The draw back was that my reps were not counted, the good part was the game continued to allow me to work out even though it could not recognize my participation. (Note: There is a little box in the right hand corner where you see yourself doing the exercise, I could see myself doing them, the Kinect just didn’t recognize as them being done correctly.)
The second option is the adventure mode.
Pro: I found this mode to be entertaining and a pretty good cardio workout. As with the circuit training there are various courses/options you can take so the game play is not the same each day. I decided to go with one, figuring it was the easier of the adventures. I ran in place while extending my arms to the right, left, and up to catch medallions. If you catch them while they are green it decreases your time, while red will increase it. I found that if you run quicker you can catch them green, if you start to slow down they start turning red. So the point is to keep up a good pace while running. During your run you will stop to do reps of various exercises such as lunges, squats, etc. These exercises on the screen initiate an action such as jumping over logs, raising a bridge, etc. In this mode if the Kinect does not read you, or you do it sloppy you will have to continue until you finish the reps and get past the obstacle. I had no problems with the Kinect reading me in this mode, when it didn’t it was because I was getting tired.
Con: I didn’t really find any con’s with this mode, it did have a hard time recognizing my daughter when she tried this mode and she became frustrated, however I feel this game is made for people older then six and the reason she was having a hard time is she wasn’t doing the exercises in the proper form or she was too short for the Kinect to recognize her action as correct.
Before you start the game you select your gamer profile so the information is saved for you. You will be given a screen where you can fill in your information: weight, height, age, etc. This my friends is the BIGGEST issue with the game, and I ENCOURAGE PR reps and the developers to please read this and take note.
CON: With a capital C the method of selecting your mode options and changing your information is the most infuriating method I have seen on the Kinect. So much so that my husband if this was his game would probably refuse to play. When selecting your option you have to move your hand up or down to first select the option, while you are doing this there is no hand or pointer on the screen to give you a sense of where you are in relation to what you are trying to select. In addition once you are able to finally get your hand to hover over the option you must then swipe your hand to the left across your body to select it. Not only does this not always work but often while you are swiping your hand moves up or down and you select the option above or below the option you are trying to chose.
When trying to increase my age and weight I found it almost impossible to find the spot I needed to do so. Also the lettering and coloring used during this phase is not easy to read. Yellow is the primary color used and many times I had to get closer to the screen to read it, this was not due to eyesight but the light yellow against the light background. It would be great if in a future version they made the contract between the words and the background much more noticeable so the words stand out.
In the case with my daughters information we simply had to give up as we could not find the spot to decrease her age no matter how hard we tried.
My Recommended Changes:
- Please use contrasting colors wherever there is a need to read
- Please include an on screen indicator of where your hand is during the selection process, so that you can easily select the correct option
- Please change from a swiping action to a hover action
These are minor changes that we feel are needed to improve the enjoyment of the game overall. These actions don’t really have anything to do with the game play or intensity of the work out however they can become very frustrating before you even start and can cause a person to give up before they start.
Despite these few changes my overall impression of the game is good. I feel the workout I can receive is excellent, at least in the shape I am currently in, and plan on utilizing this on a weekly basis to have fun while being active.
Shibley Smiles Review Opinions:
Price: The price of a Jillian Michael’s Fitness Adventure Kinect at Amazon is currently $29.99. We find this price to be on par with what we would expect to pay and worth the price of the overall quality and enjoyment.
Age Recommendation: Our age recommendation is teen and above. Anyone who knows proper form when exercising.
Disclaimer: I received the above product(s) at no cost to me by the company or representing PR agency. Opinions are my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. You may read more of my disclosure.