Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Instead of Wii Fit, Nintendo should have called its new game Wii Posture. While the game advertises a well-rounded workout, its strength lies in the balance board that comes with it, and what the balance board does best is help you stand straight and still. As you practice yoga poses and toning activities, you focus on a tiny red dot that charts how well you can hold your center of balance. The skiing and tightrope games that should cap off your workout give just a taste of where this could lead: games that challenge your poise, your strength, and most of all, your concentration.

In spite of the high price, Wii Fit comes off like a budget title. While the exercises don't need a fancy presentation, Wii Fit should have given users more instruction on a useful regimen. You can't string activities together, which means you'll have to keep picking up the Wii-mote and clicking through to the next bite-sized exercise. And forget about a digital Jane Fonda: Your trainer doesn't even have moving lips.


But get over those shortcomings, and Wii Fit will grow addictive. The exercises get longer and more challenging every day. On the aerobics activities, bright visuals help you forget that you're jogging in place or doing step aerobics alone. And of the four types of exercise, yoga is the best. It's surprisingly entrancing, one of the few times in a video game that inner peace beats constant twitching.

Beyond the game: Like Nintendo's other wrinkle-ware hit, Brain Age, Wii Fit reaches out to older gamers by assigning them an insultingly high fitness age and challenging them to claw their way out of the grave.

Worth playing for: While the game does its best to motivate you, nothing is as satisfying as seeing other players' high scores and trying your damnedest to beat them.

Frustration sets in when: You may have to pick up and set down the Wii-mote several times just to get an activity started; the balance board should have an "A" button to keep you in the zone.

Final judgment: A simple home-exercise kit that gets better the longer you stick with it—and you will, right?