Title: Zumba: Burn it Up
Developer: Kuju Games
Publisher: 505 Games
Genre: Fitness, Rhythm, Dance
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: 3+
Release Date: 22/11/2019
Price: £34.99 Rapid Reviews was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
Get your dancing shoes on and prepare to sweat. Not a very appealing tagline, but it is certainly appropriate.
Zumba was all the rage several years ago, and while it may have been displaced among the more talked about fitness crazes, the game franchise that has been hanging on through several different console generations now, but is it riding on the coattails of the Just Dance train, or does it stand on its own two feet as a valid form of both workout and entertainment?
Keep reading this rapid review to find out.
Feel the Rhythm
When thinking about the audio and visuals of a game like this, you need to think from a different perspective than if you were reviewing an action RPG or a top-down dungeon crawler. Why? Because it is not a game, but rather a fitness experience, and that comes with a different base set of requirements.
Visually, there is nothing mind-blowing about Zumba on the Nintendo Switch. However, that doesn’t mean it is bad. I really enjoyed the look and feel of this game. The tutorials were energetic, both from the instructors to the colorful backgrounds that accompanied each song.
It was nice that the instructors are real people rather than computer animations, and although it does have an interesting finish to the ‘graphics’ it is once again a matter of remembering you are not playing a game.
From an audio perspective, you can expect the soundtrack for the game to be impressive, and it does not disappoint. I am not a music aficionado, so I have no idea if the songs are licensed or created for the game, but they did their job well, and got you pumped up and moving to the beat. If you were going to liken Zumba to any game genre then it would be a rhythm game, and each track is energetic and brings a different flavor.
For those that play the game extensively the limited number of tracks could become a bit repetitive but then again, that actually helps as the more familiar you are with the beats the better results you will get trying to hit the right moves to accompany them. It is a double-edged sword in the regard.
Hips Just Don’t Lie
I have not played any of the previous installments in this series, but I get the impression that not much changes from one to the other.
You have your songs or workouts and the instructor onscreen and that is it. It’s a very simple finish but one that is used to good effect, and, if we are being honest, I don’t see how you could ask for, or expect, anything more.
You have three core options:
- Single Tracks
- Full Workouts
- Fitness Party
I focused primarily on the first two, running through most of the different tracks before I hit the workouts. These come in options of short medium and long, ranging from 15 to 45 minutes. These are essentially just multiple single tracks played in a set selection.
I enjoyed both modes of play and depending on what my daily goals were, I spent my time on one or the other with equal pleasure. My kids were more for the solo tracks as they soon developed their favorites and set about trying to best each other’s scores.
While a workout/fitness game at its core, I would argue there is a good party game in here to. I can see people cracking this game out when their mates are round, having a few drinks and a laugh as you try and our score one another in either solo or group rounds. Maybe not the point, but certainly a nifty second-tier audience.
I do think the game would have benefited from a little more introduction to things. As it stands you make a profile simple by clicking create and then you are off.
The menu is straight forward and does what is needed, but there is no welcome wagon to ease you into things. No tutorial or warm-up routine, other than the warmup songs which had me flailing around like a madman as I tried my best to interpret what I was seeing on screen. I’m sure they work on the assumption their target audience knows either the previous games or has experience in Zumba or dancing, but still, something to help ease you into things would have been appreciated.
The Quest for Badges and Streaks
Badges give me those badges. As a fan of collectables, I like that Zumba gives you different badges to help you track your progress.
Now I do wish you could do more with your profile than just select a logo badge, but I am a big fan of all the stat tracking and monitoring. Seeing records against different songs and streaks really pulls me in and gets me pushing to better my previous scores.
The stats, while not collectibles in traditional terms, were certainly another pull of the game. Checking them and seeing your time creeping up, the calories burned, and your accuracy average certainly helped push you on to try just one more routine to see if you could beat yourself or hit that next milestone.
Keeping Your Groove Going
Replayability is the name of the game, well, technically its Zumba, but you know what I mean. The game doesn’t have a story mode, but rather offers you a series of opportunities to have some fun and get in shape. It’s a little different from your standard console games.
Depending on the reasons you have for picking it up, you will have varying calls for replays. Personally, I had a great time throwing myself around like a fish out of water in an attempt to call it dancing and will definitely keep playing the game. If not for the workouts but because it was great quality time with my kids.
It would be nice to have some DLC coming through for it, with new dances or something to keep it fresh, but with new additions to this series coming on a yearly basis, I don’t really see that happening.
Zumba achieved several things. It reminded me that I am both unfit and uncoordinated. Hips don’t lie but apparently, they do like to pop and crack when made to dance. The jokes aside, Zumba provided me and my family with hours of entertainment and gave us a good workout to boot.
It’s not perfect and could do with a few more things, like an explanation on the game mechanics and a bit of an introduction to the moves and such, but then again, once you have run through a couple of songs it because pretty self-apparent what is required of you.
Zumba is a good addition to the Switch library, and whether you are a collector, a fitness fan or just curious by nature, I don’t see you being disappointed by what this title has to offer.