The original Wii Fit introduced the Wii Balance Board controller, a rectangular wireless device that looks like an outsized bathroom scale. When you stand on it, this device tracks your weight and shifts in your balance. This information forms the basis around which Nintendo built the fitness games and exercises that makeup both Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus. The content includes Yoga, strength training exercises, aerobics, and balance games.
The features new to Wii Fit Plus include the ability to track of the number of calories burned during your workout session, create a personalized workout from a series of exercises without stopping in between, play in multiplayer mode, and select from pre-set workouts to target specific areas of your body. Also new to this version is the ability to keep track of your pet or baby's weight.
As for new content, Wii Fit Plus adds 15 more balance games, three new yoga poses and three new strength training exercises. This new content, when combined with the original 40 activities, brings the total activities to more than 60.
In the new balance games, you'll find "Rhythm Parade" where you march to the beat on the Balance Board while matching arm movements (holding the Wii remote and the nunchuk) that scroll down screen. Also good is the "Obstacle Course," where you have to run through a course that features giant swinging balls. If your timing is off, the ball whacks you out into the water. For a wacky game, try "Bird's-Eye Bull's Eye," where you lean forward on the Wii Balance Board while flapping your arms to control your bird avatar. The goal is to fly to and then land on giant targets set in the ocean. Silly? Yes. Kind of fun? You bet.
Is this new expansion any good? Yes. If you have been thinking about buying "Wii Fit" but haven't gotten around it yet, Wii Fit Plus is definitely an improvement over Wii Fit. You will want to buy the version that comes bundled with the Wii Balance Board for $99.99, which is only $10 more than the original. You get more activities, and unlike the original game, where you had to play to unlock all of the activities, with Wii Fit Plus, all the activities are available from the get-go.
If you already own Wii Fit, you can buy just the new disc for $19.99. If you have kids, this decision is easy. That is a great price for the 15 additional games that will get your kids moving. Even adults will enjoy the games, although kids may be better at virtual skateboarding and snowball fighting. But don't get too keyed up over the multiplayer mode – it isn't head-to-head split screen. It is about taking turns and seeing whose score is better.
Even if you are a workout maven, you'll be interested in this version. One of the problems with the original Wii Fit was that you couldn't string together a series of exercises without having to pause for menu screens. Nintendo has fixed that problem by letting you design your own exercise routine in two ways. By selecting the "Wii Fit Plus Routines", you can decide how to combine 12 "Wii Fit Plus Routines" into a personal workout. Each "Wii Fit Plus Routine" is made up of three activities, which are grouped together to target something specific, like areas of the body (ie. hips or arms) or the kind of workout you want. If you choose "Relax," the three activities will be stretching, whereas if you select "Leaner Mii," you'll be doing movement activities like hula- hooping and power walking. Depending on how many of 12 Routines you string together, you can create a short or a long workout. But you cannot simply drop and drag from all of the 60-plus activities to make your workout. The other way to construct your workout is to choose the "My Routine" option, where you can drag and drop from all of the Yoga and strength training exercises. But with this option, you'll miss the aerobics and balance games. Personalization is there, it just isn't completely open.
All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.