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Walk It Out
The Bottom Line
A fabulous way to get the whole family walking.
Video games are frequently bashed as contributing to children's lack of exercise, but Walk It Out does the opposite. To play this video game, you have to walk. And the game makes walking so much fun that kids will do it for hours.

Walk It Out is the brainchild of Konami, the video game company who pioneered the Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) craze. Like DDR games, you can play Walk It Out by using a DDR dance mat, but it also works equally as well using just the Wii remote with an attached nunchuk stuck into your pocket or waistband. Another option is to walk on the Wii Balance Board, but that choice doesn't permit enthusiastic walking.
To start, you create an avatar to represent yourself on the screen. As you walk in front of your TV in real life, your avatar walks around Rhythm Island. And here's where the fun begins. Rhythm Island is a large island full of interesting landscapes that include parks, beaches, urban environments, stadiums, and much more. There are other people walking in this virtual world and they frequently wave at you. As you walk, you will hear popular music, including The Black Eyed Peas' Boom Boom Pow and Demi Lovato's La La Land, and can opt to see the lyrics to the song scroll on the screen.

While the initial limited environment is fun to look at, the real hook to this game is that most of its content must be unlocked by walking. As you walk, you earn chips for steps that are in rhythm to the music playing. These chips can then be used to unlock new locations on the island, decorations (including trees, benches, signs, rainbows, buildings, landmarks, constellations that show up in a night sky, and more), additional song tracks, and the ability to change the time of day.
As you walk, you'll see your chip counter in the upper left hand corner. Floating in the air around you are little round capsules. If you use the Wii remote to point at a capsule, it will get bigger and tell you what is inside that capsule and how many steps you need to unlock it. For example, if you click on a palm tree capsule for 50 chips and you have that amount in your counter, a palm tree will magically grow right next to you. Some things, like new songs, hours of the day, and rainbows require that you collect multiple capsules before achieving that goal.

While it may seem dopey to turn on the Wii to walk, it is surprisingly engaging. All testers reported surprise at how long they were willing to walk. The game transports you into another world; and before you know it, you have walked for an hour. Things like having to look for and find the seven rainbow capsules motivate you to continue around another bend. And the pulsing music stimulates you to keep up your pace. An onscreen trainer also offers supportive comments and keeps track of your total steps, distance, and calories burned.
Walk It Out is rated E10+ by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) because some of the 120 song lyrics are suggestive and two of the three mini-games involve whacking humanoid-type figures. But families with young children, don't be turned off by this rating.

Walk It Out is definitely family-friendly for all ages, even kids as young as 3. You just need to tweak some of the game's options to make it work well with young kids. To avoid inappropriate songs, use the game's controls to set up your own playlists (there is even a Toddler Tunes list) and turn off the lyrics being displayed. To avoid the whacking, just don't play Whack-A-Slack or Smash 'n Run mini-games. You will also want to adjust the game's options about how precise your walking has to be with regard to the beat of the music, how easy it is to earn the capsules, and whether you want to have penalties for missing a beat. While the manual explains most of this, Konami has a more detailed manual at www.konami.com/support/manuals/walk-it-out/WIO_LONG_0825.pdf.
What makes Walk It Out special is that it creates a reason for kids to pound the pavement. A real plus is that two people can walk together. Parents may find pointing the Wii remote while walking to be challenging, but kids will find it a snap. So do it together and you'll both have fun bonding while getting in shape.

All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.

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Walk It Out
Company: Konami
Price: 29.99
Platforms: Wii