Game or exercise? The games where you literally have to race if you want to win

Staying in shape is not an easy task, especially during times of quarantine on COVID-19, a time when most of the country’s gyms are closed or have limited activities. For those who enjoy playing games, the good news is that there are multiple ways to burn calories while having fun at the same time. We’re talking about games that literally require you to sweat to win.

The modality is not new. Many consoles had accessories that focused on fitness, such as the Wii itself and Nintendo’s Wii Fit kit (for fitness). Now technologies like smartphones, virtual reality, and even omnidirectional treadmills promise to drive the idea forward.

Check out some of the coolest games and projects for anyone looking to get in shape with video games!

Discover the games that make you sweat to win

Ringfit adventure

Platform: Nintendo Switch

In continuation of the Wii Fit idea, Nintendo recently launched the Ring Fit Adventure. This game has been described as an action, adventure, and movement RPG with the aim of giving players the actual practice.

The game comes with a curious accessory, a type of tire to which you attach one of the Nintendo Switch’s Joycon controls. The other controller is attached to your leg. From there, Ring Fit Adventure begins to recognize your movements and prompts you to “run quietly” in order to move your character.

This game has been described as an action RPG.

As players progress a little, they will face a range of obstacles and enemies that can only be defeated with certain exercises such as squats and sit-ups. The difficulty levels determine how much effort you need to put in and how much time you need in each position.

With its infrared sensors, the controller can read your heartbeat every lap. The game even detects how well you did each exercise and gives tips on how to improve. If you stick to your game and fight for a high score, you can be sure that you will end up dripping with sweat.

It is certainly one of the best ways to do physical activity at home today without trauma.

Pokémon GO!

Platform: Android and iOS

Fever all over the world, Pokémon GO has the mass hunt. Developed by Niantic, the game uses augmented reality to turn streets into hiding places for creatures.

In order to find the Pokémon, players will actually have to go through the streets and fight against all the creatures that appear on the street. The game counts your steps and encourages you to explore your city.

The game counts your steps and encourages you to explore your city.

We’re just leaving a warning: if you’re playing games to work on the physical part, you’re not cheating on your car, are you? If you drive a car, don’t play pokemon!

Just dance

Platform: Nintendo Switch

Once one of Kinect’s hottest games, Just Dance found Nintendo Switch joycons to keep the fun going. This is where you have to hold the controls and do all the dance steps if you want to win.

The hottest songs will make you sweat. The best part is, the calories go away with a lot of fun.

Zombies, run!

Platform: Android and iOS

If you want to survive, you better run! Zombies, Run is a very fun app / game where you have to hit daily step goals to avoid being devoured alive by the game’s zombies. There are several quests to complete and a narrative to keep you updated.

Be prepared for lots of monster warnings on your tail. This is the time to step on the gas to end your workout with a little fun.

Zwift Run and Zwift Bike

Platform: Android and iOS

Free and available for smartphones, Zwift apps are really a way to ease the tension while exercising by projecting your real-world movements into the virtual world. You download the app and take part in a number of in-game events, with an avatar that behaves according to your pedaling or walking pace.

On the app screen you can still find the race times (if you participate in events), the heart rate and other gamification details that you can look forward to the training time.

An even crazier idea: Virtuix ‘Omni

Virtual Reality is a completely insane technology that is capable of tricking our brains and creating the illusion that we are in another world. But what if we could actually run in games? This is the suggestion of Virtuix Omni, an omnidirectional treadmill that allows you to move about in games the way you really do, all with the convenience of not leaving your seat.

The technology is still being improved, but tests with games such as GTA and Call of Duty Modern Warfare are already underway. It’s a preview of the future of gaming.

And for those who don’t have it all …

The Virtuix omnidirectional treadmill is not exactly an affordable product. But that doesn’t have to limit your physical activity. It just takes a little knowledge and creativity. At least the YouTuber Allen Pan was trying to prove: The boy was so addicted to Death Stranding that he thought, why not use a real treadmill to control the character on the screen?

Allen took a discarded treadmill and, with a little patience, built a mechanism, relays and potentiometers, which recognizes his real steps and implements them rudimentary for the game, with a pirate control as a test object.

The result? Sweat a lot and laugh with friends. The project still needs improvement, but YouTuber has proven that it is possible to get good results even without special equipment.

However, we still recommend mobile apps. They’re simpler and seem safer, aren’t they?