Shape Up review

New Year Resolutions, did you set any this year? Lose Weight? Get Fit? Play more games? If that’s the case I may have the perfect game for you and it actually will help with all three. All you need is a Kinect Sensor, a well lit room and a copy of Ubisoft’s get fit title Shape up.

Exclusive to Xbox One, Shape Up combines a foundation of proven fitness methods with fun mini games to make it feel like you are not really exercising. The first thing you’ll notice is that game looks like it’s been taken over by a 5-year old overdosing on Haribo but it suit the game perfectly, there is plenty of energy buzzing around and it’s exactly what you are going to need.

There are a couple of ways to play the game, you can jump in and take on specific mini games, but to get the most benefits you are better off taking on a four week challenge. The challenges give you a boss to take on at the end of the program while spending the weeks leading up to the finale by working out through the different games. Every time you complete an exercise you earn bolts, and once you reach a quote for a week you can then start to build up a streak, it’s a good way to encourage players to keep coming back, there is also an achievement for getting a streak of 24.

For the most part these are quite fun, one game Piano Step involves the player stepping on piano keys as they light up to music, it certainly gets your blood pumping and proves a test for your co-ordination skills. Other games involve Squatting to the Moon, Arctic Punch and Stunt Run. The different games are designed to work different parts of your body and if you play three or four games in a row you’ll come away feeling like you have done some exercise. My favourite game, Push ‘em up was actually demoed at E3 and at the time I thought it looked quite brutal. It turns out I was right. The aim of the game is to do as many push ups as possible, as you do this items of increasing weights are placed on your back, the heavier the item the more press-ups that are required to lift it, the game is also rather cruel by making you freeze at random times in the game.

Each of the games has you put up against an AI or against someone else in the room, you can choose how intense the levels should be (low – medium – high) before being shown a tutorial by one of the hyperactive instructors, they will also pop up at random times to give you words of wisdom, I found them pretty annoying to be honest but they did suit Shape Up’s style. At the end of each game you are rewarded bolts before being able to record a victory dance that can be used against your opposition.

Kinect was a bit of a mixed bag for me, it handled fairly well but it would often tell me that the game was having trouble seeing me when I tried to add my eldest into the game things just got worse, despite having a large room with plenty of light. I did like how they decided to put a real time version of you in the game as opposed to an avatar, hopefully over time people will see actual benefits if they put the effort in.

These sort of games are a bit like Marmite, some love them some don’t. As time went on I began to really enjoy the game despite the camera issues, it’s bright, in your face but actually makes exercise really good fun. It’s a shame there aren’t as many challenges to take on but you won’t be surprised to hear you can purchase DLC to increase that number. If you are looking for something to get you active this is a great alternative to the much more serious Xbox Fitness.

Thanks to Xbox for supplying TiX with a download code

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