(Photo courtesy of Sebastian Fritzon on Flickr)
(Photo courtesy of Sebastian Fritzon on Flickr)


Okay, you caught me. I am painfully uncoordinated, so when I bought the game “Just Dance,” it reminded me of many middle school nights being whooped at “Dance Dance Revolution” in my best friend’s basement.

I admit that the game was fun, especially when your seventh grade crush isn’t laughing at all your misses. Even more beneficial, I actually worked up a sweat playing it for an hour. My mom and I now use it as a nice, low-impact cardio work out. So, inspired by the innovation in movement in video games, this week I am going do a review on “workout games.” I use the term “workout games” very loosely because not all of these are designed to be fitness oriented, but do make you get up and move (unlike “Call of Duty”).

The Michael Jackson Experience
Sony Playstation Move

  • Pros:
    • Excellent graphics
    • Great Songs (If you like Michael Jackson)
    • Great arm workout
  • Cons:
    • Tracking is very sensitive
    • Does not give warning of move changes
    • Dances are difficult to learn

Alright, I am going to come out and say it: I don’t care for this game very much, but it’s not because of the moves. It’s because I am really competitive and cannot get a high score to save my life. In the tradition of the King of Pop, a lot of moves are done by arms, and legs are not given as much attention. The moves (if you can do them) are just like the video, and playing the Thriller level is an absolute must. Overall, if you are looking to tone your arms, and have light cardio, this is the game for you.

Nintendo Wii

  • Pros:
    • Gives you a custom workout plan and manages your progress
    • Has a lot of expansion packs
    • Fun and cute graphics
  • Cons:
    • Gives you an age
    • Less sensitive than PSM and Kinect, so makes it easy to cheat

This game is definitely a must if you have a Wii. If you need the extra kick in the pants or are a frequent gamer then this game is for you, because it keeps a log in its memory. The step level really does give the same amount of work that a step class at gym will offer, except instead of top 40 remixes you get the cutesy, Wii music. Unlike Michael, you will get a full body workout, and you get the option of strength training. Although they try to adjust for it, the Wii board and remote are a little less sensitive (since it is a sensor bar rather than a camera that tracks your movements), so there are ways to cheat (like swinging your arms for the trail run instead of jogging in place). Overall, the game still holds up and is fun to play.

Eyetoy: Play
Sony Playstation 2 (plus Eyetoy bundle)

  • Pros:
    • C-H-E-A-P
    • No remote control, makes it harder to cheat
    • Simple to connect and operate
    • Fun and unusual games
  • Cons:
    • Old game
    • Tracking is not great
    • Needs a well-lit room
    • Almost impossible to find in stores, must order online

This one is for all you retro-gamers or people who refuse to upgrade to the PS3. This game came out in 2003, as a result of people fearing that video games were creating a new generation of couch potatoes. I was twelve when this game was released and what I remembered most was the Wishi Washi and the boxing games, which if you take seriously can be a cardio workout. If you don’t, it is still an awesome party game. This system is dirt cheap because it is so old and you can get the Eyetoy camera, two games and pay for shipping for less than 20 dollars on Amazon. Also, the Eyetoy camera doubles as a webcam alternative.