Zumba, the wildly popular Latin dance-workout, has become a global phenomenon in the last couple of years. It’s a hit with both men and women as an exciting and enjoyable way to exercise the whole body.
Since gaining so much popularity, video game producers have been working hard on making Zumba games for consoles, which aim to provide all the fun and exercise of a Zumba class in your own living room. Here are my three quick reviews of some of the best Zumba video games that should help you decide which one to buy.
Zumba Fitness was the first Zumba game to hit the consoles, and has been selling like hot-cakes ever since. It features a few modes that include a learn-the-moves mode and a Zumba class mode. These form the backbone of the game, but they are supported by the stat tracking that helps you keep tab on your progress and achievements.
Probably the best thing about this game is that it really does get you up and moving just like a real Zumba class. If you aren’t doing the moves right you’ll be getting bad scores in the game, so you’ll be motivated to get that body moving!
With a great selection of Latin grooves to dance to, you’ll feel like you’re doing the real thing. However, there are some downsides. For those who pay attention to graphics, you’ll notice a lot is left to be desired here. Calling the graphics basic is, by today’s standards, an understatement.
Another problem which many have is that the game is really tough for beginners. That’s because the tutorials aren’t very good. Those who persevere might be able to pick up the dance moves with time, but it can be a frustrating process.
Generally this is a good game that will suit those with some existing Zumba experience best. For others, there are alternative Zumba games that are better at getting you started.
Zumba Fitness 2
Although the first Zumba Fitness game still sells really well, the sequel has also been around for a while. In Zumba Fitness 2, the game designers have tried to address some of the biggest issues with the original game, while offering an improved general experience.
This title offers four basic modes that include Single Song, Zumba Class, Zumba Party and Learn The Steps.
Single Song allows you to choose one track to dance your heart out to, Zumba Class is a set track list that’s designed to give you a proper Zumba workout, Zumba Party lets two friends play together, and Learn The Steps gives you the chance to pick up some of the basic Zumba moves.
While the previous title in the series was a great start, Zumba Fitness 2 really ups the ante, and will have you dripping with sweat and shed calories! With a 3D dance instructor showing you all the moves on screen as you go along, it’s much easier to pick up the moves in this title than the previous version.
This game offers an increased number of songs – the total now up to 32 – which includes a few popular hits.
Some people may find the lack of familiar tracks a little strange, but will quickly see that the music that’s included is there to make your Zumba workout more motivational and give it the flavor of Latin flair that’s made Zumba the craze it has become.
The bright flashing effects used in this game might put some users off, and will make it unsuitable for sufferers of epilepsy. Also, this title lacks a timer to let you know how long your workout has left to go – a complaint already made of the original game.
However, on the whole this game is a vast improvement over its predecessor – one that’s much better placed for beginners to Zumba and that expands on the originals already great offering. It makes a terrific gift.
Zumba Rush comes from the same game developers as Zumba Fitness 1 and 2. Naturally enough, Rush aims to build on the successes of the previous games while adding some original content too.
There are a few innovations in this title. The first of these is how it teaches you to improve your moves. Thanks to the motion sensing of the Kinect on Xbox, the game can tell which parts of your body are doing the actions correctly. As a result, it shows the part of your body that missed a move in red, helping you to work on your moves more effectively.
Another innovation offered in Zumba Rush is the option to make your own playlist. Choosing from an increased number of songs than was offered in the older Zumba Fitness games, you can now compile up to 12 tracks to make a custom playlist. This is great for motivation, as it allows you to get a workout that caters to your taste.
Speaking of working out, this title is definitely the most engaging of the Zumba games. The bright lights, exciting backgrounds and great scoring system work to really motivate you and work up a huge sweat. You’ll be burning off calories, toning your muscles and improving your heart’s health in no time.
There are a few minuses to this title, some of which are shared by the previous Zumba titles too: the lack of a timer to tell you how long you have left is one of these, and the bright flashing lights may be off-putting to some and unsuitable for sufferers of epilepsy.
However, overall this is a great Zumba title that picks up your moves well and delivers a thoroughly entertaining experience.
All of these Zumba titles are worth buying, especially if you’re a big Zumba fan. For those new to Zumba, you’re better off sticking to Zumba Fitness 2 or Zumba Rush as both of these give a better introduction to the Zumba dance moves. However, all three provide a fantastic workout and are great fun to play.
Top Photo by Simon Schoeters