‘Zumba – Burn it up’ is the latest interactive dance and fitness game and comes from Kuju Ltd and published by 505 Games. It is available exclusively on Nintendo Switch and with its many different routines, gives everyone access to enjoy the Zumba workout - anytime, anywhere. It basically puts a Zumba class right in your living room! Play with friends for a bit of fun or complete personal goals and daily challenges solo.
Zumba is a Colombian fitness empire that combines dance and fitness moves in a range of styles, including salsa, mambo, hip hop, Rumba and Reggaeton. Needless to say with that array of dance styles, the ‘Zumba – Burn it up’ game includes over 30 upbeat and catchy tunes including ‘I like it’ by Cardi B.
Start up was relatively self-explanatory, including different options for game play and adding extra players (up to 4). There is the option to play ‘single song’ (one routine), ‘full class’ (multiple songs back to back – the length ranges from short 15 minutes, medium 45 minutes and long 60 minutes) and ‘fitness party’ (where all players must achieve a combined score to achieve ‘stars’). There is also functions for a fitness tracker and the collection of awards that you receive. The menu, background music and overall look is colourful and inviting. The downside with beginning this game, is the lack of introduction to the overall concept. There is no explanation of how to obtain points or even just a Zumba intro (basic steps, combinations, how to move etc etc). If you haven’t ever attended a Zumba class before, the actual gameplay and routines move quite quickly for those not familiar.
We started with a single song and chose a warm up with medium intensity. Each song has the style of music and dance listed in the menu, along with the intensity and instructor photos. Straight in to it, we were able to feel the old heart rate go up and we got our sweat on! It was fun, relatively easy to keep up with and upon completion, it seems it was easy to earn points at this stage. When the song finished, we watched our points and level go up and then next came the ‘badges’. All the badges you earn are recorded in the awards section from the main menu, and range from acknowledgement of accuracy, technique level and overall experience. This is where we hit an issue. The game asks if you would like to assign your badge. We assume this would be assigning the badge to a particular player or to the award section, so we click yes. This is where we seem to lose the ability to continue, make a selection or cancel the action. We troubleshoot for a while before having to restart the game….loosing all our progress, earnt badges and level ups. Round two…. “yes we would like to assign the badges”. Big mistake – loss of controls again and restart required. The worst part was that we had completed the 15 minute class. The class was great and overall, I guess we have done the actual workout which is the main point but man we feel like we earnt those badges that we have lost…again. Third time round….we say NO! Do not assign those badges, and by gee that seems to do the trick. We are able to progress, and the game saves our progress. This error was still present at the time of writing this review, but hopefully this was just a glitch that may now be fixed.
There was definitely the essence of a Zumba class within the game. Combinations of steps are repeated so that you can master the routine as it progresses. Again, it jumps straight in with little introduction therefore there is no building of difficulty to help you master the steps. It would have been good if there was a video with an interactive instructor that spoke and talked you through the basics first. I have a dancing background and have attended a few Zumba classes in my time, and I can imagine that some people would be intimidated at the idea of going in blind with no prior instruction. It could also seem a bit complicated and therefore deter some from sticking with it.
What we did like, is the feature where a silhouette appeared in the top corner to show you an idea of the next upcoming move so that you could transition easily, especially once you have done the combination before and therefore recognise it. There is a bar down the bottom, so that you can track the timing and how long until the next move. This was something that we discovered ourselves along the way. The choreography was actually really good and unlike other dance type games, it was challenging at times. The controllers seem to be well calibrated to the game, as most of the time it picked up accurately if you had hit the move right of not. During the loading of a routine, a hint message came up on screen that said the Joy-Con controllers would vibrate with the beat of the music. This didn’t happen for either of us at any stage, so not sure if this was still a work in progress. We haven’t decided if we actually missed this feature or not, I can imagine it being a little distracting but also effective on claps and shimmies etc.
The music is catchy and fun, with good range of different styles. All the routines were well themed to the music and the moves really aligned to the beats. Again, the colour and quality of the visuals was high with the instructors clear and sharp. The backgrounds to the routines were different depending on the music and were not distracting from focusing on the instructors. The instructors were enthusiastic and were clearly not struggling as much as we were to begin with….but it definitely got easier the more we played.
Every time we played, we enjoyed ourselves the whole time. We weren’t worn out or sick of it even after an hour session and there was still plenty that we hadn’t yet experienced that were ready for us to try next time. It is really a great way for people to engage in a cardio activity that is fun and makes time fly. You need a good amount of space if you are wanting to commit to the moves or have more than one player. We also suggest somewhere with good air flow so as not to rely on the ceiling fan…a hazard when going for those moves that end with your hands in the air like you just don’t care…until you lose a finger. You will work up a sweat so keep the bottle of water handy!! Having the couch behind you for a quick sit down, also doesn’t hurt. 😉
To sum up, we thoroughly enjoyed giving ‘Zumba – Burn it up’ a go and would play it regularly. It makes a Zumba class easily accessible, and minus the social aspect, is a much cheaper alternative than attending a physical class each week. It allows you to dive in and give it a go in the privacy of your own home or to have some fun with friends. It can just be a bit of fun but genuinely has the ability to be a cardio fitness routine. With daily and weekly goals, you are encouraged to get back in and complete those challenges, which is great for those who need a little motivation.
If you came here to read the review, you are obviously open to the idea of either dancing for fun or fitness. For that reason, it is definitely worth a go. I cannot imagine anyone who enjoys to move and dance, not enjoying this game; beginners and pros alike, will all enjoy their time playing ‘Zumba – burn it up’.
Check out the Zumba - Burn it up Trailer here :