Xbox 360 Kinect and Calorie Challenge

Xbox 360 Kinect and Calorie Challenge

Taking a break from analyzing titles for their fitness potential, this week we will look at an add-on to a game we have already profiled, Kinect Sports. This add-on promises fun and health benefits with its calorie counting and food shaped mascots, but how does Calorie Challenge stack up?

We're not going to lie, we are seriously surprised by quite how fun Calorie Challenge is. This add-on accomplished the seemingly impossible by making us sweat and not making us want to throw a shoe at the Kinect. Amazing really. The premise of this game within a game is that you choose a food shaped mascot to challenege. Very similar to the mascots in Party Play in Kinect Sports, the mascots dance around and at times mock you.

The mascots challenges vary in time starting at 5 minutes. For my first challenge I chose the soda which gave me a 20 minute workout session. Sadly all of the mascots are very difficult to beat as they require a very high amount of skill in each mini game in order to get the calorie counts needed to topple the mascot.

Once you have chosen your mascot you begin a series of mini games which are played against your mascot. Some of these are decidedly more fun than others and they vary in intensity. An example of a high intensity mini game is the Hurdles which are much easier to tackle when wearing sneakers. A note of advice, the longer your workout session the more repetitions of the same mini games you will endure. This is especially annoying if the mini game you like the least (ahem the aforementioned hurdles) comes up not once, not twice, but four times during your one session.

At the end of each mini game your calorie burn count is compared to the mascot beating goal. After several times playing this add-on I've yet to beat a mascot and I wonder if such a thing is even possible. I believe it is possible to beat the mascots, but it just requires more coordination skills than I possess.

One of the not terribly fun things about this game if you like winning (or an accurate calorie burn count) is that the calories burned number is determined by how well you play the mini games. You can be working your heart out but if you are not coordinated and not achieving success at hitting the virtual balls, Calorie Challenge will not accurately calculate how many calories you have burned.

One of the things that is fun about this add-on is that it is so fast paced. There is barely any time to grab a swallow of water before diving into the next activity which is something we are a fan of when it comes to workout titles. However, because there are so few mini games to choose from the add-on does start to get a bit dull after a week of play. To combat this we would suggest using Calorie Challenge as something in addition to your regular fitness routine or for those days where you really don't feel like working out, it's sneaky way of getting your activity level up and it won't feel boring if it is not a daily thing.

In a nutshell Calorie Challenge is a fun way to break a sweat and is worth adding to your fitness routine if you already own Kinect Sports. Calorie Challenge is an add-on to Kinect Sports and costs 320 Microsoft Points.

Have you ever played this add-on and won? What's your secret?

Weeks 1-6 with the Xbox 360 and Kinect:

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