Fitness games are huge. Football games are huge. Ready for it? Football fitness game. From EA, on the Wii. The name is EA Sports Active NFL Training Camp and it has already made me sweat.
I tried EA's variation on its hit EA Sports Active virtual workout series at an EA event in New York last week. It's fitness set in a virtual football stadium. I strapped an EA motion sensor around my right thigh, a heartrate monitor around my arm and placed a Wii Remote in my hand. And then, with no other performance enhancements, I was on my way to getting an NFL-oriented body.
This is a movement-controlled game. My body motions matched that of an avatar decked in the football gear of, theoretically, my favourite team. I could play as one of my favourite pros, I was told. But I don't know football, so I played as whoever was on the screen.
My drills were those of real NFL players. I had to jog (in place) down field. I had to stiff-arm defenders by sticking my arm out. I got to kick field goals by kicking my right leg. My favourite workout was lineman training, in which I went through an obstacle course that had hopscotching through a rope ladder laid out on the field (feet in - hop - feet out - hop - etc), walking, jogging, sticking my arms out and pushing a tackle dummy down the field, then lapping through it all again.
An EA rep told me there would be workout routines for users as well as the option to do one-off drills. I played long enough to break a light sweat, so it works. (Hey, I'm fit!)
The main EA Sports Active program that EA has done so well with on the Wii and is bringing to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 gives the user the fantasy of having their very own personal trainer. But maybe that's not your thing. Maybe you want to be a football hero, running drills in a stadium and you don't have a real stadium nearby. Then this flavor of video game fitness could be the one for you.
EA Sports Active NFL Training Camp is due out Nov. 16.