Most of us remember the incredible waves the Nintendo Wii made when it hit the market almost 15 years ago. Thanks to its (at the time) novel motion control capabilities, it gave rise to a bookshelf’s worth of casual video games meant to give players a physical workout instead of the challenges traditionally presented in the medium.
Bandai Namco threw their hat in the ring with a game known as Active Life: Outdoor Challenge in 2008. In essence, this was a successor to Bandai’s Family Trainer line of games for the Famicom, which was eventually localized in the United States for the NES along with the Power Pad accessory. It used a mat that functioned similarly to the short-lived 80’s peripheral in addition to the Wii remote. Even against Nintendo’s own Wii Fit, the game managed to do quite well, pushing a million units within its first year on the market.
Wii-era nostalgia is now between Sonic Colors Ultimate and the first console Warioware game since that generation is in the pipeline. In addition, Bandai Namco appears to be joining the bandwagon with a brand new installment in this long-running series.
Coming September 3rd for Nintendo Switch, Active Life: Outdoor Challenge sports a cutesy aesthetic along with sixteen new mini-games that will allow players to work up a sweat thanks to a distinct control scheme. This time, you’ll be wearing a leg strap (which is where your left joy-con will rest) as opposed to using a mat as you run, jump, squat, and stomp through a variety of challenges. The game will also allow for local co-op, provided you have two sets of joy-cons and two sets of leg straps. (Meaning your partner will probably need to have their copy, seeing as the straps don’t appear to be sold separately at the time of writing).
Active Life: Outdoor Challenge is now available for pre-order and will cost $69.99 when it arrives next month. It appears to be a Target exclusive (at least in America). It comes bundled with a physical copy of the game alongside two leg straps.
The pandemic pushes onward, and more individuals look for ways to exercise while social distancing. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more games similar to this on the market once again. Ring Fit Adventure, released at the tail end of 2019, proved to be a big success even before the world turned upside down. Active Life should have no trouble flying off the shelves in the same way.