If there’s one thing the Nintendo Switch excels at, it’s games that make you move. Knockout Home Fitness is the latest title where the motion controls of the JoyCons are put to good use and that will make you get up from the couch to work up a sweat.
The focus here, as the title might have given away, is on boxing moves. You’ll throw jabs and uppercuts with some kicks thrown in for good measure. The two questions that arise are: Is it fun and can you actually get in shape/lose weight by playing it? Let’s enter the ring!
First of all, it’s important to know that unlike Ring Fit Adventure, you won’t have to strap a Joycon to your leg. Knockout Home Fitness requires you to hold a controller in each hand and will register your punches only. If there’s a Kick or a Knee in the moveset, it will trigger as a hit even though you’re standing still. I found this a bit demotivating, as there isn’t really any reward for performing those well.
Give it your best shot
The Punches however are usually accurately tracked and you can get a Miss, Good, Great or Excellent rating depending on how closely you mimic the moves on-screen. Getting those Jabs or Crosses timed just right is a great-feeling sensation and I found myself actively trying to get a full 100 score at the end of each workout.
Sadly, it can also become infuriating when the game doesn’t give you the Excellent rating even though you feel like your performed the requested move perfectly. There were several instances where I was pretty sure the Switch just had difficulty tracking the Joycons correctly or where the device simply lost connection to them. Being punished for a hardware failure can be very upsetting. But I’m not sure if Knockout Home Fitness is to blame or if it’s the Nintendo Switch itself who was at fault.
It’s a good thing then, that we’re already throwing punches to alleviate that stress right away!
Whereas a game like Ring Fit Adventure adds RPG mechanics to make it as addictive as possible, so much so that I ended up playing it every single day for an entire month, Knockout Home Fitness picks the opposite path and actually feels like it’s limiting you to a certain amount of minutes played each day.
Every day you’ll get a few ~3-4 minute reps and performing those will give you a stamp on the calendar. There’s not really a reward for exercising every single day though, outside of your own OCD to never have a day without a stamp.
I do have to say that the limited length of each workout does remove the barrier of “will I have time today” and it’s much easier to just force yourself to work up a sweat each day.
If you really wanted, you can then pick from a list of reps you’ve already done and keep going past the daily routine, but I never quite felt motivated to do so. There aren’t that many unlocks to work towards and the only real gain happens outside of the game, namely feeling more in shape or losing a few pounds.
It’s a bit ironic though that the game asks for your length and your weight when you start playing because I’ve looked EVERYWHERE and didn’t find where I could enter my updated weight every day. It’s possible it’s hidden in some menu somewhere, but I really shouldn’t be required to go digging for it and the game should simply ask me at start-up, if it really wants to help me keep track.
Now, I mentioned earlier that outside of physical gain, there is hardly any in-game reward to keep playing. After a few daily reps, you’ll unlock two more trainers that will coach you through the exercises. There are three female and one male coach to pick from, but the two women in the back will always stay the same.
Next to your additional trainers, you can also unlock Studios, but I was surprised these were also limited to three in total and they have rather boring designs. I felt like this was a giant missed opportunity not to have a huge list of gyms that would unlock as you keep playing, the environments shouldn’t be that hard to add and it would have been a perfect motivator to keep coming back to the game.
Good for weightloss?
In the end, I didn’t really end up losing any weight while playing Knockout Home Fitness, in part because I only played for around 7-12 minutes each day, and in part, because I totally wasn’t paying any attention to my calory intake this time around.
It was a great excuse to move a bit each day though, with working from home making it too easy to just sit in a chair all day long, working behind a computer. And after two weeks of playing, I could already feel my overall energy level rising.
I’ll probably keep the game installed on the Switch in case I ever want a quick exercise because it does feel mighty good to hit those punches just right!
Knockout Home Fitness is a nice way to keep in shape and the focus on boxing moves does make it stand out from other fitness games I’ve played on the Nintendo Switch recently. When you land those punches in time with the beat it feels really good, but it can be equally infuriating when it incorrectly loses track of the Joycons. It’s a decent game, but it really lacks more unlockables to keep you motivated to play beyond the first few weeks.
*Disclaimer: Reviewed on Nintendo Switch. Review Copy provided by the publisher.