Knockout Home Fitness Review
Since the Switch came out in 2017, many fitness games have come out hoping to hit that sweet spot of being a fun game while delivering a real physical workout. The current titleholder in this regard, the game that has come closest to achieving this balance, is still 2019’s Ring Fit Adventure. Now, a new contender steps into the ring: Knockout Home Fitness. This rookie packs a punch in terms of serious exercise, even if it still needs some training in the fun department.
As the title implies, Knockout Home Fitness is primarily a boxercise experience, although it also incorporates other disciplines, including kickboxing and martial arts. You are guided by a virtual instructor, of which there is a choice of four, although two must be unlocked. The instructors are friendly and easy to follow, and I was impressed at how helpful and truly educational their commentary was.
Knockout Home Fitness is a rhythm game, so you’ll be familiar with the gameplay right away: holding the Joy-Cons in each hand, you punch left and right in time to the steady beat of instrumental music. Your timing and consistency determine your score. The music is generic EDM, but it’s unobtrusive, allowing you to focus on your moves without distraction.
And you need to focus. There aren’t a lot of cutesy extras like cartoon characters on the screen or bells going off for “bonuses” and such — Knockout Home Fitness seems to position itself as a more serious, mature workout program than some other arcade-y titles. I generally liked that and found it to be a pretty satisfying workout as a result.
All Work and No Play
It has its shortcomings. The hand-based movements are, not surprisingly, well-calibrated due to the handheld Joy-Cons. But other actions, such as kicking, aren’t measured, so it’s on you to make sure you’re doing it. Therefore, you can “game” the system if you want and just “flick your wrist” and so on without actually doing it right. That’s something a few other games in this genre also suffer from (Zumba Burn it Up! comes to mind).
And as good a workout as Knockout Home Fitness is, a genuinely great game delivers that authentic workout while ALSO being a fun game. That way, you have such a great time you don’t even notice that you’re dripping in sweat. Let’s be clear: Knockout Home Fitness is no Ring Fit Adventure. This is not a game that you’ll play addictively for hours every day.
In fact, knockout Home Fitness doesn’t even let you play it too much. Like a real personal trainer, it schedules your workouts to one per day. Luckily there is a second mode called 3-Minute Fitness that’s like a more casual, drop-in mode if you do want more. Again, as an exercise tool, it’s another excellent way to sweat despite being straightforward and a bit uninspired.
Knockout Home Fitness has a clear objective and target audience: this is a game for people looking to get in shape that replicates a workout routine with a personal trainer. It never really pretends to be much more, like an addictive video game. That will be fine for many people, but if you’re hoping for more, Ring Fit Adventure is still the undisputed champ.
** A Nintendo Switch code was provided by the publisher **
– A very effective workout
– Helpful training tips
– Punch mechanic works well
– Lacking the fun factor
– limits your playtime
– Kick movement not tracked