Ready to burn a ton of calories while trying to break a high score on the Xbox? Virtual Smash is perhaps one of the more active games I’ve played on the Kinect, and it made me realize I have more muscles in my sides and back than I thought.
And I thought Kinect Tennis was active enough to burn some calories. This game has it beat.
What is Virtual Smash?
Virtual Smash is a micro-game within the title, “Your Shape: Fitness Evolved.” It’s among many ways to exercise with the Kinect by following prompts to keep your body moving.
In this case, you are punching bricks with cross-over motions with your hands and knees. For instance, you would break the right set of bricks with your left fist or knee…depending on the difficulty level.
The longer you pause before breaking bricks, the fewer points you receive. The game then records these points to give you a total at the end. The points indicate a few factors such as:
- Memory: Each play gives you a short random pattern. Then you have to repeat that pattern until time runs out.
- Speed: The faster you move, the more points you get.
- Endurance: By keeping a good pace for as long as you can, you’ll rack up the points.
Speed is ultimately the goal of this game. If you can maintain an extremely fast pace, you’ll burn through the calories.
Why Would You Play Virtual Smash?
One of the quickest ways to lose fat is to improve your cardio fitness and lower your caloric intake. Anything that can elevate the heart and make you sweat is beneficial. And Virtual Smash does this in spades for myself.
When I started playing, I felt the pangs of unused obliques and back muscles. This is what happens when you’re not physically active. On the upside, it does give me an idea of what muscles I’m working out by playing.
This game is a simple activity, but I find it to be quite engaging. That’s because it resonates in my need to break my high scores and personal records. By keeping track of my score, I’m able to see improvements in myself.
Unlike the other games I play for the Kinect, Virtual Smash is more centered around turning your body. Instead of just standing in one place and facing the Kinect head-on, you’re supposed to twist. Hence why it works out the obliques so easily.
What Do You Need to Play Virtual Smash?
The only two things required to play this game is the Xbox 360 and the Kinect sensor, like most other Kinect games. However, you can add more to the experience such as holding weights or wearing a weighted vest while working out.
The game itself isn’t all that expensive. In fact, I picked up my copy from GameStop for about $2. However, you can buy it from Amazon between $20 and $24 new and around the $2 mark used.
It seems health and fitness titles are pretty cheap nowadays, that is if you can find them anymore. Everyone is playing the latest and greatest today.
How Does It Work for Calorie Burn?
Virtual Smash relies on speed and movement to complete each session. To break your high scores, it’s all about keeping your body moving as fast as possible. As a result, you’re burning a lot of calories in a short amount of time.
When compared to the other games I play, it’s surely one of the most effective for burning. And personally, it engages me enough to keep playing so I can beat previous records.
Adding my Fila weighted gloves hasn’t really made an impact on calorie burn so far. However, it definitely made an impact in how sore I felt after playing.
And this was the good kind of sore. You know; the kind that tells you you’re actually helping your body.
Keep in mind, this was during a very short study over a few days. I’ll keep tracking the workout for a bit to get a more definitive answer about calorie burn and weighted gloves with this particular game.
What Stands Out the Most
The biggest impact I felt when playing Virtual Smash is the effect it had on my back and obliques. Bear in mind that I began playing this game after spending about four weeks playing Avengers: Battle for Earth every day. So, I wasn’t exactly too out of shape.
However, the soreness in my sides is a reminder that I have other muscle groups that need work.
The scanning system for Fitness Evolved is pretty impressive for a six-year old game. It’s so sensitive that it imprinted the Captain America logo from my tank top into the scan. Because of this sensitivity, it’s one of the more accurate games I’ve come across for bodily movements.
The only thing I don’t like is the estimated calorie burn. While the game says I burn 199 calories, my Fitbit says otherwise. That’s to be expected, though. Without actual contact and monitoring your vitals, Kinect games can only go by estimations and calculations based on movements.
With that being said, I find Virtual Smash to be an impressive method to get some exercise in during the day.
Will I Continue to Play Virtual Smash?
The main thing to focus on is the engagement. Any activity that is capable of holding your attention over the long-term is going to help you get fit. And Virtual Smash does that for me. Like I said, I am drawn to beat my best scores whether it’s push-ups or breaking bricks.
Because of the work involved for my obliques and back, two areas I sorely need work, I will continue to play this game in the foreseeable future.
Of course, this is just one game of many in Your Shape: Fitness Evolved. I’ll go through each workout routine and review them. But so far, Virtual Smash is by far my favorite.
Next will be the actual workout routines – which wound up hurting me pretty good back when I weighed 270 pounds.