Zumba took the fitness world by storm more than a decade ago and its popularity shows no signs of fading. Aside from the many Zumba enthusiasts packing group fitness classes everywhere, Zumba’s shown what a go-to it is for stay-at-home athletes. This month, game publisher Majesco makes Zumba even more mobile by bringing us Zumba Dance for iPad. Though it’s less successful than Zumba on other platforms, it has one big thing going for it – it eliminates any further excuses for not meeting your fitness goals.
Before this, Zumba has appeared on Nintendo Wii, Xbox and PS3 and those platforms make sense. They enable you to play the game on a large screen (your TV) and use technology that more or less captures your movement. Zumba Dance uses the built in camera on your iPad and as such, captures less information and offers less fidelity when it comes to evaluating it.
To begin with, it only sees your body from the waist up. The game sets its default parameters by having you prop the iPad up on a flat surface, then having you move back far enough so you can stretch your arms all the way out without “touching” the sides of the screen. During the performance portion, you can see yourself next to the Zumba instructor in a small window inserted at the lower right of the screen.
It’s hard to say just how carefully the game’s able to judge the accuracy of your movements; in fact, it seems to keep saying “Nice” even if you stand there and do nothing. (Then again, if you stand still long enough, the game will pause.) Further downside is that of necessity, you must stand a good ways from the iPad which means you can’t see the screen all that well. Finally, there’s a lot less content available for the initial purchase price. You get a mere handful of songs for the first $4.99 and must spend from $9.99 to $24.99 if you want additional ones.
Another issue with Zumba Dance is that it has no multi-player. It does however, have the tutorial, fitness plan, progress tracker and class locator of the larger console game. The class locator appears to work very well, and can quickly find you a wide range of options if you’re interested in finding a real live Zumba class within your community.
Although in some ways, Zumba for iPad seems like an odd product, it makes a good amount of sense. Most people these days bring their tablets with them everywhere, and Zumba Dance for iPad makes it easier and more convenient to stick to their exercise goals no matter where they have to be. Unfortunately, this convenience is tempered by the limited movement capture and the immediate need to spend more money on a game that’s nowhere near as fun to use as the console version.
For more information or to purchase Zumba Dance for iPad, visit the the game’s official website.