The Biggest Loser isn’t as much a game as it is a guidebook to a healthy lifestyle. It features exercise instructions, healthy eating recipes, calorie counters, fat monitors, progress charts, goal planners and everything else you could imagine to get yourself in shape, develop proper eating habits and maintain a healthy physical weight. It takes the process and procedures used on the show and applies them to the masses, allowing everyone to source the expert advice of The Biggest Loser trainers and apply them to their own needs.
Health and fitness interactive edugames are becoming increasingly popular on the market these days. Jillian Michaels is the face behind a number of the most successful of these titles, and this is another instance of a useful training tool being released in this genre.
The Biggest Loser’s box is very simple – the logo from the television show atop Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper. The back contains some motivational muscle-speak like “Change your body, change your life!” and “Make good decisions even on the go,” amongst information about the game’s offerings.
Genre: Life Simulation
Change your body, change your life!
At home, or on the go, now you can achieve your goals with The Biggest Loser! Featuring tips and expertise from Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels, all the tools you need for weight loss are now at your fingertips.
Use the digital calorie counter to get nutrition information on thousands of foods from grocery stores and popular restaurants.
Stay on top of your fitness program with the digital exercise manual.
Get access to 50 healthy recipes in The Biggest Loser electronic cookbook.
Use the DSi™ camera to take photos of yourself, then watch your body morph as you achieve your fitness goals.
Track your personal milestones with your accomplishments list.
Test your fitness knowledge with mini games that provide lessons on portion control, cravings management, dieting and exercise.
Make good decisions even on the go.
Age Rating: E
THQ has put together a really nice product in The Biggest Loser for the Nintendo DS. When I received this game for review, I had no idea what to expect. My first thought was that it would be a game where I played some obese character, taking on a bunch of silly exercise games to see if I could win a weight loss competition. That sounded to me like a horrible game – and apparently the game’s developers thought so, too. Fortunately, that’s not what it is at all.
Instead, The Biggest Loser is an interactive collection of expert advice on staying in shape and being healthy. The playable character is yourself. As someone who sits at a computer 15 hours a day and could always use some improvement in these areas, I can say that I was learning some new exercise ideas and health tips within a few minutes of getting into the software. I am not fat by any means, but I’m far from fit. Exercise has never been a big (or small) part of my life, but this tool has me examining some ways I could incorporate fairly easy, minimal time workouts into my daily routine that would improve my overall well-being. Since that’s the purpose of the software, that shows success right away.
When you get into the “game,” you create a profile where you tell the program your gender, height, weight, age and other personal info. It uses this information as the basis for everything, so don’t lie. You also create an avatar that you’d like to use as your cartoon reflection in certain areas.. As you make progress on your weight loss, his or her physical appearance will change.
My biggest complaint about this game is that a lot of the calculations are based on the BMI. Most people are aware that the BMI is a pretty flawed system when it comes to classifying people as underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese. It’s a rigid mathematical formula quantifying weight against height that wasn’t originally developed for this purpose. It doesn’t take into account muscle weight and other factors, and many people don’t put any stake into its analysis.
Once your character is made, you find yourself at the game’s main menu.
The Biggest Loser Challenge pits you against yourself in a fight for your own goals. Up to three profiles can be stored on the game, so you literally can have a challenge with your friends or family members to see who can lose the most weight.
With every passing day, you can set personal goals for calorie intake, exercises, and more. The results get graphed out for you to analyze, showing progress over time. One of the most awesome elements of The Biggest Loser is its exercise sector. The game comes complete with detailed instructions for tons of different exercises focusing on every part of the body – all of which are able to be done at home, without equipment, and without excuses. There are even animations showing you how they are to be performed by a rendering of Bob Harper.
You can even go through entire exercise regimens, timed and coached by Jillian. It’s like having a workout video that is tailored to you, providing workouts to help you reach your individual goals.
Another seriously helpful tool is the Healthy Eating Handbook. This area of the software has tons of sections, from quick tips provided by previous contestants and winners of the television show to quizzes that test your knowledge of healthy vs. unhealthy eating.
A calorie counter contains nutrition information on thousands of foods. Want to know what’s in that cracker you are eating? Do you? Check it here.
Dozens of recipes are also available, complete with cooking instructions and nutrition information. These are expert-approved dishes that won’t contain ingredients your body doesn’t like, and will help you reach your Biggest Loser goals.
A game based on a television show wouldn’t be complete without some encouraging words and audio recordings by the people from the show, and this game is no exception. While the expressions are canned and repetitive, they’re in there. There isn’t quite enough of them, though, and the novelty wears off soon before you’ve heard Bob cheer you on with the same phrase for the 40th time.
As for the rest of the game’s sound, it’s alright. Music plays constantly, and it’s little better than elevator music. But that’s the type of music you expect with this kind of title, and it’s not really a big deal. Just turn it down if you don’t like it.
Graphics aren’t particularly important for this genre. Most of the game is made up of graphs, words, tables and information. Text is easy to read, colors are nice, and the presentation is designed wonderfully and is easy to navigate. That’s all you could hope for, and it’s what you receive.
I can’t honestly claim to have played a large number of exercise-related life sims, but being a normal person with a limited amount of exercise and nutritional knowledge, I can’t think of too much that is missing from this title. If I were to become motivated to change myself, this game touches on all the things I would think to investigate. For its genre, it’s a very solid release.
For the retail price of $30, The Biggest Loser offers a very well-designed, in-depth training tool for anyone seeking a means to accomplish their nutritional and fitness goals. The software contains all the expert training information a person needs for both exercise and diet, which leads me to believe it is very viable for a person to succeed if they followed the program outlined in the game. People have gone through amazing transformations on the television program, and the game puts you through the same regimen and offers the same tips that those contestants receive. It’s informative and encouraging, and worth investigating if you’re in the market for some personal improvement. A great addition to the genre.
+Very in-depth tools
+Great healthy eating resources
+Tons of exercise materials
+Well-made and designed
-Lots of BMI focus, which many people don’t trust