Like many others, I was skeptical that I'd get a legitimate workout out of Ring Fit Adventure, but I bought it because it looked like an interesting new way to play a game that didn't involve making the bum imprint in my couch ever deeper.
So, I start the game up, go through the initial calibrations carefully, tell the game that I work out "sometimes" (I cycle to work) and decided I wanted an "Intense" workout (the second-hardest difficulty of four presets). One intro movie later, and I was off on my adventure, running in place to advance through the level and squeezing/stretching the ring to blow gusts of air/suck in coins. Not too shabby, but pretty basic.
On to level two. After some jogging, I come face-to-face with the first enemy in the game. Switching to battle mode, I was given the option to select between four default exercises to attack this beast with (there are about 40 in the game which can all be accessed in Quick Play; in Adventure, they are unlocked through progress). I'm pretty comfortable with squats, so I selected "Squats" and mentally prepared to fire off a couple in order to take this critter down.
Immediately after my selection a number 30 appeared on the screen. 30. My opening salvo consisted of 30 squats, the first half of which I was required to hold for an extra beat before standing back up. Feeling a little tired and decide to cheat by doing a half-squat? Your attack does half damage. Straighten your legs too soon? The squat doesn't count! Yikes! One ab-guard (compressing the ring against my abdomen to block an attack) and several overhead ring squeezes later, I vanquished the FIRST ENEMY IN THE GAME and was able to advance.
Needless to say there were more enemies to destroy with my body's raw power, and more jogging to do. And high-knees to climb stairs. If jogging in place is a no-go, there's an option to do mini-squats instead to move. And - very importantly - you can adjust the difficulty whenever you want, resulting in less movements needed to destroy your enemies. Or more, if you're so inclined.
Ring Fit Adventure has surprised me. Well done, lads. Well done.