Google Productivity Pad: App Review: Ninja Fitness

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

App Review: Ninja Fitness

Name: Ninja Fitness
Price: Free or 99¢
Stars: 4
Type: Workout game

Some people will remember that I reviewed the Gorilla Workout app a while ago and really liked it. Well this app is from the same people over at Heckr. It is a really great app for those who are looking for workouts they can do quickly at home.

The Concept
The idea is to gamify your workout. You are a young ninja in training by an ancient and often comedic sensei, Master Old Beard. You have to buy new workouts and gear with "ninja stars" which you earn by completing workouts. You also get stat points in four different areas of training. You must achieve certain numbers of stats to get new colors of belts.

Four Areas
Where this app really surpasses Gorilla Workout is by having four areas of development which you can choose to work on. These are Strength, Agility, Endurance, and Zen.

These areas must each reach certain levels of skill points before you can advance to the next belt, and certain belts are required to purchase better gear. This encourages you to take a balanced approach to your training instead of focusing on just one area that you are good at or that you enjoy.

The strength and agility workouts cover most of the same exercises that the gorilla workout did, but the endurance and zen areas have new workouts focusing on cardio and stretching. Each workout is timed depending on its difficulty and the ninja star reward for completing it.

Your Ninja
Basically the whole point of the game is to customize your 3D ninja self with weapons and armor. You can choose whether or not you are a boy or a girl when you start as well as giving yourself a ninja name. Then you can choose the hair style, hair color, and facial structure that are most your style.

While I like the app a lot, and it seems to be very stable, there are a few things I wish would be improved.

The first is that there is no audio playback during workouts, I alway like to listen to music or podcasts while I do cardio, but I can't do that and have the ninja workout run at the same time because if you leave the app the workout will pause. This seems like a major oversight and a gap in market research since many people listen to audio while working out. Audio playback in other apps is totally possible in iOS so I do not know what the excuse for this is.

My second complaint is that while it is fun to level up my ninja, the ninja doesn't actually do anything and the store selection is small for ninja gear. I think there should have at least been some type of mini game that the ninjas could engage in so that their armor, weapons, and stats actually matter. This would give greater motivation to completing balanced workouts.

My last problem with the app is that unlike gorilla workout there is no offline instruction on how to do the exercises. Gorilla had written instructions in the app and video instruction online, but Ninja Fitness has only the online videos and the app freezes if you click on one of these without an internet connection, making it impossible to complete any exercises you are unfamiar with.

Well other than those few problems the app is very good and well put together. It makes it fun to workout (well as fun as a workout can be anyway) so I encourage you to check it out. Their is a limited free version, but I would suggest using this to check it out and not to spend too much time on it because your stats, gear, and ninja stars will not transfer to the full version.

Anyway, let me know your thoughts on this or other workout apps below and also let me know any questions you might have. Thanks for reading, and remember, live better.

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