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Workout Game Reviews

The Best Dance, Workout and Active Video Games
  -- By Stephanie Jo Klein, Shape.com
Workout and fun ratings out of 5 stars; 5 is highest.

MTV's Dance Central
Whether you're in calorie-counting mode or throwing down in an old-school dance battle, this new dance workout can replace karaoke bars and boring cardio workouts. A Kinect motion sensor (sold separately) lets you ditch hand-held controllers and rock out to Lady Gaga, Rihanna or any one of 90 dance tracks. The game senses your tempo so it slows down if you miss a beat. Works with Kinect for Xbox 360. ($49.99 www.dancecentral.com)

Workout rating: *****
Fun rating: *****


Zumba Fitness
Just like Zumba classes at the gym, this is an intense workout disguised as a Latin dance party. Choose from 30 Zumba routines and nine dance styles, including salsa, hip-hop and flamenco. Sensors monitor your movement, allowing the game to go from basic personal training to a full-on dance party as you improve. Works with Kinect for Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and PlayStation Move. ($39.99-$49.99, www.majescoentertainment.com)

Workout rating: *****
Fun rating: *****


EA Sports Active 2
EA Sports Active 2 lets you choose from more than 70 exercises and games, including everything from classic workout routines with a personal trainer to basketball drills on a virtual court. Wireless motion-tracking straps around your arms and legs ensure you're using proper form, and a heart-rate monitor tracks how hard you're working on screen. It's a great training tool, but it's not quite as fun as dance workout games. Works with Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Playstation3, iPhone and iPod Touch. ($99.95, www.easportsactive.com)

Workout rating: *****
Fun rating: ***


Dance Dance Revolution
DDR is an intense total-body workout that takes a little getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, it's simple to follow along as you step-step-step to pop stars like Lady Gaga. You can even record your own music video to share with your friends via YouTube! DDR has proven to be such an effective weight-loss tool that it's now part of Virginia public school's fitness curriculum. Works with Playstation3 ($69.99 includes mat, www.konami.com)

Workout rating: *****
Fun rating: ****


Gold's Gym Dance Workout
It may not be the best party game, but slower-paced dance routines make this a great choice for beginners. In addition to working on your dance moves, mini-games like karate, rowing and sword fighting help strengthen specific muscle groups. The game stores your exercise history, including play time and calories burned so you can easily track your progress. Plus, it comes with a 7-day trial membership to Gold's Gym. Works with Nintendo Wii. ($29.99, www.goldsgymgame.com)

Workout rating: *****
Fun rating: ***


Your Shape Fitness Evolved
Your Shape makes learning exercises (calisthenics and weight training) and yoga poses easy. A Kinect game console scans your body—bones, muscles and clothes—so you actually become the avatar. If you're out of alignment, the on-screen scan turns red to help fix your form. That's more personal attention than you'll get from a crowded gym class. Fitness is clearly this game's top priority, which is why it just gets an average fun rating. Works with Kinect for Xbox 360. ($49.99, www.yourshapegame.com)

Workout rating: ***** Fun rating: ***

Dance Masters
Beginners beware: Dance Masters' choreography is harder than most other dance workouts. Choose "lesson mode" for a private training session and then work your way up to Dance Master. Post-song analyses complete with graphs assess your accuracy and help you improve. Snap a photo during the game to show your friends what you did all afternoon. Works with Kinect for Xbox 360. ($49.99, www.konami.com)

Workout rating: ****
Fun rating: ***


Just Dance 2
Just Dance was originally known as the first dance workout to feature real dance moves instead of just exercises to a beat. The new version's "just sweat" mode counts how many calories you're burning to focus more on fitness. Compared to game consoles like Kinect that don't require hand-held controllers Just Dance 2 feels a little low-tech and less entertaining. Works with Nintendo Wii. ($39.99, www.justdancegame.com)

Workout rating: ***
Fun rating: ***


10-Minute Solution
10-Minute Solution for Nintendo Wii is an easy and affordable way to burn belly fat. It lacks the bells and whistles of most high-tech video games, but the selection of 10-minute cardio and strength-training workout routines are great for a busy schedule, and health and fitness tips during training sessions keep you entertained. Use it with a Wii Balance Board to up the intensity. ($19.99, www.amazon.com)

Workout rating: ***
Fun rating: ***


Rock Band 3
The newest Rock Band isn't exactly a fitness game, but you'll burn some calories if you play long and hard enough. Up to six players can slap the drums, pound the keys and belt out any of 83 hit songs, including classics like Joan Jett's "I Love Rock n' Roll" and Huey Lewis and the News "The Power of Love." ($29.99-$59.99, www.rockband.com)

Workout rating: **
Fun rating: *****


See the original article on Shape.com.

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