For a Zumba geek like my wife, the game provides an unexpected amount of detail. The stages are populated by real-world Zumba instructors (a few were at the event, it was a little freaky to play with them watching), and the locations are places where actual dance classes have been held. Zumba Fitness Rush is like a sports title in this respect, trading stadiums and famous pro athletes for real life venues and celebrity trainers.
Amanda was the most intrigued by the number of workout "classes" the new game was offering, increasing the total from 30 on Wii to 45 on Kinect. According to her, the key to a good Zumba class is getting "tricked" into exercise by dancing to a variety of ever-changing routines. I can see how an XBox game would trump a multi-DVD workout set. In this respect, a one-disc game offers an impressive number of classes at 20-minute, half-hour and hour-long increments, providing programs of varying difficulties that can be continuously danced through without having to navigate menus.
Calorie counters track your progress. For most of the game's modes -- I gave the producers a hard time about how the game won't record burned calories if you have to bail halfway through a class.
For me, the game felt like Dance Central without without the club scene mentality and also without the wackier moves. The songs are far more listenable and are chosen not to highlight popular artists but for their danceability. Anyone remotely familiar with the Zumba fitness dancing craze or the XBox Kinect motion sensor can recognize the potential of a game that does it right, and Zumba Fitness Rush delivers.
The Zumba curious or current Zumba fans will eat it up. And guys, there might be no better way to Kinect with your Valentine this year. So don't overlook the game when out choosing between restaurant reservations and that trip to the drugstore for chocolates.
Zumba Fitness Rush is available in stores on February 13th for the XBox Kinect.