It’s been a few years since Zumba, the worldwide dance-based fitness program, has made an appearance on videogame consoles. Its last title, Zumba Fitness: World Party, came out so long ago, Microsoft was still supporting the Kinect. Today, 505 Games and Kuju Games have announced a new installment of the series for the Nintendo Switch, bringing a new exercise option to the device that offers much of what the dance craze has come to be known for, both on and off the screen.
In Zumba Burn It Up!, players will be able to work out to a wide variety of dance styles, including, as Zumba cofounder Alberto Perlman tells me, “reggaetón, salsa, merengue, cumbia, hip hop, and Bollywood”, with a selection of original tracks to match. Over 30 total songs will be available, including “I Like It,” by Cardi B, Bad Bunny and J Balvin, “Level Up,” by Ciara, “Azukita” by Steve Aoki, as well as other chart toppers by artists like Bad Bunny & J Balvin, Daddy Yankee, Play-N-Skillz & Elvis Crespo, and Bomba Estéreo, among others. Currently, there are no plans for post-release content. However, 505 Games’ cofounder Raffi Galante tells me they are “open to exploring it closer to launch after hearing more feedback from players and Zumba fans.” Routines will be available in Single Song or Full Class mode, as well as in Fitness Party, which allows up to four players in either mode.
While the new four-person multiplayer feature suggests a desire to keep up with their sole competition on the Switch, the Just Dance series, Zumba Burn it Up! will still have a strong commitment to fitness. 30 different routines will be available, in short, medium, and long sessions. Galante says that players will be able to track their progress by participating in pre-set daily and weekly challenges, aiming for specific scores or perfect technique, or for a particular number of routines, among other goals. Fans of the past game will also see some familiar faces. True to the company’s focus on individual trainers, Zumba Burn It Up! will bring back some of the real-life celebrity Zumba instructors from previous games. The background environments of each stage will be taking on new interactive features, using visual cues like additional dancers and scenery shifts to reward the player for accuracy and encourage them to keep moving.
Bringing Zumba to the Switch, a device that is both portable and can be used at home, may seem antithetical to the formula that has made it such a success worldwide. But Perlman is enthusiastic about how videogames have contributed to the worldwide accessibility of Zumba. “The ultimate Zumba experience happens in a class, and the videogame is a great way to introduce new people to Zumba,” he says. “By having a videogame, it allows everyone, regardless of the circumstances, to participate and get familiar with Zumba which ultimately leads to more people in Zumba classes.”
Zumba Burn it Up!
will debut in North America on Tuesday, Nov. 19 and is available for pre-order. Watch the first trailer and check out some screenshots below.