Video games are often assumed to be sedentary pursuits. While it is true that their screen-bound nature means that many do not encourage exercise, there are some specific and popular examples that require players to engage in their physical environment.
Genres: Action, Physically Active and Puzzle
Duration: Between 1 minute and 15 minutes to play a round.
Players: This is a single player game.
Here Kitty! is a real-world hide and seek game you play by hiding your phone. It's from the same team behind Heads Up. When the child calls out or gets near the phone makes cat noises to give them clues to find it. When it's...
Genres: Action, Physically Active and Sports
Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room, but you can’t play it online.
GPS Pong is a game of retro pong played in the real world by running and walking to move your bat. Once you have set up the game on two smartphones you specify how much space you have and then move to position your bat to return the virtual ball to the...
Platforms: Android and iOS
Genres: Adventure and Physically Active
Duration: Between 15 minutes and 45 minutes to play a round.
Costs: Purchase cost.
Run To My Heart is an adventure game, where you run in the real world to collect potions from different locations. You work with friends to find and collect the most potions. Players become part of the Potato Rescue Squad, collecting potions and fight...
Genres: Action, Physically Active, Puzzle, Racing and Shooting
Duration: Between 5 minutes and 20 minutes to play a round.
Tori combines physical and virtual play. The game comes with toys that you place on a play surface to control the game’s spaceships and catapults. Children can also create and colour their own cardboard versions of the toys and use them to control the...
Genres: Physically Active and Puzzle
Duration: Between 3 minutes and 5 minutes to play a round.
Bounden is a smartphone dance game that gets players to use their bodies. Two people hold opposite ends of one smartphone then move together to keep a cursor over the ball.
Genres: Physically Active and Racing
Duration: Between 12 hours and 14 hours to complete.
Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room, but you can’t play it online.
Costs: Purchase cost. In-game purchases.
Anki Overdrive is a physical slot-car racing game you control with your smartphone. The cars are intelligent and follow the track so you can focus on steering them round the best racing line and triggering virtual weapons. Although discontinued,...
Platforms: Xbox 360 and Xbox One
Genres: Physically Active and Platform
Duration: Between 3 hours and 4 hours to complete.
This is a platform game with a twist. One player uses a controller to run and jump around the level; a second player stands in front of the Xbox Kinect camera and appears on the screen in silhouette. This person must use the outline of their body to...
Genres: Action, Physically Active, Puzzle and Strategy
Duration: Between 5 minutes and 15 minutes to complete.
Players: You can play with 8 players in the same room, but you can’t play it online.
Costs: Free. In-game purchases.
Players pilot a spaceship, each with their own control panel on their smartphone or tablet screen. The switches, dials, sliders and levers are labelled with randomly-generated peculiar names: ‘Astral Synth’, ‘Gripvent’, ‘Starmesh’,...
Beast of Balance
Duration: Between half an hour and 45 minutes to complete.
This game comes with beautifully sculpted physical toys that interact with your iPad to create and nurture creatures in a magical land. You place a toy creature on the plinth provided and it appears in the game. Balance another creature on top of the...
Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved
Genres: Action, Physically Active and Rhythm
Duration: Between 8 hours and 12 hours to complete.
Fantasia is an Xbox Kinect camera dancing game using your whole body. Its narrative follows Disney’s Fantasia film as you take a musical journey to earn your sorcerer’s hat. Sweeping your arms to trigger the orchestra, pointing out high notes with...
Platforms: Nintendo Wii and Nintendo Wii U
Duration: Between 5 minutes and 1 hour to play a round.
Wii Fit is a collection of games designed to help you exercise. They use the Wii Balance Board peripheral that works with both Wii Fit on the Wii and Wii Fit Plus on the Wii U. The Balance Board measures the pressure you place on it and enables a range...
Platforms: Android, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo Wii U, PC, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Web Browser, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS
Genres: Physically Active and Rhythm
Duration: Between 2 minutes and 6 minutes to play a round.
Players: You can play with 6 players in the same room and up to 64 players online.
Costs: Free-to-start. Season pass and in-game purchases.
Dancing in front of each other isn’t something we often do in families. Just Dance is released with new songs and features each year. It gets parents, carers, children and even grandparents off the couch and dancing along with the on-screen moves....
Run An Empire
Genres: Action, Adventure, Physically Active and Strategy
Duration: Between 15 minutes and 1 hour to play a round.
Costs: Free-to-start. In-game purchases.
Run an Empire is a combination of real-world running and a strategy game where you battle other players for land and resources. Once setup you run around your neighbourhood, which in the game is divided into small hexagons. As you encircle areas in the...
Genres: Action, Open World and Physically Active
Duration: Between 15 minutes and 45 minutes to complete.
Runbit (and its sister app Map Hunt) is a treasure hunt game you play by running or walking in the real world. As you run a map is displayed of your area with stars to collect on pavements, moving monsters to outwit and avoid and moving animals to track...
Genres: Adventure, Physically Active, Role-Playing, Simulation and Strategy
Duration: Between 45 minutes and 1 hour to play a round.
Players: You can play this with 1000 players online.
Ingress (also known as Ingress Prime) is an adventure game that uses your smartphone's GPS to locate you in a game world that correlates with reality. You interact with virtual "portals" located near statues, monuments, civic and historic buildings in...
Lego Super Mario
Duration: Between 2 hours and 3 hours to complete.
Costs: Purchase cost. In-game 'loot box' purchases.
Lego Super Mario is a running and jumping game you play in the real world with an electronic Mario toy. A series of Lego sets provide special bricks that the Mario toy can detect. The timer starts as you move the toy through the level and trigger...
Deep Time Walk
Genres: Narrative, Open World and Physically Active
Duration: Between 1 and a half hours and 3 hours to complete.
Deep Time Walk is a game where you go for a walk as you listen to a history of the Earth that's tied to each step. The game calculates your speed and distance to match your real-world progress and translates it to a journey across 4.6bn years of time,...
Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Genres: Action, Creative, Physically Active, Racing and Sports
Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit is a kart racing game with a different. You play on the Switch but use it to control a real life Mario kart that races around the floor of your living room. You see the race from the view of the car beamed back to the...
Child of Eden
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Xbox One
Genres: Action, Physically Active, Rhythm and Shooting
Duration: Between 4 hours and 5 hours to complete.
Child of Eden is a dance and motion game that uses the Xbox Kinect camera. You use your body to shoot and move. Rather than fruit, however, here it’s beautiful firework-style visuals and music that are the challenge.
Genres: Action, Creative, Physically Active and Puzzle
Duration: Between 12 hours and 13 hours to complete.
Nintendo Labo is another game themed around physical folding, colouring and cutting. Here, though, you get a cardboard pack with the game that folds up to make objects into which you slot the screen and controllers. Whether it’s cardboard steering...
Genres: Action, Fighting, Physically Active, Racing and Sports
Duration: Between 10 minutes and 45 minutes to play a round.
Costs: Purchase cost. Season pass and in-game purchases.
Wii Sports, Wii Sports Resort and Wii Sports Club offer motion-controlled sports. Although these games are well known, the depth each of them offer is a best-kept secret. Games like bowling, tennis and boxing are easy to pick up but require considerable...
Platforms: Mac, PC, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4
Genres: Action, Fighting and Physically Active
Players: You can play with 16 players in the same room, but you can’t play it online.
This movement-sensitive game of tag is played in the real world, holding PlayStation Move motion controllers. First appearing as one of the games in the Sportsfriends pack, and then evolving as Joust Mania with more modes and up to 16 players, it’s an...
Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Open World, Physically Active and Turn-Based
Duration: Between 70 hours and 140 hours to complete.
Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 20 players online.
Pokémon Go is a game you play by walking outside. You play on a smartphone so it can use the GPS to locate, capture, battle, and train virtual creatures, called Pokémon, which appear as if they are in the player's real-world location.
Ring Fit Adventure
Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting and Physically Active
This is a running and jumping adventure game with a difference. You control your character with the circular plastic Ring-Con in your hands and Leg-Strap on your leg. The game can then tell how much you are moving and relate that to progress in the game.
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games
Platforms: Nintendo 2DS/3DS, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Wii and Nintendo Wii U
Duration: Between 2 minutes and 10 minutes to play a round.
Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 8 players online.
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games is a series of simple competitive sports games featuring characters from Nintendo and Sega. Each game in the series is themed around a different Olympic year and location.
Platforms: Xbox 360
Genres: Action, Narrative, Physically Active, Platform, Puzzle and Shooting
Duration: Between 6 hours and 8 hours to complete.
The Gunstringer is an Xbox Kinect camera game where you use your body to control a cowboy puppet and shoot the villains by forming a gun with your fingers. You can play with two people working together, with one player controlling the character’s...
Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative and Physically Active
Zombies Run is a combination of fitness app, radio play and zombie game. You choose the distance on the app, run in the real world and the narrative plays in your headphones.
Platforms: Xbox One
Genres: Action, Physically Active, Racing and Sports
Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 4 players online.
Kinect Sports and Kinect Sports Rivals are a pair of games offering the Xbox equivalent of Wii Sports. Although these games use the Xbox Kinect camera so you simply move in front of the screen to control the different activities.
Genres: Adventure, Physically Active, Role-Playing, Simulation and Turn-Based
Duration: Between 15 minutes and half an hour to play a round.
Players: You can play this with 6 players online.
Orna: The GPS RPG, as its longer name suggests, is a combination of role-playing adventure and real-world (geocache-style) treasure hunt. You select a character at the start of the game, and head out on a walk. As you do you can encounter creatures,...
Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Physically Active
The Walk is an adventure you play by walking in the real world. A device detonates in Inverness station, and you have a package that could save the world. To stay alive, you’ll need to walk the length of the UK.
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