Tag Archives: stay at home

3 fun games to keep you moving whilst staying at home

Working from home has a lot of benefits. You miss out on a busy commute to your workplace or school, you no longer have to shell out good money on a sub-par pre-packaged meal on your lunch break and, maybe best of all, the time that would be spent these mundane activities is suddenly time saved that you can spend doing what you really want to. Perhaps the only downside to working from home our already sedentary lives are becoming even more so, with even more of our day now being consumed by sitting at a desk in front of a PC.

That’s why we have compiled a little list of titles which will help keep you moving whilst staying at home. Just a disclaimer, I’m obviously no health professional and the games on this list are of course not a real substitute for a solid workout at the gym or park but I still feel they could nevertheless very beneficial to your wellbeing; provided they’re used in conjunction with other forms of regular exercise of course!


3. Jump Rope Challenge

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch

Price*: Free!

Kicking off our list is Jump Rope Challenge which was recently released for free onto the Nintendo eShop. Players hold a Joy-Con in each hand and utilise the gyro controls to simulate jumping with a skipping rope whilst an onscreen bunny avatar mimics their actions. Every jump you make causes a pleasingly tactile controller vibration and increases the on-screen number counting up your jumps. You can set up daily goals with a range from one hundred to nine hundred jumps, which may not sound like much but you’d be surprised what nine hundred jumps in a short period of time can do to your calves!

You are incentivised to come back every day by a calendar screen which fills in each day with your time and number of jumps. This also serves a nice way to track your progress on your jumping journey. As a nice little bonus for pushing your limits, reaching the daily cap of one thousand jumps unlocks a special background image and accompanying set of whacky sound effects. There’s even an included multiplayer mode – provided you have enough joy-con’s to share around of course.

It sounds very basic and that’s because it is. For free however you can’t complain and if you’re particularly budget conscious, Jump Rope Challenge is an excellent way to get you and your family moving every day. Just make sure you remember to wear your Joy-Con straps or you might end up having to shell out for a TV repair!

If you want a little more variety in your daily exercise, or perhaps don’t own a Nintendo Switch, then read on…


2. Just Dance 2019

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, Wii U, Wii mini, Wii, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3

Price*: £15-£25 depending on platform, free demo available

Just Dance 2019 may seem a curious choice for this list, especially in light of the release of the more modern Just Dance 2020, but the incredible volume of platforms on which the game is available, both ancient and brand new, make this game miles ahead of the other titles on this list in terms of sheer accessibility.

In Just Dance 2019, players select a song from the included song list and then wildly flail their limbs in an attempt to mimic the on-screen dances as closely as possible. Whilst it’s a little slow at first, most songs gradually pick up the pace and by the end of a session you will have likely worked up quite a sweat. With a solid scoring system, which comes the ability to compare your totals to an online leader-board, and the tantalising prospect of unlocking more songs and goodies, it’s shocking just how addictive, and enjoyable, Just Dance can become.

There is a good variety in the forty songs included in the track-list which features popular mainstream artists like Britney Spears, Ariana Grande and Pharrell Williams, some international titles from Hatsune Miku and Blackpink and even the Pac-Man theme! If the included titles are not to your liking, there is also a subscription service which unlocks an additional four hundred songs through ‘Just Dance Unlimited‘. As a little bonus, a copy of the game comes with a one month free trial of this service.

The ‘Just Dance Controller’ app is a fantastically handy feature, removing the need to splash out on additional controllers if you want to get your friends or family dancing alongside you in the up to 6 person local multiplayer. Players can also try the game out before buying through the free demo, available on all platforms, which is restricted to a single song.

However, if you’re looking for something a bit less fun-oriented and more oriented towards serious exercise, then check out the item below…


1. Wii fit

Platform(s): Wii mini, Wii

Price*: £40 second hand (including balance board)

Wii Fit is one of the best selling Wii titles and one of the best selling console games of all time – and for good reason! Using the included Wii Balance Board, players can undertake a variety of fitness activities accompanied by a virtual personal trainer. You can receive serious virtual lessons which coach you in yoga and building up core strength or partake in the more light-hearted mini-game activities which have you jogging around a virtual island paradise or shaking your hips around for a virtual hula-hoop.

The in-built body mass index (BMI) calculator is a fantastic tool and a good way to track your fitness as well as monitor the positive effects of your various digital workouts. It’s lesser-known successor Wii Fit Plus, also for the Wii and Wii Mini, adds a great many more minigames and exercises alongside a host of useful tools such as a calorie counter, the ability to create custom fitness regimes and even a few elements made to help you assess the fitness of your pets!

Lesser known still is the games sequel Wii Fit U, which is available on the Wii U. The Wii Balance Board returns accompanied by a gamepad stand and pedometer. This version of the title adds even more features and tools, even carrying over your progress and biometric data from the original Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus.

Just beware however, as any version of Wii Fit requires both a working Balance Board and Wii Remote, tracking down a fully functional version now almost thirteen years after its initial release could become quite a gruelling task.


*Prices are obtained from a range of sources and were accurate on the date of writing.

PC-gaming: A newcomer’s guide to keep you busy in isolation

In these unprecedented times, it seems that almost every aspect of our lives is subject to near-constant uncertainty and change. There seems to be only one thing we can be truly certain of; for the coming weeks the vast majority of us are about to be spending a lot more of our time safely stowed indoors. Without access to the outside world, and much more free time, most of us are now struggling to find new ways to keep ourselves entertained.

The obvious solution is to incorporate video-games into our daily routines. Games provide essential mental stimulation which can keep your brain in gear over this period of prolonged inactivity, they can be of great educational value and even allow you to socialise with others in a fulfilling way which importantly runs no risk of breaking social distancing guidelines.

This guide aims to help make the wonderful world of PC video-games open to everyone and by following these simple steps you should be able to game like a pro in no time!

1. Find out which games you want to play

There are a huge variety of games available from countless genres. Although this may seem overwhelming at first, a quick web search can show you a long list of games per genre and below we have listed some of the more popular types of game to get you started.

Just a side note: for users who only have access to a laptop computer with a track-pad, I would highly recommend investing in a cheap USB mouse if you do not already have one. Most games simply require more precise control than what is offered by most track-pads.

Once you have a list of a few titles you want to try or even just a rough idea of the type of games you want to play, you can move on to the next step.

2. Check which games you can run

It’s a common misconception that you need a purpose built “gaming PC” to play any games. Although some gamers opt to build a customised computer from scratch, most mid-range systems bought directly from a high-street retailer are surprisingly powerful nowadays, and can play a decent range of titles out of the box.

The ‘Can you run it‘ tool from System Requirements Lab is an excellent resource in finding which games you can run on your machine, potentially saving you money on a wasted purchase. Users simply type the name of the game they want to play in the search bar and hit enter. After following the on-screen instructions you are told if your computer meets the “minimum” or “recommended” requirements.

Where you meet the “recommended” spec for a game, you can expect buttery smooth performance at the highest graphical settings. On the other hand, meeting only the “minimum” shows that you can run the game, but it may need some in-game options tweaking to run smoothly. Where you don’t meet either the “minimum” or “recommended” requirements, it’s unlikely the game will run properly, so it’s best to stay away!

If you’re having no luck and can’t meet the required specification for any of your selected titles, below we have some examples of popular games which are optimised to run on particularly low-spec machines. If any of these catch your eye, you can do a quick online search to find their official sites to find out more.

3. Download launchers and buy your games

Most games need a “launcher”; a unified hub which allows you to buy and run your games, collect achievements to monitor your progress and interact with other users over social features. The most popular video-game launcher is Steam, although there are alternatives such as Uplay, Origin, Battle.net and the Epic Games Store. Each launcher offers a slightly different experience and selection of games, although most carry similar basic features it is still worth checking whether the game you want is locked to a specific launcher to avoid wasting time downloading unnecessary programs.

All launchers require individual accounts, and it’s worth trying to make these accounts as secure as possible. Follow password length recommendations and make sure your accounts are tied to a secure email so that you can recover if necessary.

Once you have your launcher set up, you can navigate through digital storefronts and finally start buying your games!

4. Try free titles and look for giveaways

If you’re not keen on spending any money on games, the online gaming retailer GOG is generously offering a selection of classic games for free specifically to be enjoyed by individuals who are in isolation! Alternatively, you can keep your eye out for other free giveaways through the freegames subreddit; an online forum where users keep each other up to date on current game giveaways.

GOG’s selection of free games

If you’re willing to spend a little bit of cash, you can follow our up-to-date guide on how to find the very best deals on your games.

5. Above all else follow NHS advice – stay at home, save lives

Although for some it may feel like it, being told to stay at home is not a holiday. Be responsible and remember to check the changing NHS guidelines.

For your own well-being and the well-being of others, always follow the current government advice.

This advice was accurate as of 29/03/2020.

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