App Reviewed on: iPad Pro
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Replay Value Rating:
In case last year's KIDS didn't already convince you: Playables puts out pretty weird games. My Exercise is certainly no different, presenting an experience where you perform sit-ups into the side of a dog while a bear provides water and a seal follows your every move. Other weird stuff happens too, but--outside of its amazing presentation--I'm not sure much of it has staying power.
Press and release
In My Exercise, your task is to make a little boy perform sit-ups by tapping on the screen. Right off the bat you can tell this is no ordinary exercise routine, as each completed sit-up ends with the boy's face pressed firmly into the side of a dog. As you perform these sit-ups, a counter in the background increases, and at certain intervals new things start appearing on screen, like a little girl who claps to cheer you on, or a sheep that wants to do sit-ups with you.
There isn't really an expressed goal in My Exercise, though it does have an end. The presence of a counter also implies that you might want to do the most sit-ups possible, though that's not exactly necessary. Without spoiling too much, your tapping and releasing on the screen eventually triggers an end state where your sit-ups no longer become the focus of the game.
Push it to the limit
Discovering where My Exercise goes is just the beginning of the experience. After you complete your first set of exercises, the game gives you a reason to return to them anew. Beyond that, new playthroughs create opportunity to discover things you might not have noticed the first time you played through My Exercise, and stumbling across these discoveries can be a fun little treat.
A huge part of what makes My Exercise fun to engage with is its odd sense of style. Beyond the strange premise, the game's smooth animation, bright color scheme, and oddly proportioned characters make it feel otherworldly and surreal, even when some of the most bizarre things in the game aren't happening.
A light workout
A single set of My Exercise doesn't take too long to complete (you can get to the end in under ten minutes if you know what you're doing). As mentioned before, there are reasons to go back into the experience, but I was hoping that the discoveries would be a little deeper than they are.
Without giving too much away, there are just simple easter eggs you can access by tapping and holding longer than you might otherwise at various points in the set, and these tend to unlock little sight gags or just a smoother pace of play. You might earn achievements for looking at these things, but otherwise they don't impart a whole lot on the experience, making each subsequent playthrough feel kind of disappointing.
The bottom line
My Exercise definitely feels more like a "game" than KIDS does in a lot of ways, but I almost wish it didn't. Having unlocks and hidden easter eggs set me up to expect a deeper world inside My Exercise, but there's not a whole lot to be found.