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A skateboarder leaps an obstacle in “Wii Fit Plus,” which uses the Wii balance board to take the place of a skateboard.
A skateboarder leaps an obstacle in “Wii Fit Plus,” which uses the Wii balance board to take the place of a skateboard. (Nintendo)

People are different, so their workouts need to be different.

"Wii Fit Plus" — the updated and expanded version of Nintendo’s popular fitness game — lets you arrange its various activities to suit your needs and interests. It also adds more than 20 new tasks to the lineup of yoga, aerobic, strength and balance activities that were available in the original "Wii Fit."

Americans have bought 8 million copies of the original E-rated fitness game since it was released a year and a half ago. They love the balance board, which senses body movements and translates them into on-screen actions.

However, the original game offered limited flexibility, a somewhat limited menu of activities and no multiplayer option for its fun balance games. Each of these gaps has been addressed to a degree in "Plus."

Of course, everything still starts off with a weigh-in and balance test — and possibly an unpleasant surprise or two. You can then choose to work out or play games. For your workout, you can select a general style of training — such as aerobics — or you can go to "My Wii Fit Plus" and choose a combination of routines that focus on a specific thing — such as improving your form or strengthening your back — or you can mix and match the activities to make your workout more diverse and enjoyable. You also can set the amount of time you want to work out.

The 20 new activities go a long way toward adding variety to your options. In addition to the running, cycling, hula-hooping and ski-jumping found in the original game, "Plus" adds such options as snowball fighting, kung fu and skateboarding. More unusual activities include riding a Segway and flapping your arms to simulate a bird’s flight. And, in an interesting spin, the game lets you weigh your pet to see whether Fluffy or Fido needs some exercise.

The balance board works very well in most cases. My only big problems occurred when I tried to run the obstacle course, which requires that you sort of shuffle your feet to simulate running. I just couldn’t get it done.

"Plus" also adds an option for multiplayer competition. However, this mode includes only nine of the balance games — a rather pitiful number considering the possibilities. In each of these games, players compete in sequence because the Wii can accommodate only one balance board at a time.

Although I might gripe about the dearth of multiplayer games, it’s hard to argue with the game’s price. It costs about $20 for the software — an add-on that will keep the wallet fit.

Platform: Wii

On the Web:www.WiiFit.com

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