Everlast's Stepper accessory for the Nintendo Wii fits under your Balance Board and raises it by 3in, creating a more demanding aerobic workout.
One of the criticisms levelled at the Wii as a fitness device is that it's just too gentle. Waving your arms about (on Wii Sports) or wobbling around on a Balance Board (on Wii Fit) might get the heart-rate up a touch, but if you're looking to build serious muscle, lose significant amounts of weight or get properly fit – well, there are these things called gymnasiums...
But why not combine the two? Everlast, which makes boxing equipment, weights and fitness gear, has come up with a set of gym-like accessories that are designed to take your Wii workout to the next level.
Here we look at Everlast's aerobic Stepper Wii accessory, which fits under your Balance Board and raises it by 3in. Click here to read our review of the firm's 1kg Wii Weights, which turn the Wiimote and Nunchuck into dumbbells.
The Stepper comes in three parts, and has to be assembled using four fiddly, Philips-head screws. We were a bit taken aback by this – would it be patronising to suggest that some of the women, older people and pigeon-chested men who choose to do their workouts on a Wii might not own a complete set of screwdriver heads?
The completed device feels slightly wobbly, but locks neatly into the bottom of the Wii Balance Board. It had occurred to us that something similar could be achieved with a couple of piles of large hardbacks, but that's probably not to be recommended – this is far more stable.
We tried a couple of the step games on Wii Fit Plus, and found that the exercise was, as you'd expected, significantly more tiring. It was slightly frustrating, however, to discover that the extra height also makes the timing aspects more difficult – Wii Fit Plus seems to base its assessments on when your feet leave the board rather than when they land, so seemingly correctly timed steps were punished as 'early'.
It would have been nice if Nintendo and the accessory makers had put their heads together at some point and built an option into the game that lets you specify the height of your board. The timing could be tweaked, and the game itself could give you more points; it would be nice, and more motivating, for the game to recognise the extra effort you're putting in.
NEXT: our expert verdict >>