JOY’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE

Photo courtesy of TomsGuide.com

I’ve never been into the sort of video game where you jump through hoops and fire shots against  bad guys. Not since the days when I played “Fatty Bear’s Birthday Surprise” with my  nephew. But the Nintendo Switch brings exercise into the equation. That’s a game changer.

The Switch is similar to the Nintendo Wii. Both devices sense your movements. Either one can tell if you swing an imaginary tennis racket or land a one-two punch. But the Switch is getting rave reviews for portability and performance. It’s about the length of a ping pong paddle but is rectangular and narrower. It’s best if connected to a TV via a docking station, so you don’t have to squint.

 To get the most out of it, I bought an $80 game called “Ring Fit Adventure.” It comes with a “Ring Con–” a hoop reminiscent of the old “ThighMaster” from the 1990s. It’s a big ring you squeeze with your hands or pull apart while jogging or walking as your character senses your movements. Your body motions propel her forward through lovely forests and streams as she roots out evil. Holding the hoop low makes her leap.

To get started, a small controller goes into a pouch on a strap that fastens around your leg. The other controller slots into the Ring Con hoop, which you hold in your hands. Before you begin, Adventure Fit asks questions about your age and fitness level, and gives you a few strength tests. These involve squeezing the hoop, a sort of steering wheel, and pulling it apart. The game also tests your flexibility and ability to jog or run. If you need to protect your joints, you can define “jog” as a walking pace and “run” as a brisker walk. My character ran like mad when I barely jogged.

Photo courtesy of jelly.deals

The game gives you helpful prompts, so it’s almost impossible to get lost, though I did pause the game once or twice to do a Google search when I wasn’t quite sure what was meant. When I faced a bad guy, I knocked him over by doing squats, abdominal work, lunges, arm exercises or stretching, all led by an encouraging voice.

Moving on from “Adventure Fit,” I tried “Jeopardy,” a $10 downloadable game. I’ve never been so excited playing a game by myself. I felt as if I were on the actual TV show. The act of buzzing in to square off against computerized opponents was so thrilling I almost missed an important phone call. 

If you want to play with friends or strangers online, you have to join the Nintendo Online Club, which costs $4 a month or $20 a year if you pre-pay. But that’s not all you pay. The Nintendo Switch, docking station, controllers, holder for the controllers, 128 gigabyte memory card and carrying case costs $479 on Amazon. Eek! However, I figured it was a good way to spend my stimulus check. I can hardly wait to play with kids.

A Better Cell Phone

The reader’s Moto G Power in a leatherette case.

A reader writes that his new LG phone is a dud compared to his older one. No wonder LG is thinking of getting out of the cell phone business. They’ve been losing money since 2015.

The reader’s first cell phone, the LG Rebel 4, cost only $10 because Amazon threw in $40 worth of airtime on TracFone, which charges about $10 a month for the budget plan if you pay annually. His second LG phone, the Rebel K31, cost $50 without the airtime. You’d think the newer LG would be better but no. When using free calling apps like Signal, WhatsApp or Line,  the K31 produces a lag between the time someone speaks and the time the recipient hears it, making an odd gap in every conversation. It’s almost as if the person responding is slow-witted. That’s because the newer LG phone has an inferior processor. The  older one, the Rebel 4, though lower-powered, has a Qualcomm. With it, there are no lags.

 “The Rebel K31 was a turkey from the start,” the reader said. The phone he bought to replace it, the Motorola Moto G Power, with Android 10, “is a real smartphone, not a Rebel toy.” He continued: “The screen is so responsive. And there’s a solid feeling to the phone’s performance.”  The battery life is great too. It’s expected to last three days between charges. The reader said that after playing games and talking on the phone for hours one day, the phone still had a 75 percent charge the next day, and 50 percent the day after that. Amazon’s price is $133 if you get a Moto G Power with TracFone service. 

 If you’re wondering whether now is a good time to buy, experts suggest you upgrade when your Android phone’s operating system is three versions or more behind the current one, which is Android  11. Alternatively, you can install a good app, such as Malwarebytes, when your phone no longer gets security updates. 

Internut

RD.com/dentist has a Reader’s Digest story about a guy who opened his mouth to 50 dentists in 28 states, just to see how their advice would vary. The ones with no financial interest in the outcome said all he needed was a $460 crown. At the other end of the spectrum were those who recommended a $25,0000 reconstruction. The current issue of Reader’s Digest has an article about dentists who do almost as many root canals on a single patient as they have teeth. One lady spent $50,000 on non-existent problems.

 

 

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