Bigben Interactive is introducing a Wii peripheral designed exclusively for exercise: The Cyberbike Magnetic Edition. This fully-functional, magnetic-resistance exercise bike attaches to the Wii’s Gamecube controller port, and works with the bundled Cyberbike Cycling Sports game. As you can tell from the look of its unique handlebar however, the Cyberbike is also a fully-functional Gamecube controller. This means that players/cycling enthusiasts need not limit themselves to Cyberbike Cycling Sports; they can add a unique twist to any Gamecube or Gamecube-supported Wii title title of their choosing.
Keep in mind one very important thing: this is a fully-functional exercise bike. While compact (I estimate it takes up a mere 2’x 2′ of total floorspace when fully assembled), the machine has a good amount mass to it, and is quite sturdy. The Cyberbike is designed to support 280 lbs, but has been stress-tested to support nearly 200 kilos (over 400 pounds). Major features, such as its resistance, seat and handlebar height, can be adjusted with only a few quick tweaks.
The Cyberbike Cycling Sports game that is bundled with the bike features several different game modes that make the exercise mechanics of the system attractive to kids. The game has an environmental theme, whereby all of its games involve picking up waste and trash to help save the planet. Fortunately, the story segments are not long or intrusive, so adults who don’t care much for the games can simply jump straight into their exercise routine.
- Story mode has players unlock new vehicles as they peddle and play through the various courses.
- Fitness mode allows players to set a goal (be it time, distance, calories, etc) and pedal until completion. There is no story to fitness mode, so players can jump on and exercise to their heart’s content.
- Multiplayer mode allows groups of up to four players take turns to beat one another’s score. Perfect for family play.
There are four different game types to choose from, as well.
- Biking – your standard cycling fare. Players are encouraged to pick up trash as they pedal to their goal.
- Bike-Chopper – a aerial game where players fly around an area collecting garbage and waste. Pedaling speed controls the chopper’s altitude.
- Submarine – an underwater, “on rails” course where players control a periscope (with the Cyberbike’s handlebars) to collect pollution.
- Mine Carts – much like the mine cart scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, players race along tracks to collect rubbish, and use the handlebar to turn their character and collect out-of-reach garbage or avoid hazards.
All in all, the Cyberbike is an impressive little machine with plenty of potential. Hopefully we will see more Cyberbike software (be it from Bigben or Nintendo) in the future. The Cyberbike Magnetic Edition bundle will be available this summer. If you’re looking for a great way to get kids to think positively about exercise, or are simply looking for a compact exercise machine to keep yourself healthy, the Cyerbike is highly recommended.