I just received this game last night, and have only played it for about an hour, so these are my initial impressions.
First, obviously, this is not a 'gamer' game. This is a way to get your daily walk in that is a little more interesting than just walking on a treadmill. It has gaming elements, but those who are looking for a purely gaming experience will not find it in this genre :-)
As exercise, this is pretty darned good. I did a 45 minutes stretch last night to learn the game and get a feel for it. The time flew by and I burned about 275 calories. ***EDIT - actually, after doing an hour today, I realize I must have done about an hour last night - I guess the time really DID fly by! :-) *** I am very much a Wii exerciser, I do EA Sports Active and have been looking for a light to moderate cardio option for my scheduled rest days, and Walk It Out looks like it will work very well for this. I did my session last night on the normal setting and I would call it light cardio. I did not feel like I was working terribly hard, probably could have sang through most of it, but by the end of the 45 minutes I was sweating lightly. There are ways in the settings to change the intensity up or down, too, but I doubt you could really crank this up to a high intensity level, where you were having to pant to breathe. You could probably get it to where you could not sing though.
The game starts with a profile creation section in which you enter your stats and create your little person to walk around Rhythm Island. Sorry, you can't use your Mii :-( And the little people are fairly generic - the main difference between boys and girls, for example, seems to be that girls wear shorts and boys wear long pants. And everyone is wearing the same outfit, just you get to pick what colors you want your outfit to be. Obviously, however, I have not unlocked all the game, so possibly there are unlockables that change this up later - if not, hey, Konami, think about it for Walk It Out II! ;-)
After you create your profile, you choose your controller options for that session. The three options are controller with nunchuk (tuck the nunchuk in a pocket or your waistband, just like Wii running on Wii Fit), dance mat, or balance board. The game auto-highlights whatever you have plugged in, so if you have your balance board out and turned on, it will select that, if your DDR mat (or Active Life mat, it works fine with that one too!) if plugged in, it will choose that. You still get to select a different option if you like.
A couple notes about the balance board option. It is a little odd. The instructions say not to lift your feet all the way off the balance board, just lift your heels in turn, and if you forget and lift your feet, you can get an error message. They say this is to prevent falls, but it's not how I use the balance board for Wii Fit, so it's hard to remember at first. Also, not lifting your entire foot is obviously not as intense as regular walking, so that may be part of why this game seems light. However, learning the hand controls was a bit tricky at first, so I would definitely recommend using the balance board option so you are doing something light while you try to learn - once you get up the learning curve, just do whatever you like.
The first time you play, the game starts with a brief tutorial section. This is valuable, and I would go through it carefully, but it does tend to break off rather abruptly in spots, which is a little weird. Basically you walk in place. There is a step counter and gauge in the upper left corner that shows you what beats you should be stepping on, just like DDR, and when you step on the beat, you get a point, called a chip, that you will later spend to unlock items. If you miss a step, however, not only do you not gain a chip, but you LOSE one too (this can be turned off in the settings for beginners or children, because it's really hard to click on an event capsule without losing the beat!). If you are very close to the beat, you get a great, and if you are exactly on the beat you get a perfect, although I haven't noticed anything extra that you get for these, the game does keep track and gives you little messages like 'Wow! You've got 500 Greats so far!'
As you walk around the island, you will see little bubbles. These are called event capsules, and if you point your remote at these when you are close enough to them, they will get larger and have words in them like 'Palm Tree 100'. The number is the number of chips you need to 'buy' that item. When you look at the bubble, it will show up in either black or red text. Black means you currently have enough chips in your 'bank' to buy it, red means you don't. If you have enough chips to buy it, just click on it and it will poof into being before your eyes. You can buy everything from scenery to new song tracks to new areas of the map - IF you can manage to get the cursor pointed at the right bubble while you are clicking without missing a beat on your walking!!! For the less coordinated among us (myself included), this is the challenging part! It will definitely take some practice. There were also some event capsules that I am not sure what they are for, some rainbow ones you collect, some brown ones with times on them, etc. I'm looking forward to figuring these out as I play, but I don't know yet what they do. Although I like that there are these longer term goals built in! There are also some minigames, but I haven't done any yet - I think many of them are locked at first.
Now here is the part I am not 100% sure how it works, but this is what I THINK. If an event capsule is still red, you can still click on it, and it will go into your queue. You have a queue of three circles right next to your step counter at the top of the screen. You can fill these circles up with event capsules that you cannot afford and then as you collect the chips to unlock those events, they become available. BUT they don't seem to poof into being as soon as you earn the chips, just the next time you are in that part of the island, that event capsule will be black text with no number under it - you can click on it and it will appear immediately. This was a little confusing at first, but I think that is how it works.
Finally, you can change the view by holding down the B button to do a 'grab and drag' on the scenery. This is hard to get used to and I kept ending up looking at my feet or the sky or the opposite direction from where I meant to look! But, some of the event capsules seem like they would be very difficult if not impossible to collect if you don't look around sometimes.
The island looks to be quite large, with a lot of side routes. Also the amount of unlockables is enormous - I spent my entire session last night walking around in a loop around this auditorium, and I still have a LOT more things to unlock up there before I have all the scenery open. My daughter walked around for about 30 minutes and concentrated on opening new routes, and she had 26% of the island open when she was done, but that doesn't seem to count side routes. It's definitely not a game you will finish in a few days, looks to be good value for the money there.
The time of day you play matters, too - at night, you are walking under the stars, and during the day it is sunny. There are different unlockables for different times, too, I had some constellations last night, don't know yet what comes up during the day.
This is suitable for kids - my three year old son is playing it right now, we turned off the penalty and set the costs of the event capsules to 'easy', so he can walk around for a bit, stop and click on something to have it appear.
The song list is pretty cool - much like DDR, a lot of songs you never heard of before but are still pretty likable, some modern tracks by people like Black Eyed Peas and La La Land by Demi Levato, some oldies like Katrina and the Waves' Walking on Sunshine and a cover of the Go-Go's Vacation. I only have a few songs unlocked so far, so sorry, can't give a complete list.
All in all, a solid edition to your Wii exercise routine. Cardio is one of the areas that Wii exercising is light on, and this is a good if no more than moderate addition to the genre. For the price, there is a lot of gameplay here, and it's a great way to get in a daily walk with some gaming goodness thrown in. Enjoy!!