|System: Xbox 360|
|Dev: Halfbrick Studios|
|Pub: Halfbrick Studios|
|Release: August 10, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
Fruit Ninja is truly a gem on the mobile platform. No matter whether you play the game on your phone, iPod, or tablet, the game's simplistic premise and cheap price tag make it a fun exercise in time-wasting that millions have enjoyed. And like other mobile mega-hits (we're looking at you, Angry Birds), Fruit Ninja is finally expanding beyond its mobile roots and is coming to consoles. Fruit Ninja Kinect does an excellent job of recreating (and to a certain extent, improving) the mobile experience on the Xbox 360. But I'm not sure this experience really belongs on a big console.
It's not that Fruit Ninja Kinect isn't fun. Believe me, it's a blast. The concept is simple: slice through fruit and avoid bombs to win. This premise applies to several different modes. In Classic mode, your job is to slice through fruit as it pops up. Miss three fruit (or hit a bomb) and your time is up. Zen and Arcade modes are less intimidating, and allow you to rack up as many points as you can in a certain time period.
The format of the mobile game and the new Kinect version is almost indistinguishable, but, of course, the real change is the addition of motion controls. Instead of just sliding your finger across a touchscreen, you can use your arms to physically slice the fruit. Is this cool? You betcha! If slicing imaginary fruit through the air is wrong, then I don't want to be right. In fact, Fruit Ninja may be the smartest use of Kinect yet. It doesn't require precise movements, it's simple to pick up and play, and it doesn't require any serious time commitment. Fruit Ninja really is what gaming on the Kinect should be.
Unfortunately, there are a few things that might dissuade you from picking this title up. First off, you have to pay ten bucks for a game that is regularly 99 cents on mobile platforms. Is the extra cash worth the added experience? Maybe. As I've already stated, slicing through the air is extremely satisfying, and if you want to feel like a Fruit Ninja, that alone may be worth the entry price. However, there are some cool bonus modes as well.
The simplest of these is challenge mode, which gives you a specific task to perform within a time limit in one of the game's main modes. This mode isn't really all that exciting (especially since simply raising your high score in each mode is a challenge all by itself) but you can use challenge mode to also send challenges to friends. It's a nifty feature if you are a competitive person.