Among the millions of applications available on the Apple App Store, very few manage to stay on top of the pack for long. Released back in April 2010, Fruit Ninja’s simple and addicting gameplay brought it to the top of the charts and never dropped down from it since then. Going into this year’s E3, Microsoft revealed that the popular game would be coming to the Xbox LIVE Arcade platform with Kinect controls. Wonder how the game compares to the mobile version? Here are my impressions.
For the ones who haven’t played this game before, Fruit Ninja Kinect is about one thing and one thing only: slicing as much fruit as possible. While fingers were used as blades in the mobile version, your hands are now your weapon of choice in the Kinect version. You can cut fruit one by one, but it is highly encouraged to wait for multiple fruit to be lined up and to slice them in a single effort to get combo bonuses.
The game has three single player modes to offer: Arcade, Classic, and Zen. The first mode is an action packed mode in which fruits come in enormous packs and in which you can benefit from the use of banana powerups. You are given 60 seconds to get the highest score as possible. Classic Mode will have you trying to cut as many fruits as possible with letting any of them drop to the floor. For each missed fruit you get a strike; after three strikes, you are out. In addition, cutting a bomb (also present in Arcade Mode) will result in a Game Over screen. Last but not least, Zen Mode is all about waiting the perfect moment to strike and pull-off fruit combos for 90 seconds.
While the single player modes are a lot of fun, Fruit Ninja Kinect’s multiplayer portion is a total blast. Featuring both a Co-op and Versus game mode, playing this game with friends at is the most fun I had in a very long time with a party game. Since games are short, waiting for your next chance of cutting through fruits is never far away from the next which is perfect for party play. Better yet: the Kinect sensor has absolutely no problem to switch between players, making transitions between players a breeze. In addition to all the game modes, you can also unlock different visuals for your blade, the game’s background as well as your silhouette’s shadow appearance. Unlocking items requires you to complete small challenges, which add some replay value to the game.
Visually, Fruit Ninja Kinect is beautiful, while not being incredibly striking as you would expect from this type of game. Still, the information you need is always on-screen and nothing gets in your way while you are playing. The same goes for the audio as nothing extraordinary while still being good enough to immerse you into the game’s simple gameplay. One thing to note here is that some of Sensei’s Swag will produce annoying sounds which can get on your nerves.
I could only find a few negative points about Fruit Ninja Kinect. First of all, the movement detection is not always spot-on, which can result in some unwanted slicing and strange cuts that can break a perfect run. Also, I found that there is not much to do aside from getting high scores or unlocking Sensei’s Swag. At 800 Microsoft points, I would have loved to have a sort of “Campain” mode putting you through original challenges.
Just as its mobile version, Fruit Ninja Kinect is fun, intense and addicting. You will probably find yourself slicing fruit for longer than your body can tolerate (at least that’s what happened for me). However, Fruit Ninja Kinect will not make you want to buy a Kinect right away. If you already have a Kinect sensor at home, this is definitely a game that you will want to buy to play over and over again with your friends.
– Easy to pickup and addictive gameplay
– Incredibly fun to play with friends at home
– Great game modes that all bring something different to the game
– Sensei’s Swag challenges bring a much-needed added value to the game
– Imprecise detection can break perfect runs = frustrating
Game experience at time of redaction: Played every mode (including multiplayer modes), unlocked all of Sensei’s Swag.
Fruit Ninja Kinect will be available on Xbox LIVE Arcade for 800 Microsoft Points (around 9,99$USD). It is also available on Windows Phone for 2,99$USD, for the iPod Touch/iPhone for 0,99$USD and on the iPad for 2,99$USD.