games / Reviews

Fruit Ninja Kinect (XBLA) Review

August 9, 2011 | Posted by Adam Larck

Title: Fruit Ninja Kinect
Publisher: Halfbrick Studios
Developer: Halfbrick Studios
Genre: Action
Players: 1-2
Rated: E for Everyone

Let me start off by saying this review may be shorter than our regular reviews. This isn’t because I don’t know what to write, but because there’s not much to write about.

Fruit Ninja Kinect is a port of the iOS game. Like the game on the iPhone, your objective is to slice as much fruit as you can in one of four modes: Classic, Zen, Arcade and Party.

Each mode revolves around cutting as much fruit as you can before the time expires. Classic mode tasks you with not letting any fruit fall off screen and not hitting a bomb, while Arcade adds in banana power-ups and point-deducting bombs. Meanwhile, Zen mode is just about chopping as much fruit as possible in the time limit.

Meanwhile, Party mode offers two different modes: Competitive and Cooperative. The first tasks you with chopping your own color fruit while avoid your opponents, while the other wants you and a friend to slice as much as possible together.

Besides the modes, the bigger question here is does the controls work? Well, I’m happy to report this may be one of the best Kinect games out there for showing the controls off. The movement works basically one-to-one with you. Plus, you can always tell where you are by your shadow that always appears on the back of the screen.

If that wasn’t good enough, the game also can instantly recognize if you move out of the Kinect’s line of sight. When that happens, it just takes a quick auto-calibration before you’re set again. It’s a great feature that all Kinect game developers should take note of and use.

However, even with the great controls, you’ll still feel like you may be flailing around to slice all the fruit. In a sense, you really are. However, a bit of strategy comes into play during the game to get high scores. Chopping multiple fruit at once can give you combos for more points, and multiple combos can give you even bigger combos for points. It’s a good feature to try and bring a bit of strategy into the game.

In fact, one of the main reasons to keep playing the game is because of high scores. The game constantly shows you your highest score and how it compares to friends. Halfbrick hopes this will get you to keep coming back.

However, getting you to come back is probably the biggest problem of the game. Like I said earlier, this is a port of a $.99 game with an extra mode added in. Basically, it means there’s not a lot of content here. The game is best in short bursts, and after a few games you’ll probably be done with it for the day. There’s no longevity here with only a few modes to choose from that take a few minutes at their max.

To keep you trying to come back, there’s also new blade types, backgrounds and shadows you can unlock. However, none of these really have an effect on the game.

Basically, this game hopes you always want to try for a new high score. As long as you do, there will always be a challenge here. Otherwise, this will quickly become something you whip out only at parties.

Pros

  • System tracks you great when chopping fruit.
  • Game offers short bursts that are entertaining for a while.
  • Party mode is good for showing off your friends the Kinect.

    Cons

  • Really nothing of depth here.
  • Still basically same $.99 game, but charging $10 for it.
  • If you’re playing by yourself, game can get repetitive quickly.

    The 411:

    It’s not that Fruit Ninja Kinect is a bad game. In fact, it uses the Kinect controls nicely and follows your movements fairly fluidly. However, unless you have a lot of friends over or care about high scores, you’ll quickly tire of the game. The reason Fruit Ninja does so well on the iOS is that you can pick it up, instantly load it and play for a minute. That same instant pick up and go is lost with the 360. Still, Kinect owners ought to check out the game to see how the controls and calibration can be used right.

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    Adam Larck

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