Fruit Ninja Kinect Review
Price: 800 Microsoft Points
Fruit Ninja is a game that everyone with a smartphone should already own. It’s cheap, simple, addictive and the perfect time-waster to kill a spare 10 minutes – not to mention supporting the Australian games industry, coming from our very own Halfbrick Studios. Fruit Ninja on Kinect takes the same basic premise, removes the portability, and introduces a full body heave to the fruit slicing action.
What Fruit Ninja Kinect Got Right
That’s fruity - The basic, but extremely addictive, concept behind Fruit Ninja remains the same on Kinect. Fruit is thrown into the air and you have to slice it, while avoiding the bombs, before it goes off the screen. Slicing several pieces in one swift motion will earn you extra points as you strive to better your best score, which is constantly tormenting you in the corner of the screen. Miss three pieces of fruit or hit a bomb and it’s game over.
Full body ninja slicing - The key change implemented by Kinect is the control method. Instead of your fingers across a touch screen, your whole body is used to slice up these bad boys. It certainly puts the “ninja” into Fruit Ninja. In fact, it makes the smartphone version just feel like fruit slicing. You’re not a real ninja until you’ve attempted a sweet roundhouse kick, only to ruin everything in your loungeroom and still miss the fruit. Best to sick with the arm chopping or full body heave if you have limited space or people who don’t take kindly to being kicked in the ear nearby.
Quality Kinect implementation - Kinect has its limits, and is yet to really wow us, despite its potential. Fruit Ninja Kinect plays well within these bounds, and is one of the most responsive games available for Kinect. If you have the (not so) new peripheral, and are looking to pick up some decent software, Fruit Ninja Kinect is a great place to start.
What Fruit Ninja Kinect Got Wrong
Kinect learning curve - Fruit Ninja is all about swift movements. While it’s very accurate, Kinect can be a little too slow at times to pick them up, compared to being able to directly touch a screen, which takes some adapting to if you’re a smartphone veteran. It also needs a perfect sweet spot. Everything goes horribly wrong if you’re too close or far away, more so than other touchy Kinect games I’ve played. That could be problematic if you don’t have a dedicated space for Kinect gaming.
Short gameplay - Fruit Ninja really excels as a quick portable game. Each of the three game modes – Classic, Arcade and Zen – is self-contained and ends once you reach its limits. The addictive nature of the gameplay entices you to strive for better scores, but it doesn’t have the same lasting appeal as the smartphone app, which is designed with short, sharp gaming bursts in mind.
Hefty price - At 800 Microsoft Points, around $13, it’s not too expensive as an XBLA game. However, it’s essentially exactly the same as the $0.99 iPhone release. The iPad version raised the price to $2.99, but $13 seems a little steep by comparison. It’s another addition to the query over the effect of smartphone gaming prices on console services.
The Final Verdict
Fruit Ninja Kinect takes everything that was great about the smartphone version, turns you into a real ninja and raises the price significantly. While I think it’s better served as a portable game, it’s one of the best uses of Kinect thus far and a recommended purchase for anyone looking for more Kinect software. Plus it lets you administer a sweet roundhouse kick in your livingroom.
By Ben Salter
Fruit Ninja Kinect
Platform Xbox Live Arcade (Kinect)
Developer Halfbrick Studios
Similar To First of its kind on Kinect, Fruit Ninja HD (iPad)
MMGN indie and arcade game reviews are rated out of 5 stars