Slicing fruit may not be too exciting in real life, but it’s proven to be the opposite in a popular mobile game known as Fruit Ninja. This game is now available for download in the Xbox Live Arcade, but you’ll need a Kinect to play it. The name it goes by on the Xbox 360 is none other than Fruit Ninja Kinect.
Back in its debut on mobile devices, this game was a great time killer with simplistic controls and objectives. Now, this game has transformed itself into a console time killer where you actually use your hands to slice pineapples and strawberries. The game is simple: fruit such as apples, strawberries, and kiwi are thrown from the bottom of the screen, and your job is to slice them in the air before they fall back down. As you slice, you see a cutting motion go across the screen, just like it does in the mobile. This slicing motion shows you where your virtual sword is on the screen and helps you get your bearings. Every piece of fruit that you slice is worth one point, with bonuses being offered for slicing multiple pieces of fruit in one continuous motion. There are also special fruits that you come across once in a while that can increase how much time the fruit is on the screen or increase the pace at which fruit is being thrown. Triggering a special fruit always leads to lots of extra points.
One difference, and a major benefit to playing with a Kinect, is being able to slice with more than just your fingertips. That’s right; anything the motion sensor picks up is fair game. This time around you can use two hands, which help in those moments where the fruit is flying fast and furious. There are three different single-player game modes (“Classic”, “Arcade”, and “Zen”) and also a few two-player modes. Playing alongside a friend, either with them or against them, is fun, but there is less fruit to slice than the single-player mode.
“Classic” mode is pretty simple: as you slice away, the fruit starts getting thrown up quicker and in greater numbers. Bombs are thrown into the air as well to keep the player cautious. The “Classic” mode has a time limit, and once your time expires, the game ends. Make sure to steer clear of bombs; they will decrease the amount of time left in the round. In “Arcade” mode, there isn’t a time limit, but the bombs decrease your score instead of time. At the end of the mode, there’s a fruit that flies across the screen in slow motion that you get to slice away at. This is the most physically tiring part of the game, but can increase your score a ton. The “Zen” mode is a little bit different than “Classic” mode. In “Zen” mode, there are no bombs or bonus fruit. This mode acts like a practice mode, allowing you to brush up on your form and timing. You can play co-op for all these modes, assuming you have enough room to flail your body parts all over the place.
After playing these different modes, it’s obvious that it can be somewhat difficult to reach all ends of your TV to get the fruit, especially if you have a larger set. This game is stronger as a co-op game, but due to its limited gameplay, this isn’t something that is going to hold your interest for long periods of time.
The integration of this game to the “Arcade for the Kinect” is a good addition, but the fact that it’s a dead-end game makes the game boring rather quickly. It’s essentially the same game you can play on your mobile device for 99¢, but you’ll be paying $10 for this version. The developers try to make things a little more interesting by adding different shadows, blades, and backgrounds, but nothing worthy of an extra $9 to play on a TV. This game needs an extra boost to be worth more than just using a Kinect. The sweetness of the fruit slicing will soon turn bitter, and you’ll be craving something else.
This review is based off a retail copy of the Xbox 360 version of Fruit Ninja Kinect by Halfbrick Studios