Publisher: Halfbrick Studios
Developer: Halfbrick Studios
Release Dates: April 21, 2010 (iOS NA & EU) / September 17, 2010 (Android NA & EU)
With the continuous expansion of mobile gaming, the Apple Store became a perfect place to promote new indie titles and bring new experiences while making gaming a part of our daily life. Back in 2010, when games like Angry Birds were already on top of the mobile market, Halfbrick Studios came up with Fruit Ninja, a brand new fruit-slashing experience available for mobile devices. This game introduces you to a ninja concept available for everyone, no matter the age or gaming knowledge; the game is an arcade title, so there is no need for a story or even a background idea, you slice fruits because it's fun and rewarding.
The menu is easily accessible and everything is located perfectly to offer an easy browse between the game modes, achievements and unlockables; there is a lot of fun to experience in fruit ninja and the clear and easy objective of the game makes it a clear choice to introduce even the elders to the concept of video games. Fruit Ninja is a perfect example of the way the current gen technology should be used to provide good entertainment on the go, and its unique innovation ends up providing a title not only for gamers, but for everyone who has a finger and a pair of eyes.
The idea is simple, you use your fingers to slice fruits as they come up the screen, each slice gives you points and in the end it all adds up to your final score. There are 4 modes available right now: Classic, Arcade, Zen and Multiplayer, each providing enough diversity to entertain even the most needy. In classic mode, you must slice all fruits while avoiding bombs, shooting for the highest score with only 3 lives at your disposal; in arcade you slash everything in your way in limited time with different power-ups showing up. Zen Mode challenges you to reach higher scores in 90 seconds without any power-ups, while the multiplayer mode puts you against one other player, while dividing the fruits in 3 categories as well: your, your opponent's and universal; slash his fruit and you lose points and vice versa.
The modes offer more than enough to entertain you for a few hours, and with the highly addictive gameplay you'll always be willing to beat your highscore once more when you're looking for something to spend your time with on the go. The one problem the game has though, is the amount of randomness during certain modes, there is no explainable logic behind the critical strike system as well as the bomb spawn; one round you could get 2 bombs in an entire minute, while the next can flood you with more than ten bombs, making the job of getting a highscore depend more on the luck, rather than the skill.
The fruits are nicely designed, and the interior layers uncovered when you slash a fruit in half are surprisingly detailed. Everything else looks nice, but even with a couple of extra slice tables unlocked later in the game, the game doesn't offer that much in the terms of background variety. The slash effects have a nice touch, especially the later ones unlocked in your Dojo, rewarding you for the time you spend in the game and also everything else you do while playing.
Sound effects are awesome, cutting a fruit in half gives you that incredible satisfaction, at least for the first minutes spent in the game. There is only one song playing while you're in the menu, leaving the actual gameplay time with the effects alone, which isn't necessarily a bad thing simply because the sound effects alone do the job. While I wouldn't bother a few more tracks present in the game, the theme is okay and the sound quality is great.
This is one of those games that will always have that challenge spirit inside its very own core; getting your friend's phone and beating his highscore is one of the greatest feelings in mobile gaming, and with the addition of the multiplayer mode in the later versions you can do that while still playing on your own phone. Aside from that, there are plenty of items to unlock in the Dojo as well as a couple of achievements for those willing to spend more than a few hours in the game.
Fruit Ninja is with no doubt one of the greatest titles to hit the mobile platforms and probably an example of innovation and experimentation for the upcoming titles in the mobile market. With great use of the current technology and brand new ideas made to fit everyone, Fruit Ninja becomes a classic on the current generation of mobile devices and a must play for anyone with a smartphone.