This Xbox Live Arcade game is outstanding and well worth the 800 Microsoft points ($9.99) it cost to download! If you have children, a significant other, or have company over on occasion you now have a game that anyone can play, enjoy, and compete in with the easiest controls on the planet. I must admit that I had my reservations when I heard that the concept of Fruit Ninja was being “ported” to the Microsoft’s Kinect. I played the game on my godson’s IPod touch for maybe 15 minutes and quickly lost interest a couple of weeks ago. However, the guys and gals over at Halfbrick did an excellent job at taking their App (6 million sold and still counting) and turning it into one incredible addictive game Microsoft’s motion control peripheral.
Fruit Ninja Kinect is very simplistic in design and addictive as hell! You use your hands and sometimes feet like swords to chop various fruit as it is lobbed across the screen while avoiding the bombs that are launched in front of you as well. On the Kinect you have the added help of having your silhouette in the background to help orientate your slices. There are several game types to keep individuals as well as groups preoccupied for a while. The game types included are your standard affair. There is a classic mode similar to what you played if you purchased its smart phone counterpart. In this mode if you miss three pieces of fruit or hit a bomb its game over. There is an arcade mode where the clock counts down from 60 sec’s and you have to slice as much fruit as you can in that time frame (This is the mode shown in the video). There are also 2-player competitive type modes that have 2-players competing against one another for points and using power-ups. Also a Challenge mode is included that tasks players with chopping so much fruit or obtaining a high score to unlock “swag”. Swag includes new backgrounds and effects like butterfly’s that trail your knives.
Controls are spot on! With the added help of having your silhouette in the background chopping motions are performed with laser-like precision. Calibration happens often while switching between game types and when at the main menu. What surprised me was how “apartment friendly” the Kinect was in this game. Because of a central air unit in my living room I only sit 8ft or so away from the screen so I have to move the couch and still barely stand back far enough for the Kinect to see my feet. Since Fruit Ninja only cares about my top half I’m always in range and no major calibration occurs until I switch out with one of kids. Immediately after the swap the camera recognizes this and adjusts to the new miniature gamer almost immediately.
Graphics & Sound
Graphics are what you would expect. The brightly colored fruit “pops” in HD. Your silhouette appears in a shadowy mist when you step in front of the camera and disappears when you either walk out of the frame or someone steps in between you and the camera for longer than a few seconds. New backgrounds and different effects for your swipes can be earned. Sliced fruit spatters on the background as well. The sound is of the same caliber. The distinction between fruit and bomb cues comes across quite naturally with a swoosh noise when waving your knife hands around. All-in-all there are no complaints to be found in sound or graphic design. You get everything you would expect graphic and sound wise from a game whose objectives have you slicing fruit.