Join the Battle Against Fruit in Fruit Ninja Kinect!
“Hate fruit?” These two simple words can elicit any response ranging from vehement nodding to double-takes – especially if those words are written on a non-descript wall…with a cartoon sensei urging you towards an alleyway. However, if you give into your curiosity like the young man within the Halfbrick Studios’ Fruit Ninja trailer, you’re definitely in for a treat.
Although I must admit that I love all types of fruit, I have no problem slicing and dicing the colourful produce with a vengeance in Halfbrick Studios’ original Fruit Ninja mobile game. The running joke is that I don’t even own a smartphone on which to play this addictive game; however, my husband does, and I’ll commandeer his Windows 7 phone any chance I get to indulge my fruity addiction!
Like most games for touch-screen phones, the original Fruit Ninja allows you to slice flying fruit by swiping your finger across the screen. The more fruits you karate-chop in one swoop, the higher the combo score. Of course, it becomes a frenzied endeavour when bombs and super-fruit (e.g. frozen bananas to slow down fruit, or a fiery-coloured banana that starts a fruit frenzy) are thrown in. As you can imagine, the bombs are quite annoying when you’re on a streak, slicing the fruits like a champ…and all of a sudden: boom! Your finger hits one of those pesky explosives. All those painstaking minutes wasted, and you have to start all over again to beat the previous high score. It’s easy to lose track of time as you continue to play this simple yet addictive game.
Well, now fruit ninjas of the world can rejoice: Halfbrick Studios has developed Fruit Ninja for Xbox 360’s Kinect. The premise remains the same: slice as many fruit as you can, but now your body is your weapon: bat at fruit with your hands, windmill your arms, or even jump-kick the fruit away (though…kicking isn’t exactly recommended). In addition to the Classic, Zen, and Arcade modes that we saw in the original Fruit Ninja, now you can play with up to three friends in Party Mode. Or, if you’re competitive like me, battle against your friends or climb the leaderboards to see who the true Master Fruit Ninja is!
While Fruit Ninja Kinect is slated for a summer release in the Xbox Live’s Summer of Arcade promotion, we got some hands-on time at this year’s E3. Needless to say, I was excited to see how the Kinect version compared. No disappointment here! Though the gameplay is different (touch vs. touchless interface), it took less than a minute to re-orient myself into the Kinect-gaming style. It definitely helped that the Kinect’s camera scans the player(s) and projects a shadow silhouette into the game, allowing for easy tracking of where your hands and arms should be.
We played in the Classic mode where we had 90 seconds to rack up our high score. While at first it seemed like it was just the original game transferred to the Xbox platform, I was delighted to see that they added something new. Near the end of the 90 second round, a giant pomegranate fills the middle of the screen, challenging the player to slice it as many times as possible while the seconds tick away. Extremely hyper flailing ensued!
Of course, like with most Kinect games, a party-element has been added to Fruit Ninja Kinect. In addition to the aforementioned modes, Halfrick has also added the Co-op mode, where two players can play side by side to slice and dice. This would definitely be one of those times you hope that your partner doesn’t decide to get hyper with the karate moves! With the typical achievements and unlockables that come with Xbox games, Fruit Ninja Kinect promises to be a fun and addictive game for single players and party people alike.
Fruit Ninja Kinect will be available for download from the Xbox Live Arcade this August. I guess my husband won’t need to worry about looking for his phone anymore. Now we’ll just have to fight over the Kinect…or better yet, he can join me in my battle against the fruit!
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