iPhone Review: Fruit Ninja

If the iPhone has reminded us of anything, it’s the fact that games don’t need major storylines, epic 3D visuals and soundtracks by a 100-piece orchestra. Developers have instead focussed on making games enjoyable to play, easy to learn and hellishly addictive. With Fruit Ninja, Halfbrick have taken this concept to a whole new level…

While chopping fruit doesn’t sound like a great concept for a game, it turns out to be a master stroke. Fruit Ninja offers two game modes: classic and zen mode. The classic game throws endless amounts of fruit at you to chop, offering the opportunity to get huge combos by chopping several bits of fruit in the same stroke. Those who fancy showing off a bit can use 2 or 3 fingers to do multiple strokes at once, which you’ll certainly need to do as you get a bit further and the amount of fruit on screen increases dramatically. If a piece of fruit falls off the screen intact, you lose a life. Once all your lives are up it’s game over. Pretty standard fare until you factor in the bombs that pop up in ever increasing numbers – chop one of these and you’re in trouble, as an explosion fills the screen and ends the game there and then.

Zen mode is a little different. No bombs, no lives, just 90 seconds to do as much chopping as you can. Combos help push your score up and you’ll be looking for the ideal moment to swipe your blade in order to catch as many as possible in one stroke. When the 90 seconds is up, you’re given your score. This is when the addiction begins. The determination I found to beat my own score over and over again was amazing, and as soon as I noticed my OpenFeint friend scores that addiction got turned up to 11.

As if that wasn’t enough, the Dojo gives you a set of challenges to unlock new blades and backgrounds, with the new blades being especially cool. Swords that amongst others things change colour, sweep fire and leave trails in the colours of the US flag are all unlockable and give you specific aims such as slicing 3 pineapples in a row (which is actually harder than it sounds due to the random nature of the fruit).

So we’re already a little addicted. But while we’re here, why not get educated? After each game you’re given a fruit fact, which despite sounding a bit “meh” when you first hear about it regularly made me say “really? wow…” out loud. My wife thought I was going mad.

With new updates offering online play with Game Center, and further updates promised (there’s a tempting “coming soon” banana icon at the moment) Fruit Ninja is a great game to have available in your pocket. And for the price, it’s no wonder at all that it has sat so high in the App Store charts for as long as it has. A work of art.

Price: £0.59 / $0.99

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