August 10, 2011

Summer of Arcade: Week Four

Lasting First Impressions of Fruit Ninja Kinect from Halfbrick Studios

Fruit Ninja Kinect boxartI was first introduced to Halfbrick’s Fruit Ninja when I discovered it for the iPad and was immediately hooked on the game.  Without thinking twice about it, I purchased the game for my iPad and have never look back since.  It was the perfect game for a touch device like the iPad or the iPhone, utilizing all five fingers, if you so desired.  So you can probably imagine my scepticism when I first learned that there was a Kinect version of Fruit Ninja in development.  Not only that, but it was slated to be part of this year’s Summer of Arcade.  Really?  Okay, I suppose in previous years there’s always been that one game that didn’t quite live up to the quality of the other Summer of Arcade titles.  This must be the one, right?  I mean, how do you translate a game designed to be played with your fingers, to be played with, well, your arms.  They’re really grasping at straws to come out with Kinect games now, aren’t they? They must be.

Despite these perceptions of the game, I still knew I had to give it a try.  I love the game on my iPad and I was fascinated to see how they were going to translate it to Kinect.  Before I go any further, let me tell you that my initial misgivings of this game were way off the mark.  This, the fourth entry in Xbox Live’s Summer of Arcade 2011, is definitely worthy of being part of this year’s eclectic mix of titles.  Halfbrick Studios has definitely translated the touch gestures of the iOS version of this game into a well crafted Kinect title that is easy to pickup and hard to stop playing.


Like its predecessor before it, Fruit Ninja Kinect boasts the exact same Ninja Fruit-slicing action in both Arcade and Zen mode.  Fruit is thrown onto the screen and, using your arms as swords, you slice your way through the multitude of fruit, while carefully avoiding the dreaded bombs.  The more fruit you slice, the more points you rack up.  Don’t let that fruit get away though, as three escaped fruit will cost you the game.

Of course, what would a game on Kinect be without the ability to have someone slice along side you? That’s right, you can slice your way to victory with the help of a friend.  Side by side, you can either work together to obtain as high a score as you can in 60 seconds, or you can play against each other for the highest score.  I played both modes of multiplayer with my daughter, Eria, and we both had an absolute blast with it.  Neither one of us wanted to quit playing.  Even when we were playing against each other, each trying to get the highest score, it was still just as much fun losing to her as it was winning.  It was sheer unabashed fun for the both of us.  We were laughing and carrying on during and after every round.  We both worked up quite a sweat playing too.  It may not be a workout like Ubisoft’s Your Shape but it does get tiring, in a good way, nontheless.


Think you can beat your friends’ scores?  In addition to the same-screen multiplayer modes, the main menu will tell you who in your Friends List is ahead of you in Challenge Mode allowing you to take them on and beat their score.  This alone is enough to keep one busy slicing that darned fruit until you can no longer lift your arms!

I was previously skeptical about bringing this game to Kinect, but Halfbrick has proven that it is definitely possible to usher a touch based game successfully to the world of Kinect.  Fruit Ninja Kinect is an extremely fun and wonderful addition to both the Summer of Arcade and to the growing library of Kinect games.

Halfbrick Studios, I gave you an hour and I am IMPRESSED.

About the Author

Sean is an avid gamer and lover of all thing tech. He is a dedicated husband and the father to three beautiful daughters. In addition to taking his love of gaming to a new level with this site, Sean is also host of our podcasts: The OMG! Hour, Lost Treasures of Gaming, and Primetime as well as the bi-weekly podcast mashup show, Gamers Unscripted. Follow Sean on Twitter as @Xiantayne and this blog as @OMGnexus.



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