Sponsored By

Critical Reception: Halfbrick's Fruit Ninja Kinect

This week's edition of Critical Reception examines online reaction to the iOS-ported fruit-murder sim Fruit Ninja Kinect, which reviewers describe as "easily the best version of Halfbrick's popular title."

Danny Cowan, Blogger

August 10, 2011

4 Min Read

This week's edition of Critical Reception examines online reaction to the iOS-ported fruit-murder sim Fruit Ninja Kinect, which reviewers describe as "unquestionably enjoyable, and easily the best version of Halfbrick's popular title." Fruit Ninja Kinect currently earns a score of 72 out of 100 at Metacritic.com. Joystiq's Griffin McElroy gives Fruit Ninja Kinect 4.5 out of 5 stars. "The game oscillates between binary states of chopping fruit and waiting to chop more fruit, with little extraneous cruft to pad the two," he describes. "There is fruit, and then you chop it, and then the fruit -- in a burst of citrus and points -- is gone!" "Such a single-faceted premise would be a mark of death for any game, even a budget-priced downloadable title," he admits. "Luckily for Halfbrick, it is good to chop fruit with your hands." McElroy continues: "If you're familiar of the mobile version of the produce-hostile casual title, you already know everything there is to know about this winning formula. As fruit is launched upward by an unseen assailant, players must slash each foodstuff before it falls out of sight." McElroy notes that the new Kinect control scheme is entertaining enough to make the game a worthwhile purchase: "The substitution of swift flicks of your fingertips with decisive thrusts of your entire upper body easily justifies the ten-times-more-expensive price of the XBLA title over the app. "There is a level of satisfaction one achieves when performing a rising uppercut on a cluster of tightly-grouped watermelons that cannot be matched -- or even approached -- by a game that only requires you to move half of one percent of your body." "Its premise is as barbaric and unsophisticated as premises come, and yet its so chock-full of clever ideas and satisfyingly tight controls that it very nearly circles back around to pure genius," McElroy writes. "It doesn't just set a high bar for the flock of touch-based apps which will almost certainly follow in its footsteps to the Kinect platform -- it sets a pretty intimidating precedent for the platform altogether." Nick Chester at Destructoid scores Fruit Ninja Kinect at 8 out of 10. "In theory, translating Halfbrick's popular fruit-slicing mobile title to Kinect is a remarkable idea," he begins. "It's hard not to buy into the idea of one-to-one karate chopping of juicy produce in your living room. Fortunately, in practice, Fruit Ninja Kinect works and plays just as well as you'd hope." The new control method proves satisfying. "Whatever magic Halfbrick has harnessed needs to be shared with other developers; Fruit Ninja Kinect's feeling of one-to-one accuracy is a triumph," Chester says. "Rarely did I find myself frustrated when attempting to demolish a pear or a watermelon." Chester continues: "While the game is generally rather intelligent in knowing your slicing intentions, sometimes there's a hiccup. On more than a few occasions I accidentally swiped at a bomb when just trying to scratch my nose. That's more my fault than the game's; I should be able to control myself for the few minutes that each round lasts. Still, it's worth mentioning, as that's obviously not an issue with touchscreen versions of the game." "Its $10 price point may be the only thing that would keep someone from picking up Fruit Ninja Kinect," Chester notes. "Even still, it's unquestionably enjoyable, and easily the best version of Halfbrick's popular title. If you're motivated by outscoring your friends or see a rowdy fruit slicing party with friends in the future, you won't regret a Fruit Ninja Kinect purchase." IGN's Greg Miller rates Fruit Ninja Kinect at 5.5 out of 10. "Fruit Ninja on mobile devices works for me," he writes. "I boot up the app, I cut fruit in half with my fingertip, and I'm on to something else in my life 60 seconds later. It's a 99-cent distraction. Fruit Ninja Kinect is everything that the mobile version is, but it costs 10 times as much. I'm not happy with that." Miller takes issue with the game's lack of meaningful additions. "So what exactly does Fruit Ninja Kinect have going for it?" he asks. "Story? Nope, there is no story. Leveling? Nada. Besides just a few unlockables, like new blade colors and backgrounds, you're looking at a very light offering at 10 times the original expense. "Yes, Fruit Ninja Kinect delivers fun in short bursts, but that's it. It's a mini-game that's over in a few seconds. You could make a case for Party Mode (two-player co-op and two-player competitive matches) being broken out at get-togethers and justifying the game's place on your hard drive, but after a round or two, I imagine my guests growing weary of all the arm flapping and wanting to get back to not sweating and hitting each other in the hands. That's what happened with my roommates, at least." "Whereas I play Fruit Ninja on my iPhone when I'm waiting to board a plane or chilling in a long line, I don't know when I'd break out Fruit Ninja Kinect," Miller concludes. "After a few rounds, I was over it, and doubling back to topple the high scores of my friends doesn't add much to the experience as I won’t play this every day. This is a 99-cent app with a $10 price tag."

Read more about:


About the Author(s)

Danny Cowan


Danny Cowan is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist for Gamasutra and its subsites. Previously, he has written reviews and feature articles for gaming publications including 1UP.com, GamePro, and Hardcore Gamer Magazine.

Daily news, dev blogs, and stories from Game Developer straight to your inbox

You May Also Like