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Fruit Ninja (Android) artwork

Fruit Ninja (Android) review

"Well, it beats Goulash Samurai anyway..."

Fruit Ninja (Android) image

Maybe you've experienced a moment like this one: you're caught in an immobile line at the grocery store, and it seems you'll never escape. In front of you is a guy chatting loudly on his phone about awkward subjects he probably shouldn't discuss in public. The specimens before him include a child throwing a tantrum over a candy bar, a patron who may well be the last living person who still uses checks for groceries, and a new cashier who hasn't quite figured out how to tender said documents in exchange for goods. It's then that you think--hopefully not aloud--that "I really want to cut something right now." Since taking a katana to the individuals responsible for your burgeoning headache is illegal, your best bet is to jump onto Google Play and seek out Fruit Ninja. I will warn you, though: playing it excessively is unwise.

I say that partly because Fruit Ninja is a very simple score-attack title in which you cleave melons, berries, bananas, and various other natural sweets for points. Unseen hands lob the produce into the air, and it's up to you to swipe your finger across it, splitting it and thus bumping up your score. Should you manage to cleave more than two items with a single swing, you also earn bonus points. Depending on which of the three play modes you select, you may or may not have a time limit, you might have to deal with bombs (which spell "game over" when sliced), and there could be power-ups that assist you in boosting your score. For instance, hacking a frozen banana slows all targets and allows for more precise slashes and easier combos.

Fruit Ninja (Android) image

There isn't much more to the game than what I've just described. You basically play until it ends, you receive a score, and then you attempt to improve on your performance the next time around. There's no campaign and you don't really have any specific missions, though there are achievements to accomplish and virtual cash and experience to be earned.

Currency seems like a concept that would allow Fruit Ninja to be more than a mere score-attacker. Every time you complete a game or chop a certain fruit, you earn money that can purchase new items. Perhaps you've grown tired of your current blade and would like one that creates rainbows and provides a plus-one to any combo. It could be yours if your level is high enough and you possess a sufficient amount of moolah. You can also drop some bread on new dojos, which bestow various advantages in addition to altering the background. For instance, there's one called "Gutsu and Truffles," which more frequently spawns crates full of goodies and power-ups.

Fruit Ninja (Android) image

I hesitate to use a word like "divine" when it comes to Fruit Ninja's action, mainly for reasons I'll get to shortly. Let's just say there's "never a dull moment." The game starts off appropriately slow, easing you into the oncoming frenzy by tossing you maybe an apple or a pear here and there. With each swipe, you hear the pleasant sound of folded steel dancing its way through the airborne food. Before you know it, a plethora of morsels bombards you, begging to be pared. With each rapid wave of your finger, you might feel your stress diminishing. It also helps that the game's touch screen sensitivity is spot-on, and that everything moves without a hitch. This is especially important later on, when a veritable fruit salad hits your phone's face. It's enough that you'll perhaps find yourself tapping Fruit Ninja's icon the instant you have down time.

...and then, out of nowhere, you'll forget you even downloaded the app.

As you can perhaps tell, Fruit Ninja suffers from a dearth of content. You might attribute that to the game's slim price tag, but the truth is that I've downloaded scores of free games that offered boatloads of extras, levels, and special objectives. Fruit Ninja only features the aforementioned three play modes and a handful of unlockables, most of which aren't worth the time you'll have to devote to accessing them. Without depth or variety of some kind, all you have is another repetitive score-attack title. Granted, it's one that can be enjoyable in small spurts and is worth giving a spin, but it doesn't have much staying power. Even Candy Crush Saga, which I will admit to having played, held my attention much longer than Fruit Ninja did.

Fruit Ninja (Android) image

Don't get me wrong; I'm not discouraging you from playing Fruit Ninja. For a few brief sessions, it's a delightful mobile game. However, it doesn't take long for it to grow somewhat tiresome, especially if you haven't played it in moderation. Don't expect this title to suck up your free time the way Candy Crush, Angry Birds, or Dark Meadow: The Pact might. It'll get you through a lengthy grocery line or a day at the Department of Motor Vehicles, but it's no replacement for other cheap and freeware titles with significantly more content on offer.


JoeTheDestroyer's avatar
Staff review by Joseph Shaffer (August 26, 2015)

Rumor has it that Joe is not actually a man, but a machine that likes video games, horror movies, and long walks on the beach. His/Its first contribution to HonestGamers was a review of Breath of Fire III.

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