Fruit Ninja is one of the most popular iOS apps, but there was something a little odd about this game. Why do ninjas hate fruit? That’s basically the entire premise of the game’s lore. You play as a ninja that slices fruit in half — in a seemingly violent fashion. If you’re looking for a rich plot, filled with detailed character development, this game will not satisfy your search. You can play through the entire game without ever seeing a ninja. Perhaps this is a video game about the best ninja ever.
Only occasionally, during the menu screens, can a ninja’s hand be seen. I understand that’s stealth is the main trait of an adept ninja, but this is a bit extreme. The only other proof of the ninja’s existence is the blazing trail of a sword strike. Perhaps you don’t see the ninja because the ninja is you! With a swipe of your finger, you command the sword’s movement. That is the strength of Fruit Ninja. The control is amazing.
For whatever reason, the objective is to slice fruit and avoid hitting bombs. It’s not a terribly complicated game. That’s exactly why it’s so inviting. Fruit Ninja uses the strengths of the platform. The simple yet compelling action is delivered in bite-sizes portions – much like a real fruit. But even though the main game is short, it can also be challenging. Trying to beat your previous high scores increases the replay value of this game.
That’s what I find most surprising about Fruit Ninja. It’s a really great game, even thought there’s really not a lot to it.
Music – Nope, there’s only an intro song and lots of ambient background noises.
Sound effects – They’re good, but the entire game is mainly swooshing and slashing sounds. I put on headphones and I was disappointed – no positional sound. I expected to hear slashing in stereo.
Graphics – There’s only one playing area. It doesn’t change regardless of which game mode you select. The background image can be changed, but that’s it. There’s no scrolling or moving around of any kind. You simply cut fruit.
Superb presentation – that is why Fruit Ninja works. Even though the game assets are limited, they’re used magnificently. There is one addition to the game that really makes a difference – the Sensei. He gives interesting facts about fruit.
Sensei Says, “If you warm a lemon before squeezing, it will yield much more juice.”
I did not know that. I should try that. Thanks Sensei.
Sensei Says, “A plum’s skin is well known for having a laxative effect.”
I did not know that either, but I’m no rush to try.
The game actually put me in the mood to eat fruit. Perhaps the parents of the world can feel good about giving this game to their children. It is educational and fairly family friendly. Although, maybe there is something to video game violence having a relation to real world violence. After playing Fruit Ninja, I felt differently towards fruit. I opened my refrigerator and I saw a box of fruits. I tensed up. I was ready to strike. Quickly, my senses adjusted to reality. But for the next few days, I was looking at apples and oranges quite differently.
I was playing Fruit Ninja quite seriously, as I was trying to unlock all of the Game Center achievements and bonus items. In addition to new backgrounds, you can change the look of your sword. These “Sensei’s Swag” items are trivial customizations. I found that the “Original Blade” and the “Original Wood” background worked the best. I had more fun trying to unlock new items than using them.