PAX '11: Fruit Ninja Kinect Makes Looking Stupid Insanely Fun

I have the feeling that most of you don’t need to be told what Fruit Ninja Kinect is, as the original game is one of the titles that I think every single person on the planet is at least familiar with. If you’re one of the few in that other group, prepare yourself for what is possibly the briefest explanation of a game ever. Fruit flies at the screen, and you slice it in half for points.

Making the move to the Kinect for this title is only logical, and while it already makes sense it’s not until you see it in action that you realize just how brilliant this decision was. Read on to see why I think everybody with a Kinect needs to pick this up immediately. 

Simplicity was the name of the game for the original Fruit Ninja and surely a reason why it became so popular in the first place. The old saying is if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, and that holds so very true here as the core game is left intact with one obvious minor change: instead of slicing a screen with your finger, you’re waving your arms through the air.

The game casts a very distinct shadow of yourself in the background which makes it incredibly easy to see where you are at all times and if the game is having any difficulty seeing you. I only saw this one time but more on that later. From this point your goal is easy: slice the fruit! You can do this however you want, and as I talked more about the game with the folks at Halfbrick I saw for myself a few different techniques that people displayed that varied in efficiency. I stuck to the tried and true karate chop myself.

My favorite thing about the game was how easy it was to pick up. As I mentioned earlier I have what could basically be described as zero experience with Kinect, but it wasn’t long before I was chopping fruit with the best of them. In fact I might go so far as to call myself a fruit-slicing expert, and I challenge anybody out there that wants to take me on for that title.

Just as I was discussing how fun this game would be at a party with a group of friends, a group of people stepped up to show off the battle mode which had them competing at the same time to see who could get the higher score. It was pretty hilarious seeing two people standing inches from each other swinging their arms around trying not to hit each other, but even more interesting was seeing how well the Kinect was able to distinguish between the two.

Unfortunately I did see the one sensor issue I mentioned earlier at this time, as it would sometimes have difficulty picking one of the players up. I was told that this happened from time to time here at PAX, usually as a result of the clothing the people were wearing or the unusually bright lighting as opposed to what you would find in a living room. It only happened this one time, and I’m inclined to believe that they tested it in as many logical lighting setups as possible, but it does need mentioning.

Overall I have to say I greatly enjoyed my time with Fruit Ninja Kinect. Actually I think I enjoyed it more than I probably should have. The game adds a great deal of depth and new content over the original, and when playing with a partner or just in front of a group it’s just outright fun. If you have a Kinect, I strongly suggest looking further into this title. Should I ever own one, I believe it might be one of the first games I buy for it.

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John Colaw

John is what you might call something of a badass. When he's not writing about games or playing them, he's playing in the Kansas City band "Documentary" and drinking as many different beers as often as he can. He's a huge comic nerd in the best sense of the term, with a particular love for the Creator Owned movement.

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