Originally Published: August 9, 2011, on EGMNOW.COM

Publisher: Halfbrick Studios
Developer: Halfbrick Studios
Platforms: XBLA

Release: 08.10.11

Players: Singe Player, 2-player local vs and co-op multiplayer, online leaderboards

ESRB Rating: E – Everyone

The Good: Just as much fun as the iPhone app…
The Bad: …for the same amount of time and ten times the price
The Ugly: Me after sweating from ferociously chopping in my living room for a couple of hours

Even though it may come across as a simple game, the release of Fruit Ninja Kinect carries a lot of weight with it. Being part of the Xbox Summer of Arcade garners that the game needs to be a certain level of quality. It’s the first downloadable Kinect game made and many Kinect owners are hoping this will begin a push to see more software finally start to support the device again. And it could deal with the ire of fans of the original game for smart phones if it doesn’t translate well to motion controls. So how would a game originally designed for a touch screen feel when not touching anything at all? Pretty damn good.

Anyone who has played the original Fruit Ninja will instantly be able to jump right into this game. After only a couple of sessions in the perfectly ported Arcade, Classic, or Zen mode you’ll be swinging your arms as proficiently as you swiped your fingers across a touch screen. The only problem players may find with the controls comes when you are swinging upward because when you bring your arms back to your sides, the game will sometimes pick that up as a downward slice and cut into something you never intended to. After a couple rounds prematurely shortened due to this though and you’ll learn to compensate as the original game overall translates very well to the Kinect. The game may actually translate a little too well.

After only an hour of play, I had matched or broken the high scores I had in the smart phone app and found myself bored with the game. Would I play it again at some point? Maybe, especially if I had a friend coming over for the local versus or co-op modes, which is the only real difference between this and some smart phone versions out there. But, swinging your arms instead of swiping your fingers just isn’t enough to sell me on this game at this price if I’m playing by myself. I could just pick up my phone or iPad, and do the same exact thing as on the TV screen with a lot less effort and for one-tenth the price. Bright, colorful, easy to pick up, and initially fun to play, Fruit Ninja Kinect is a solidly built game. But with such fast dissipating appeal and minimal replay-ability I don’t see why you’d pick this up when you can get virtually the same experience for a lot cheaper on your smart phones.

Score: 6.5