Fruit Ninja Kinect
Fruit Ninja Kinect is a game where you flail your hands about in front of your television, slicing fake fruit into bits. There is no story, no explanation, no real rhyme or reason to the madness, just the knowledge that these fruits are in desperate need of a choppin’.
Based on the well-worn iOS title, Fruit Ninja Kinect is predominantly the same game you’ve played on your iPhone, just experienced in a new and totally more exhausting way. Fruit is still shot from the bottom and sides of the screen, but rather than swipe your finger across the iPhone’s touch display, your hands and feet become tools of produce destruction. Hand gestures are accurately captured by the Kinect, especially when your motions have a little bit of exaggeration, though it doesn’t read feet nearly as well. Even without feedback, there is a sick pleasure seeing watermelons and the other juicier fruit explode with every swipe.
While players can swing their appendages about, spamming inputs and likely disemboweling each and every fruit foolish enough to cross their path, controlled motions make up the admittedly limited strategy of Fruit Ninja. Single slashes that eviscerate three or more fruit at once trigger combos, which net twice as many points. Learning to control your hand motions and slash in arcs is crucial to high-scores and avoiding the sporadic bombs that are thrust into play.
As an entire package, Fruit Ninja Kinect is rather anemic. The most notable new feature is the Party Mode, which allows two players to either compete on the same screen or co-operate for high-scores. Both modes can be amusing in short bursts, but it’s a good recipe for slapping your friend’s hand inadvertently and isn’t nearly as fun as having the whole screen to yourself.
Outside of Party, Classic Mode, Arcade, Zen and Challenge make up the mode list, but they’re all simple rule variations on the same gameplay. The bottom line is you either like slashing imaginary fruit or you don’t. You will obviously look like a buffoon playing Fruit Ninja Kinect, but it’s also possible you’ll feel like a badass – a fruit cutting badass, at least. This truth is realized each and every time the pomegranate flies across screen, signifying a flurry of human input madness. Once the pomegranate has been initially slashed, the fruit remains in-tact for a few more seconds, allowing the player to swipe at it as many times as they can in the allotted time. At this point the input recognition becomes more lenient, opening up for hilarious inputs that wouldn’t work during normal gameplay – the Shoryuken being my favorite. Do whatever you want, just make sure you’re doing a lot of them, because you don’t want to squander the pomegranate.
Any way you peel it, Fruit Ninja Kinect is a bare bones game about swinging your arms at flying produce. If you’re too proud to see the stupid amusement in doing as much, you will hate it. For those of us wanting a bit of silly, mostly mindless fun, it’s a refreshing new way to work up a sweat and look like an idiot.