Review | 8/12/2011 at 9:11 AM

Fruit Ninja Kinect Co-Op Review

HI-YA! Slice and dice your way through defenseless fruit.

"...and THAT's why I need a Ninja Sword!"  Argument Scoreboard: Wife 2,347  Me: 1

Some games require long winded reviews due to the plethora of features and deep gameplay experience.  Other titles can be critiqued in a few paragraphs.   And then there are a precious few that are so simple, yet so wonderful, you can watch a short video of the gameplay and instantly know if the game is right for you.  Here's an awesome video from Halfbrick Studios, showing off Fruit Ninja Kinect.  

Oh. My. Ninja!  How bad-ass was that!  Man, that guy sure looks cool beating up the Fruit of the Loom mascots.  As you can see from the video, you use your ninja skills to deftly slice and dice furious fruit.  Special bananas add multipliers and other effects, while touching a bomb can end your session or subtract from your score, depending on what mode you're playing.  

That was a nice video, but I'm going to take it to the next level, whatever "it" is. And I imagine the next level is "Ninja Plus One," or possibly "Ninja Two." I'm not going to show you Fruit Ninja Kinect gameplay footage.  I'm going to show you Cubninja Kinect gameplay footage.  I should warn you, I once took an introductory course at real-life Ninja Master Stephen K. Hayes' Quest Center for Martial Arts in Dayton, Ohio.  This was about 16 years ago, and it was nothing like the Rex Kwon Do scene in Napoleon Dynamite.  (Okay, it was kind of like that.)  But I figure that makes me more of a ninja than 99.99999999% of the people claiming to be one.  So here I am, in all my Ninjawesome glory, showing off my Ninjabilities, accompanied by my brother-in-law (who is not a ninja).  Enjoy.

We smash our hands together at the :23 second mark.

The first thing I thought when I saw this video was, "Boy, those 40 pounds I've gained since meeting my wife aren't really in my chest in arms, even though that's what I've been telling myself.  Time for a diet, fatty."  The second thought is, "Yup.  It's pretty stupid.  Let's do that again."  

Fruit Ninja Kinect is a blast to play with a friend.   It's fun to watch people play as well.  This is one of those party games that non-gamers can easily get into.  The game let's two people play competitively or cooperatively side by side.  When you co-op you have a shared score and either player can hit any of the fruit.  When you play the versus mode you each have your own red (left player) or blue (right player) silhouetted fruit.  If you hit your opponent's fruit you'll lose a point.  There's also what my wife calls the "sneaky white fruit," which can be hit by either player and is worth bonus points.

Since each round is only a minute long you can swap people in and out with ease, allowing everyone to get in on the fun.  There are a lot of unlockables, like blade colors, backgrounds, and player silhouettes.  As a simple party game, it doesn't get much better than this.  Here's another video to prove it.  It almost didn't make the cut, because Kevin tried to air-hump the fruit (or me?).


Inappropriate ninja at :33 seconds.  Humping doesn't work, but kicking does!

As much fun as it is, I do have some gripes with the Fruit Ninja Kinect:  It is the $1 dollar mobile app.  The only difference is the big screen, motion controlss, and co-op play.  I can't say it's worth the 800 MSP, especially since it's being bundled with the Gunstringer.  As with most Kinect games, space becomes an issue.  We have tons of space, but as you play the game you start creeping together.  Only one player gains any progress toward unlocks and Achievements.  This has no real effect on the co-op gameplay, but Achievement hounds will be irritated.

Fruit Ninja Kinect might be the best Kinect party game I've played.  Kids are going to love it.  Consider it a very nice bonus when you pick up the Gunstringer later this year.