But one gaping hole is Fruit Ninja, and since the HD version is currently free for the iPad*, I figured I might as well pick it up and scribble a few hundred words for posterity. To my slight surprise, despite being three years old, it remains freakin’ excellent.
*I swear the price went back up to £1.99 as I was writing the review! Still worth every penny though.
If you play smartphone games even a moderate amount, chances are you’ll have come across Fruit Ninja on your travels. It’s one of the most simple – and indeed most enjoyable – mobile games out there.
Essentially, Fruit Ninja tosses a bunch of fruit in the air, and you’re tasked with slicing it before it leaves the playing area by swiping the screen. That’s pretty much it. Simple, yet brilliant.
There are three modes in Fruit Ninja HD, namely Classic, effectively a survival mode wherein you can only miss three pieces of fruit (or hit one bomb), Arcade, which imposes a 60-second time limit, and Zen, a 90-second mode that removes bombs and puts the focus squarely on combos.
There’s also a multiplayer mode, welcoming local battles on the same iPad (the playing area is divided in two), in addition to online competition.
All great stuff, though having a) achieved the status of Ultimate Fruit Ninja (200+ in Classic), b) established myself as an Over Achiever (400+ in Arcade), and c) reached a Moment of Zen (200+ in Zen Mode), I found myself wondering what else there was to do.
Well, there are the rest of the Game Center achievements if that’s your thing, or, more interestingly, you can complete Fruit Ninja challenges in order to unlock different blades and backgrounds.
But more important than all that, Fruit Ninja HD is simply enjoyable to play, and with all the freemium nonsense kicking around (here’s looking at you, Candy Crush Saga), it’s refreshing to play a game where the emphasis is on fun.
- It’s just fun to play
- Three single-player game modes in addition to multiplayer
- Lots of challenges and goodies to unlock
- Admittedly a bit samey after a while
- Halfbrick wants you to buy stuff (but you really don’t need to)
Summary: Fruit Ninja HD recalls the good old days when smartphone developers were more focused on making fun games, and less concerned about milking gamers for every stinking penny.
Developer: Halfbrick Studios
Price: £1.99 @ App Store
Requirements: Compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later.