Get your virtual Ginsu knife ready

First impressions

We’ve never considered ourselves particularly handy with a kitchen knife; just ask the potatoes we annihilated last week. Chopping fruit, vegetables and anything not in a nice, rectangular shape can be arduous work. So why is Fruit Ninja so darn popular? That’s because instead of slaving away over a large melon on a chopping board, all you have to do here is take your finger and slice through the fruit that pops up onto your screen as though from some invisible trampoline. Suddenly your index digit is a lethal weapon, capable of whipping through challenges like kiwis and apples in seconds. We liked this idea. We downloaded the free version and it wasn’t long before we were making fruit salad like, well…a ninja!

How it works

As mentioned previously, Fruit Ninja is a game that revolves around, believe it or not, slicing fruit. But it isn’t just about getting every one that bounces into your screen; it’s about how many you can get in one slice which will bump up your score.

The home screen offers a number of different options including New Game, Multiplayer, Extras, Dojo and (inevitably) Purchase. Start off with New Game and more options face you. You can choose Classic, Purchase, Zen Mode and Arcade Mode (with Power Ups!). What you’ll realise very quickly is that everything but Classic involves money, so you’ll just want to try Classic first to see if this is the game for you before you start ponying up funds.

You’ll want to tap the icons with your finger as you do almost every other app out there, but when you do, a gloved hand will appear indicating that you have to draw your finger across the fruit icon to open it. This will get you into the slicing mode.

You are given three lives, and you’ll lose one of them for every watermelon, apple, orange…you name it, that you don’t cut in half. That may not seem so difficult at the beginning when a lone watermelon leaps up, but when you have a regular fruit basket of exotic beauties jumping into the screen at once, it’s tough to get them all.

Something you really have to be wary of are the pesky bombs that appear once in a while. Almost deliberately resembling black coconuts, they move in the same manner as the fruit, so if you’re a bit finger happy you might try to slice one of them as well. Big mistake. They will explode and it’s (literally) game over. Then you have to start all over again.

You wouldn’t think that a game such as this would appeal to you, but you’d be surprised at the satisfaction you get when you manage to get three or four fruit at the same time, with a spectacular splat against the back wall. It’s not a big revelation that this app is one of the top downloaded games out there at the moment. Looks like underneath it all we’re still all children that dream of a) being ninjas; and b) smashing fruit to smithereens. Gallagher, eat yer heart out.

When we played

We, like others no doubt, got lulled into a false sense of ninja security when we started this game. After all, we had seen both Kill Bill films so surely we were already a master. Not so fast. In our first two attempts we went straight for the bombs, and then after that it was a mad race trying to get all the fruit without hitting one of them. We found the banana particularly tricky as it curved around a bomb when we were attempting to isolate it. We have always found the banana to be the most awkward of fruit.

After going at it a number of times, and getting four fruit at once we might add, we began to feel our ninja spirit rising within. Ten tries later our best score was 98.

We did try to get to the Zen Mode game with no bombs, but when we saw we had to purchase it, we figured we’d keep roughing it for a bit longer. We originally went with the free version of Fruit Ninja, but we certainly enjoyed it enough to pay the full price of (gosh!) $0.99!

Final thoughts

This app ain’t popular for nothin’. If you’ve been longing to chop up a whole bunch of fruit and see it smush everywhere, you’ll be in heaven with Fruit Ninja.

Pros: Easy to learn. Great satisfaction quotient. You’re a ninja.

Cons: Nothing springs to mind.

Fruit Ninja HD

Cost: $0.99

Seller: Halfbrick Studios

Devices: iOS and Android

Rating: E for Everyone

Four stars

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