Title: Fruit Ninja Kinect 2
Platform: Xbox One
Developer: Hibernum Création
Publisher: Halfbrick Studios
Release date: Out Now
Price: $14.99 / £9.99
Family Focus: Click here for more information.
If you owned the original Kinect back in the high-days of the Xbox 360, chances are the original Fruit Ninja was one of the games you picked up not long after its launch. Either that, or you’ve spent a fair chunk of time on the smartphone game that preceeded its silver screen debut. The simple swipe-to-slash-fruit mechanic translated well with the functionalities of the Kinect and made for a fun set of mini-games to keep both kids and kids-at-heart amused.
Now, we have a sequel on our hands that’s been primed for use especially on the shiny new Xbox One. So what’s new?
In Fruit Ninja Kinect 2, the game is set amidst an oriental festival that’s simply jam-packed with fruit of varied colours and many mediums in which to mutilate them. The game is split into three key areas. There is the standard quickplay mode for the modes that featured in the original game, there’s a multiplayer mode and then there’s the festival itself.
Quickplay mode itself has three different game types, which are all great for quickly jumping into a game. Zen, Arcade and Classic modes will all be familiar to you if you’ve played the original, yet all carry a similar theme. Slash the fruit in combos for mega-points whilst avoiding the bombs that can wipe points off of your score. I wasn’t able to test this, but at any time a person can jump in just by standing next to the player and raising his or her hand. Pretty cool!
With festival mode, the game is shaken up with four different game types that challenge you to do a bit more than simply slashing fruit. In one mode, you’re tasked with dodging searchlights whilst maintaining a high score. In the other, the slashing is swapped out with throwing knives through the fruit and on to target boards. All of these serve to mix the core formula up in new ways that offer some cool new things to those who have played the previous games.
Whilst there aren’t too many bells-and-whistles that screams out the benefits of the new Kinect, most of the work is done in a mildly subtle way to ensure that it ‘just works’. I experienced zero issues with tracking in my small room that my Xbox was set up in, and the full-body tracking that the new Kinect offers provided the game with a shadow to show on the screen. This is useful when it comes to a game in the festival that involves dodging searchlights!
One pretty cool thing that’s included thanks to the new Kinect is how to pause the game. You put a hold on things by placing your hands together in a prayer position and bowing. I believe the depth-tracking functions in the Kinect makes this possible, as I’m pretty sure the older one wouldn’t cope with that.
Incentivisation for further play comes from the rather chunky achievements list and a swathe of unlockables bought using in-game cash earned through playing the game. The colour of your ‘blade’ can be changed up, as well as the shadow that you cast on the screen. There’s plenty to keep coming back to, despite each game lasting maybe a couple of minutes at most.
With that in mind, this game continues to be best placed as a quick party game for both grown-ups and (especially) the wee ones. The sheer simplicity of waving your arms around like a maniac is sure to bring all manners of amusement to friends and family. For a tenner, it’s pretty good value if you’re looking for an evening’s entertainment with that shiny black box you’ve got sitting beneath your tele. The jump-up-and-play principle that the game’s based on makes it very suitable for this.
Just make sure that you’ve got appropriate room to ensure that wayward limbs can’t bash into anything mid-slash!
- Pick-up-and-play fun for all ages
- New modes offer new challenges
- The new Kinect ensures that the game works smoothly
- Great for having folks round as a party game
- Now that Kinect-less consoles are in the field, not everyone will get to enjoy this straight away
- Whilst the games are short and quick, which is great for parties, the scope is deliberately limited for much beyond that
Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 is rated PEGI 3, making this suitable for all but the tiniest of wee ones. It’s really simple to pick up and is a brilliant option if you’re looking for a nice (and quick) fun game to play with the whole family.