Fruit Ninja is what’s called an “iPhone necessity” or more simply, a classic. It’s one of the most popular apps on the App Store; so popular, in fact, that there are many ports and two other versions of it:
- a spin-off game on iOS titled Fruit Ninja: Puss in Boots, based off the film of the same name.
- an Xbox Live Arcade game for Kinect, (appropriately) titled Fruit Ninja Kinect.
- and ports to iPad, Android OS, Windows Phone 7, Symbian OS, and Bada OS.
All games reviewed on iPhone 3G, version 4.2.1
The gameplay comes down to one simple swipe of your finger. It sounds like it wouldn’t be fun, but is actually very addicting. As the title indicates, you are basically a ninja slicing fruit with your sword, though you never actually see a character or even your blade — just lines to show where you’re swiping. The main problem with the game is that there are only three game modes: Classic, arcade and zen. However, you can unlock new backgrounds and blades that change how your cuts look (such as the rainbow blade that changes the color with each swipe, or the pixel blade that turns the swipe into pixelation). You can also take advantage of combo moves (slicing more than two fruits at the same time) and powerup abilities in arcade mode. Also is a rare fruit that allows you to slice it multiple times to boost your score. The graphics are nice, but there are slight fuzzy outlines on the fruit; the sound effects are nice and fitting, too. There are plenty of reasons to replay the game, such as the new blades, but also achievements and to simply beat your high score (which you can compare to the world, thanks to Openfeint and Game Center). Another fault is that you can only slice the fruit one time, meaning you can’t slice it beyond two pieces.
Fruit Ninja gets a 4 out of 5 (1.7.1).
Fruit Ninja: Puss in Boots
Unfortunately I cannot play because it gets stuck on the loading screen. I find this odd since the lite version worked just fine. For now it gets a 1 out of 5, but once I getter a better phone I will re-rate it.
KungFu Food-Panda (and KungFu Food) are the best alternatives. Both are completely free (supported by ads), but are full-featured games, unlike the lite version of Fruit Ninja, for example, where there’s a score limit and you can’t unlock all blades and backgrounds. Kung Fu Food/Panda use sushi instead of fruit, and has the same problem: ony three game modes, and this time, there are no powerups. The graphics are exactly the same and it still features good sound effects. You can also unlock blades and backgrounds, though there aren’t as many as in Fruit Ninja. However, everything else is still here: Game Center, achievements and the thrill of beating your high score. The second game, called simply KungFu Food, which acts as a sequel or an updated version. It’s virtually the same exact game, but this time you can choose from two regions: China and America. China is the same game, but America features fast food instead of sushi. There’s also product placement in this version: Sprite, Lays and Fanta are clearly seen on the items. I suggest this version instead since there’s more variety, though with either game, you’ll get almost the same experience as with Fruit Ninja.
Kung Fu Food-Panda gets a 4 out of 5 (1.2).
SushiChop is the real deal — the real bad deal. Though the music is pretty cool, the sound effects are dull and features cheesy graphics, worse than the ones in the General auto insurance commercials. Again, there are only three game modes, and there’s not much to unlock. Unlike the other two games, however, the slicing isn’t very responsive. In Fruit Ninja and Kung Fu Food, the physics are right on, very fluid and realistic. Most of the time in this game, your blade will go right through the fish, as the title suggests, making gameplay virtually non-existent. There is no excuse for this kind of unresponsive control and long load times.
SushiChop gets a 2 out of 5 (1.31).
Now we have Kitchen Blade. Dull sound effects, cheesy graphics, no music, unresponsive gameplay, no achievements or leaderboards, only one game mode, no combo moves and no unlockables make this game the worst out of them all. Though it’s not as unresponsive as SushiChop, the above explained problems plague this game into oblivion, making it non-enjoyable, along with a terrible UI. The only defining factor is that you can slice regular sea food, fast food and sushi.
Kitchen Blade gets a 1 out of 5 (1.2).
Cherry Popper. This is actually the name of the game. Awkwardness aside, how does it play? Surprisingly, it’s pretty responsive; only a few times have I had the blade not slice the cherries. Yes, a game that actually works. The downfall, however, is that there are no unlockables and only one game mode. I complained before of only three, but this time it’s much worse. The graphics are just as cheesy as the two games above, but the music is pretty cool, too, and features Game Center with achievements and leaderboards. Though gameplay is responsive, it’s way too slow — the cherries pop up (no pun intended) at a snail’s pace. Overall, the game isn’t too bad, but there just isn’t much to it, not even combo moves. However, it’s free, so you might want to try it out, especially if you’re looking for free achievements.
Cherry Popper gets a 3 out of 5 (1.0).
Prank Slash Free has nothing to it, not even a menu. One game mode, no achievements or leaderboards, no unlockables, no music and dull sound effects, superimposed ice cream cones for graphics, and no combo moves. Also, instead of bombs, it has dog turds — and I’m not making this up. The only thing good about this game is that when you slice the ice cream, it splatters the background with rainbow coloring.
Prank Slash gets a 1 out of 5 (1.0).
Pixel Slice Plus has amazing pixelated graphics, but modeled in 3D. The music is boring, but the sound effects are nice. The game takes advantage of Openfeint, but not Game Center. There are three game modes, but the second two you have to unlock and buy with Pixel Points. There are other unlockables, but not as many as in Fruit Ninja or even Kung Fu Food. The game is pretty responsive, but there are no combo moves. The presentation is nice, but the game lags when slicing. It’s not terrible, and is definitely better than most other clones, but is still not as good as the original.
Pixel Slice Plus gets a 2 out of 5 (2.2).
Veggie Samurai features a very long load time when starting the game, and an average UI. The music is good and the sound effects are alright, but the graphics are worse than Fruit Ninja’s. Once the game loads, the menu freezes and then sometimes the app crashes. However, there are seven different game modes, which is a huge contributing factor. Game Center is supported, but it should be noted that Openfeint used to be supported as well, but for some unknown reason, has now been removed. There are no unlockables, but features combo moves and you’re even allowed to cut the vegetables more than once! This adds to your high score. Veggie Samurai is the only game where you’re allowed to do so. If the game had things to unlock and the menu and load times were fixed, it would be highly recommendable, but in its defense, it’s not a bad game at all.
Veggie Samurai gets a 3 out of 5. (1.4).
Now we have Fireworks Ninja. There are only two game modes and no unlockables, but you can choose from ten different backgrounds to play against. There are no combo moves or even a way to save your high score in a leaderboard, which is a huge downfall. The fireworks may be too small for some players, especially ones with bad eyesight, but it also adds more challenge to the game, and the control is responsive. The music is bad but the sound effects are nice and the game features very pretty graphics. The game is free, so if you’re easily amused by fireworks, you might actually enjoy this game although there is not much to it.
Fireworks Ninja gets a 2 out of 5 (2.4).
Cake Ninja Deluxe Lite
The game starts with a beautiful, calming piano song. It’s not what you would expect from an action game like this, but it’s an amazing piece and the menu is beautiful, too, with crisp clear artwork. Although the music is great, the sound effects sound gross, and though the graphics are great, the frame rate is poor. The swipes to cut the bakery items aren’t very responsive as they sometimes don’t register at all. The game also crashed on me after just one round. You can select different blades and backgrounds, but they’re all unlocked when you start the game, meaning there’s no incentive to keep playing to unlock things. There are six different game modes, but most are just slight variations of others. The production values of the game are wonderful, but the unresponsive controls and laggy gameplay (including the menus) make for an unenjoyable playthrough. The game, as the title suggest, is free, but there is also a pro and deluxe version for 99 cents each.
Cake Ninja Deluxe Lite gets a 2 out of 5 (2.3).
Kong Fu Bear
The game starts with an Engrish intro, but the music and graphics are great. This game plays a little differently than other clones; instead of objects jumping up on the screen, the enemies come forward out of the background and you must slice them to get rid of them. There are some enemies that need more than one swipe. There is only one mode in the free version, but you can purchase an upgrade with a Time Attack mode and no ads, though I don’t think the upgrade is worth it for the $1.99 price tag. However, the gameplay and controls are smooth and responsive enough to warrant a very enjoyable experience. After all, the game is free so there’s no reason not to try it out if you enjoy Fruit Ninja.
Kong Fu Bear gets a 4 out of 5 (1.2).
Tropic Ninja Lite
The game starts with two ads that you have to go through just to start the game. It’s nothing terrible, but it gets annoying whenever you start the game each time. The graphics are amazing, the music is okay, and the sound effects are really good. There’s only one mode and no unlockables, so there’s not much to do besides getting a high score, but there’s not even a leaderboard to compare them. The gameplay is a little laggy and at first it doesn’t register your responses well, but it gets better after you play for a few more seconds. Otherwise, the game is okay but has a long load time.
Tropic Ninja Lite gets a 3 out of 5 (1.0).
Sushi Ninja Lite
This game is from the same developer of Tropic Ninja and also begins with ads. It has all the same problems as it, too. The only difference is that you’re cutting sushi instead of fruit. There is no use in getting one over the other.
Sushi Ninja Lite gets a 3 out of 5 (3.3).
Cut the Zombies
There are two versions of this game, but they both seem to be pretty much the same. The graphics, music, and sound effects are all really good. The gameplay and controls are all lag-free and responsive. It plays a little differently; for one, it’s played in portrait instead of landscape and the zombies fall from the top of the screen instead of jumping up from the bottom. There are actually three different game modes, though the menu only shows two. You have to press the pumpkin to access the third mode. There aren’t any unlockables or leaderboards, but the game plays really well and is overall fun. There’s no reason not to try either of the Cut the Zombies games.
Cut the Zombies gets a 4 out of 5 (1.1).
Sliced Bread Lite
This game has potential—nice graphics and music, okay sound effects, and an item store. Unfortunately, however, the game is ridiculously laggy and controls aren’t very responsive. There are only two modes but it does support Openfeint for leaderboards and achievements. Some of the achievements are really easy to get even when not playing very long or very well, so if you’re looking to boost your Openfeint score, I do suggest this game to get a few extra points. Otherwise, there’s not much else to the game, and it has a ridiculously high size of nearly 70mb (where most others are around 20).
Sliced Bread Lite gets a 2 out of 5 (1.02).
As with most popular games and its clones, the original here is the best. Other games mainly include terrible control and most of the time bare-bones gameplay. Fruit Ninja is 99 cents, so if you need to wait on spending a whole dollar, try Fruit Ninja Lite. If you like it, but want more to whet your appetite, download Kung Fu Food as it’s a full-featured game, but completely free. For the other games, it’s best to let them rest.