Fruit Ninja creator Halfbrick has single handedly turned slicing fruit into one of the hottest forms of portable entertainment. Its simple game, where you, as a fruit ninja, use a razor sharp weapon and lightening fast reflexes to chop as many pieces of flying produce as possible, racking up points and -- if your slicing and dicing skills rival that of the average Iron Chef -- earn permanent bragging rights among your friends.
Since its initial release in 2010, Fruit Ninja has sold well over 3 million copies on mobile devices, last week, made its debut on Microsoft's Xbox 360 gaming system. Now the game has arrived on Facebook in the form of Fruit Ninja Frenzy, and is one of the best mobile-to-social-network game renditions in recent memory.
Fruit Ninja Frenzy borrows heavily from the Bejeweled Blitz game model and takes the Arcade Mode from the original game and gives would-be ninjas one minute to chop as many pieces of fruit as possible, while avoiding bombs, which, when hit, subtract points from your score. After the round ends, you get extra bonus points for pulling off combos or other feats (standard for all Fruit Ninja games), along with "Juice" which can be used to purchase certain power-ups or "Smoothies" to give you a leg up in your next game. And, yes, these boosts, which remove bombs from the game entirely, give you a little extra time or start you off with a random power up, are crucial if you really want to max out your score. You start the game with one power-up slot, and two more can be unlocked by paying Facebook Credits.
There are other power-ups to be had as well, but those must be purchased using the game's other form of virtual currency, Starfruit. There are two ways to get Starfruit in the game: first, by purchasing them using Facebook Credits or second, earning them by completing achievements. Once you have Starfruit, you'll be able to use it to buy to some extra fancy boosts, new blades, backgrounds and more Juice.
As for the Achievements -- they are one of the main driving forces of the game. Just when you think you've maxed out your fruit ninja skills, you can check out the game's list of achievements for new challenges, such as the 'Strawberry Snobbery" goal, where a ninja needs to score of 100 in a game, without slicing a single strawberry. Or, there's the "Fruit Machine" goal, which a player earns by slicing 5,000 fruit. And then there's the achievement for the underachiever -- the 'Wake Up" goal, which can be earned by playing through the entire game without taking a single slice at a piece of fruit.
The other main driving force of the game are the leaderboards, also reminiscent of Bejeweled Blitz, which are wiped clean weekly. Even though leaderboards are one of the oldest motivators in video game history, there's just something about going head-to-head against your Facebook friends that will keep you coming back for more.
Before you attempt to play Fruit Ninja Frenzy, heed these two warnings about the game's performance. If you play this game on a laptop, plug in a mouse. Using the touch pad to slice and dice fruit isn't impossible, but it's not exactly easy either. It's also a good idea to turn down the graphics setting on the game to improve performance. On my relatively new MacBook Pro, the game ran a little choppy on the highest settings, but once I turned the visuals to 'low,' it ran as smooth as (apple) butter.
Once you get these little problems worked out, get ready to unleash your inner ninja warrior on wave after wave of flying virtual fruit. Like Bejeweled Blitz, Fruit Ninja Frenzy has a highly addictive quality, and I'm willing to be you won't be able to stop playing after just one game (or two, three, five or 10 ...).
Note: Fruit Ninja Frenzy is not yet available to the public,
so bookmark the link below and check back here for more details on when you can get a slice of the action. but a company rep says that should change "by the end of day today."
Fruit Ninja Frenzy on Facebook >
Games.com 30-Second Review
Pros: Excellent Facebook translation of the hit game; one-minute timed game, achievements, boosts and weekly leaderboards will have you slicing more fruit than a Guatemalan mango farmer.
Cons: Game runs choppy on the highest graphical setting, a little difficult to play using a laptop's touchpad
Final Verdict: Fruit Ninja Frenzy is top banana when it comes to new Facebook games. Top. Banana.
Got any must-know tips on how to beat your friends' high score in FNF? Looking for new friends to compete against? Leave a note in the comments below. Add comment.