Fruit Ninja ($0.99) by Halfbrick Studios is only the second iPhone title by Australian developer Halfbrick Studios, although the team has done a few licensed titles for other platforms in the past.
The team's game development experience definitely shines through in Fruit Ninja, as it features simple but fun gameplay, tight controls, and polished graphics.
Fruit Ninja is a casual game that features tap shooter-like gameplay, but instead of tapping everything that pops up on the screen, you will be sliding your finger across the screen to slice it to bits. So, if you are the kind of person that gets squeamish from the sight of fruit being violently dismembered, you may want to steer clear of this one.
The game's tagline is "Ninjas hate fruit," and that couldn't be any more apparent. As fruit flies up from the bottom of the screen, you are simply required to swipe across each piece to chop it in half. When you land a hit, the fruit will split apart in a juicy, splattering fashion.
Fruit isn't the only item flying up from the bottom of the screen. Every so often a bomb will be unleashed within the pack of fruit. You must avoid the bombs at all costs since a single blow to a bomb will end your game. The game will also end if you fail to hit up to three different fruits.
Fruit Ninja was no doubt a labor of love for Halfbrick Studios, or maybe it was merely their way of showing their disdain for fruit. Either way, the game oozes style and polish. The menus feature the same slicing mechanic as the gameplay; the fruits look and sound fantastic when sliced to pieces; and difficulty ramps up pleasantly fast, giving you all of the goodness you came for within moments of launching the game.
But Fruit Ninja isn't without its faults. Even though it features tons of polish, the game lacks variety. Besides fruit and bombs, there really isn't much else going on. No power-ups, no different game modes, and no skill-based multipliers.
The game does include OpenFeint integration, giving you a valid reason to come back for more in order to beat out your friends, and the developers have stated they do intend to add much more to the game via updates.
In it's current state, Fruit Ninja is an addictive reaction-based fruit slicing affair with solid controls and polished graphics that will leave you wanting more, for better or worse. For $.99, it's definitely not a bad start and worth the investment as long as Halfbrick Studios delivers more content.