IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

'Fruit Ninja' slices and dices the Kinect competition

Dust off your Kinect controller and get out a sweat rag. The new Xbox 360 game
Dust off your Kinect controller and get out a sweat rag. The new Xbox 360 gameHalfbrick

Move over "Dance Central," there's a new 'best Kinect game ever' in town.

"Fruit Ninja Kinect" — which has you karate chopping flying fruit from midair — is one tight, absorbing and instantly fun game for the Xbox 360. Without a doubt, this is the Kinect game you'll be busting out at parties (as well as when you're all alone) for the foreseeable future. Or at least until "Dance Central 2" arrives on the scene.

"Fruit Ninja" — which launches on Xbox Live Wednesday — got its start as an iPhone app and quickly became a hit on Android and Windows Phone 7 devices, sucking in hundreds of thousands of players with its utterly addictive fruit-slicing action.

The goal is simple enough — bananas, coconuts, pineapples, etc. are tossed up on the screen before you and, like a ninja, you must put your quick reflexes into action. In the smart-phone/tablet version of the game, you slice the fruit with your fingers on the touch screen, racking up as many points as you can and multiplying your score by slashing multiple pieces of fruit in one fell slice. Depending on the mode you play, you must also avoid explosives tossed up amid the fruit and try not to let fruit fall off the screen uncut.

The Xbox version of the game has players doing pretty much the same thing — you'll need to slice the fruit that's sent sailing onto your TV screen as quickly as you can. But rather than using fingers on touch-screen, the Kinect camera tracks your arms, legs and body movements as you karate chop and kick your way to fruit-splitting domination.

The game has been one of my long-running mobile addictions and I'm happy to report that this Xbox 360 version is everything I had hoped it would be. It comes complete with those satisfying snicking, whooshing and fruit-splattery sound effects that haunted my after-game dreams. Most importantly ... I had worried about lag or delay ruining the Xbox version of the game, but it turns out Kinect tracks your movements with delightful precision.

Of course, even if you were a black belt "Fruit Ninja" master on your phone, switching from the small screen to the big screen will take some adjustment. Fire up "Fruit Ninja Kinect" and you'll see yourself appear on-screen as a shadow. You'll need to keep an eye on your shadow as you get used to knocking down fruit with your hands and — if you're feeling especially ninja-like — your feet.

The game does come packed with modes that will be familiar to those who've played on smart phones – Classic, Zen and Arcade.

In Classic mode, you'll need to slice fruit for as long as you can, but if you let three uncut fruit fall from the screen or if you hit a bomb, it's game over. In Zen mode, you don't have to worry about bombs or escaping fruit, you'll simply need to get as many points as possible in 90 seconds. And in Arcade mode, you'll have 60 seconds to score as many points as possible, but this time around hitting bombs subtracts points while slicing bonus bananas will double your score, slow down time or spew a fountain of fruit onto your screen.

There's also a separate Challenge mode, that presents you with a variety of increasingly difficult goals to try and beat.

But probably the most fun you'll have here is with the Party mode. A quick warning though: It took about 30 seconds of playing this game with my husband to realize that the local multiplayer option is a face punch waiting to happen.


Whether you're competing against each other simultaneously on a split screen or working together side-by-side in the collaborative mode, the two-player game will have you flinging your arms about with gusto in close proximity of one another. So BE CAREFUL.

For some safer and friendlier competition, you'll be able to pit your score against that of your Xbox Live friends on a leaderboard.

"Fruit Ninja Kinect" will cost you 800 Microsoft Points ($10) and it's worth every pineapple-smashing penny. Oh yeah, and one more warning: You might want to keep a towel on hand. You'll need it to wipe the sweat from your Fruit Ninja brow.

For more game news, check out:

Winda Benedetti writes about games for You can follow her tweets about games and other things here on Twitter or join her in the stream here on Google+. And be sure to check out the In-Game Facebook page here.