Developer: Halfbrick Studios
Price: $4.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad
Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

I come to bury Fruit Ninja HD, not to praise it. Do not let the review score above fool you – it’s hard for me to recommend that you purchase this game. On its own, Fruit Ninja HD is a very fun game that is worth purchasing for being exceptionally fun, but there is the problem – this isn’t a game entirely on its own merits; this is the iPad version of a game you could already own.

For the uninitiated, Fruit Ninja has you swiping the screen to slice fruit that gets tossed up by some invisible source, with the goal being to slash as many fruit as possible. Classic mode only lets you miss slashing 3 fruits before it’s game over, all the while trying to not slash bombs that get tossed up which cause you to lose instantly. Then there is the Zen mode, which gives you 90 seconds and removes the bombs to try to slash as many fruit as possible. Both modes also have a combo system where slashing 3 or more fruits in one swipe gets you bonus points.

The game is simple and addictive. It’s the kind of basic mechanic anyone can pick up and enjoy in seconds, and keep playing for hours, especially in Zen mode, where the quest for high scores can keep you playing for long periods of time. The problem is that this game was already released a few months ago as Fruit Ninja, on the iPhone and iPod touch. And really, beyond the iPad’s new multiplayer mode that lets you go head to head with another player on the same device in Classic and Zen modes, the big selling feature here is that it’s Fruit Ninja, now in HD.

The problem with Fruit Ninja HD is that it exists, and that the market has allowed it to exist. Whereas the iPhone version is $0.99 and runs on the iPad, the iPad version is $4.99 and won’t work on your iPhone. And really, the HD upgrade isn’t dramatic enough to make the additional cost worth it. Fruit Ninja HD is only really worth it if you only have an iPad and only want to buy an iPad version of the game, cost differential be damned. Otherwise, it’s hard to recommend this in lieu of the standard iPhone version already available.

Look, I hate to say bad things about otherwise good games. Fruit Ninja HD’s only real flaw is that it exists in the way that it does – and that is more a statement of the iPad market that is forming instead of a statement on the game itself.

Posted in: iPad Apps and Games, iPad Games, Reviews

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