Developer: GravityFour
Price: FREE
Version: 1
App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

I have to admit, with all the “versus” games I’ve seen over the years I still wouldn’t have expected one involving automatons and produce. And yet Fruit vs Robot is here. It’s not the kind of game one would typically associate with “versus,” but deviating from the norm can be a good thing.

Fruit vs Robot isn’t a fighting game. There’s no tower defense and there’s very little in the way of typical action. It’s more of a mash-up of party games with a running tally that notes victories for both sides (fruit and robots) and keeps track of which team is winning on a global scale. That makes it sound more complicated than it actually is. In practice, players create their custom avatar (their faction is pre-chosen) then start playing games to earn silver coins. These coins can then be used to unlock new avatar items or new game types. There’s a lengthy list of games on offer here, but there are essentially three categories: Trivia, Arcade, and Board games. Players can challenge their friends via Facebook or simply join random matches with other players, then try to win in their game of choice.

Getting set up in Fruit vs Robot is really quick and easy, and once the first step is complete the rest is a breeze. Finding someone to play against takes mere seconds, and no matter how advanced the opposing player might be it’s still a fair game since any character upgrades that can be purchased are purely cosmetic. So no unfair advantages against newbies, save possibly knowing the rules ahead of time. Rounds are also completed in real time, so there’s no waiting for hours or more for the other player to take their turn.

I’d have expected to come away from my time spent with Fruit vs Robot with a fairly extensive list of issues, seeing as it’s typical of games such as this, but that’s not the case. It’s a very solidly constructed game despite its simplistic appearance. Oh sure there are a few little irksome details such as the lack of any indication that the menus displaying avatar items can be scrolled through – kinda sucks to spend my last few coins something only to realize a better item was sitting just below it – or the general lack of personality (i.e. bland presentation) in some of the offered games, but overall it’s very well constructed.

If anyone reading this has access to 3G or Wi-Fi and enjoys playing the odd party game I’d suggest they get to getting Fruit vs Robot as soon as possible. It may not be the most fancy multiplayer affair, but it’s accessible and functional. It’s also lots of fun to jump into a quick game or two to earn enough cash for a nicer pair of pants.

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