Fruit Ninja: Puss in Boots

Our Review by Rob Rich on October 24th, 2011
Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: A BIT TOO FAMILIAR
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Slicing up produce is always a good time, but owners of the original Fruit Ninja don't have much reason to invest in this all-too-similar spin-off. Unless they REALLY like Antonio Banderas.

Developer: Halfbrick Studios
Price: $0.99
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar

The original Fruit Ninja was (and still is) quite the popular title. Heck, it's even gotten its own home console release. Now Halfbrick has secured a spin-off of a movie spin-off tie-in (my head hurts) for their melon-slicing franchise. So how is it? Well, that depends a lot on one's previous exposure to the original.

Fruit Ninja: Puss in Boots takes the familiar and vastly entertaining gameplay of the game that started it all and slaps a "not quite a sequel to Shrek" coat of pain on the proceedings. I'm talking Latin guitars in place of historic Japanese instrumentation. Magic Beans instead of frozen bananas. Fairytale backdrops where there were once dojo walls. And, of course, plenty of chatter from Puss in Boots himself (Antonio Banderas).

All the slicing and dicing is as fun as it's always been. Cutting up several wayward pineapples and their brethren in one swipe will grant a score multiplier, new blades and backgrounds can be unlocked, bombs must be avoided at all costs, etc... What's new and more than a little nifty is Bandito Mode, in which Puss (and by extension, the player) must tackle a series of brief but increasingly tough challenges in order to progress. These include carefully swiping around a MASSIVE bomb as it and those precious fruits bounce around the screen, making cuts with surgical precision as a group of oranges flies past a grid of tightly grouped explosives and more. All while on a very short timer.

The downside to all of this is that, while it's still just as much fun as the original, the original does pretty much the same thing and includes much more content. Fruit Ninja: Puss in Boots only has two modes: Bandito and Desperado. And Desperado is pretty much the same as Original only with Magic Beans that replenish hearts lost from missed fruit. Similarly, while more blades and backgrounds can be unlocked there really aren't that many of them (5 blades as opposed to 13, for example). Lastly, the constant character commentary can get a bit annoying. I get that it's a movie tie-in and that said film involves a rather boastful feline swordsman, but all the talking kind of grates. Although fans of the actor or the film would probably consider it a positive rather than a negative.

By no means is Fruit Ninja: Puss in Boots a bad game. It's a very good game that's a lot of fun. It's just that the original offers pretty much the exact same experience with a lot more content and modes. If someone already owns Fruit Ninja, I can't really think of a reason why they'd also want this version. Unless they're a huge fan of the movie or the actor, anyway.

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