The original Fruit Ninja game has always been a favourite of mine. Once I discovered the game, it has been installed on every smartphone I’ve owned. Turning perfectly usable fruit into a slushy paste has always been a great way to spend a few minutes when you’ve got nothing else to do.
It was a bit of a surprise then that Fruit Ninja 2 somehow managed to sneak its way under my radar. It was only when I was looking for things to start reviewing for mobile that I realised there even was a sequel.
So I’ve now got it installed on one of my Android devices and I’ve given it a bit of playtime to see how well it fares with the original version.
Upon launching to the original menu screen, you’re presented with a few different options.
You’ll be able to go to the Fruit Ninja Shop to buy Fruit Ninja … stuff. You can also customise your character, with more customisations available as you level up. These customisations include different blades, different taunts (which I presume are for multiplayer games) and different avatars.
You also have the option of doing quests where you can participate in different activities to help level your character up. This adds a dimension to the game that goes beyond simply turning your fruit to pulp. These quests can include things like play a game’, ‘water 5 plants’, and ‘upgrade a powerup’.
Another new aspect of Fruit Ninja 2 is the ability to play ‘Leagues’, which is Fruit Ninja’s 2 multiplayer mode. Or you can just jump in and play a simple single-player game.
One thing that has been changed in Fruit Ninja 2 is different single player game modes (eg Arcade or Zen) are not all available at the beginning. They’re unlocked as you level up. If you have a particular favourite, you may find you need to earn it now.
The only downside I’ve noticed is that the menu screen now appears a little cluttered. Even on a phone with a 6.2”screen, it felt like there was a little bit too much going on.
My first couple of games were using the single player mode, to see how it compared to the original game. This is different from the original game.
The games are initially against the clock, where you need to slash your way through as many pieces of fruit as you can in a mere 60 seconds while avoiding the bombs. You may have a few random banana powerups, including slowing down the game for a brief period to make it easier to grab everything or suddenly give you more fruit salad than you could possibly eat so that you can get lots of points very briefly.
This game is essentially the same Fruit Ninja that we’ve all come to love. If you’re familiar with the first version of the game, it is broadly similar, except it now has improved graphics and different game modes will need to be earned by levelling up.
Speaking of levelling up, once you reach Level 4, you’ll be able to enjoy some multiplayer action. This is something that wasn’t in the original Fruit Ninja game.
It’s really quite simple. Go into Leagues, and select the Battle option. Fruit Ninja 2 will find an opponent who is at a similar skill level. You’ll be paired up for a quick game which, while there was no timer that I could find, felt like it was around 30 seconds or so. The idea is to slice only your fruit, and avoid slicing your opponents. It is pretty simple to identify which fruit to swipe: there’s a halo effect around each piece of fruit, and if that halo matches your player’s colour, it’s yours for the taking.
I’ve only gone through a small handful of games so far. On each occasion, I was matched up with another player in only a few seconds, so right now there’s no shortage of players. The short games are actually a good thing, You won’t be bogged down for ages so if something comes up, you can quickly wrap the game up and go do what you need to do. The games are also quick enough that you don’t get bored. It seems to be very balanced experience, and I could certainly see how I could spend a lot of time challenging people if I wanted to.
It should also be noted that you can select the “Vs Friends” option as well when you go into multiplayer. This will allow you to set up a room, where you can battle against your friends. While I have not been able to test this feature as part of this review, it strikes me as a feature that would work better when you have your friends in the same room rather than something done remotely.
If you’re familiar with the original game and are just seeking a single player experience, the only real changes over the original game is that different game modes are now unlocked rather than available from the start. This may suit some players, who would be seeing that as an additional level of challenge. Otherwise the game is fairly similar to the original, just with a new coat of paint.
Where this game comes into its own is with multiplayer. If you’re looking to have a new set of challenges where you play against others, this adds a whole new dimension to the original game. From my testing of multiplayer, it seems to work extremely well. They say a good game is a quick game, and that seems to be the philosophy they’ve used here by keeping challenges brief. This works out perfectly though, as you can test your skills against a wide variety of opponents, but if you need to wrap things up quickly you can.
I’m scoring this one fairly highly, mainly because of the smooth multiplayer experience. If you’re only after a single player experience though, there really isn’t much to separate it from the original version.