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Fruit Ninja

Video Game Cat Review

Date of Review:  March 21, 2012
Format Reviewed:  iOS (iPhone)
Language / Country of Origin:   English / USA
Online Capability: 
Users can connect to online two-player matches against friends or random opponents.  Fruit Ninja can also be linked to one of two social gaming networks: the iPhone’s own Game Center or OpenFeint.  Both networks allow users to add friends, track their achievements, and look at leaderboards.  OpenFeint additionally allows users to post their scores to Facebook and Twitter.
Sequels: Fruit Ninja HD, Fruit Ninja: Puss In Boots, Fruit Ninja Kinect, Fruit Ninja Frenzy.
Equipment Needed: None required.
Maintenance Required:  None, although the game might have periodic updates that should be installed.


Fruit Ninja is a game without any substantial plot.  Essentially, you play as a ninja who slices different kinds of fruit (apples, oranges, bananas, peaches, pineapples, mangoes, etc.) as it is tossed into the air.  The goal is to earn as many points as possible.  To progress through the game, you must slice the fruit before it disappears off the bottom of the screen.

There are several different game modes available: Classic, Arcade, Zen and Online.  The “Classic” mode is untimed, but operates under a three strikes and you’re out premise.  If you miss slicing three separate fruits, the game is over.  You also have to be wary of bombs, because if you accidentally slice them, that too equals game over.  “Arcade” mode is different in that it is timed (just 60 seconds per game) and bombs are not deadly – they just remove 10 points from your score.  This mode also features special fruits that alter the game, such as one that causes a huge flurry of fruit to be released at once or one that creates slo-mo action.  “Zen” mode is 90 seconds of pure fruit slicing – no bombs, no special fruits, and no way to lose.

Finally, “Online” mode is an online timed game against one other person (either a friend or a random opponent).  Fruits are outlined in two different colors: red and blue.  Points are awarded if you slice your designated color and are lost if you slice your opponent’s color.  Whoever has the highest score at the end, wins.

Cultural / Historical Value: 
This is a hugely popular title and is played by a wide audience on many different platforms.

Teaching / Learning characteristics: 
Fruit Ninja exemplifies the characteristics that a casual game should have.  It has very simple mechanics, but draws gamers in due to its entertaining graphics (e.g. juices spewing from fruit) and addictive gameplay.  Game developers/designers can look to this title for inspiration.

Replay Value:
The highly addictive nature of Fruit Ninja gives it great replay value.  The multiple modes offer enough diversity to keep gamers interested in the title.  Additionally, there are incentives to keep playing, as there are opportunities to unlock new backgrounds or sword effects by completing certain challenges.  The achievements offered through the social gaming networks also motivate gamers to continue playing (although it should be noted that I unlocked a substantial portion of them in just a couple hours of play).  

Likely Audiences:
Everyone, particularly those who enjoy making fruit salad.  Casual gamers will find much to love in the title – for its bright graphics and simple gameplay.  Those who enjoy online gaming will appreciate the game’s online functionality – as it is possible to play against others at any time of day or night.

Overall Score:

Other Reviews:


About the Author:
Shannon L. Farrell, MLIS, MS
is an Assistant Professor and Liaison Librarian at Colorado State University (CSU) in Fort Collins.  Having been an avid gamer for the last 25 years, she has a great interest in incorporating videogames into library and educational environments.  She has conducted research on the topic, examining current use of videogames in libraries and the resources available for collection development purposes.  Shannon is a member of the ALA Games and Gaming Round Table.  Since she plays videogames on a daily basis, Shannon is a regular contributor and editor of reviews for VideoGameCat.  She also maintains the VideoGameCat Twitter (@thevideogamecat) and Facebook ( accounts.


Award Giver Category Verdict
International Mobile Gaming Awards 2011Best Casual Game Nominee
Golden Joystick Awards 2011Mobile Game of the Year Runner Up

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