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Fruit Ninja: Puss In Boots Review
Review Score:

Fruit Ninja: Puss In Boots, a movie tie-in version of the ultra-popular produce-slicing game from Halfbrick Studios, is now available from the app store. While remaining very similar to its predecessor, the Puss In Boots version brings with it an exciting new game mode that makes the sequel a worthwhile pick-up.

Fruit Ninja: Puss In Boots Pros:

  • Same terrific graphical presentation as the original with movie-themed backdrops
  • Bandito mode is fantastic and worth the price of admission alone
  • Simple swipe controls are responsive and intuitive
  • Spanish-guitar inspired soundtrack and PIB voiceovers add to the experience
  • GameCenter and OpenFeint integration for leaderboards and achievements to earn

Fruit Ninja: Puss In Boots Cons:

  • Relatively few backdrops and swords to unlock
  • Most of the familiar game modes have been left out

Fans of the original should recognize Desperado mode as a slightly modified version of Classic mode, where fruit is propelled into view from the screen bottom, requiring you to swipe your finger across the airborne citrus before it falls back from whence it came. Successful swipes result in points, with critical and combo bonuses upping your score even more. Bombs are also tossed into the fruit salad mix, with a single touch ending your attempt in spectacular fashion. You also have 3 hearts, which are lost for each piece of fruit that you let fall by the wayside. Lose your hearts and the game is over. Desperado does add a magic bean that offers a 25-point boost when sliced (or it restores a heart if you’ve lost any), but other than some themed backgrounds and the occasional quip from the main character himself, you’ve played this before.

The new standout features comes in the form of Bandito mode, a mini-campaign of bite-sized challenges that are a heck of a lot of fun. There are 4 games in each of 3 acts, as well as a Finale level. The 4 challenges are randomly-selected from an assortment of game types, and you are given the option to choose the order that you play the chosen 4 within each act. Each is rigidly timed, and each requires you to slice a specified number of fruits within that limit to pass to the next level. Hit a bomb in any game and you fail the attempt immediately and lose a heart. Lose all three and, for you, Bandito mode is done and you are out. You are scored after each mini-game on the percentage of fruit you sliced, your accuracy, and your reflexes. Your scores across all successfully-completed mini-games is aggregated to give you a final score. The games offer a terrific variety of styles. One sees you trying to slice fruit obscured by a single ginormous bouncing bomb. Another has you hack at a bunch of fruit that falls from the screen top in one large bunch before anti-gravity kicks in and it all floats back up. Several games involve a bunch of windows that open on cue, revealing a couple of bombs and several pieces of fruit. The windows are only open for a moment and you usually have just a single chance to swipe what you can. It mixes up the gameplay very well, keeps things fresh, and keeps you on your toes as you’re never quite sure what to expect. We wouldn’t be surprised to see this included in a future update of the original.

Graphically, Fruit Ninja retains the same great look as the original, save for some new backgrounds and sword swipes that are unlocked in your Stash by completing certain requirements, similar to the Dojo in the original. Visuals are crisp, the presentation is clean, and the animations are fluid. The soundtrack has a Spanish influence, no doubt tying into the movie’s theme. It is a catchy tune that fits the overall aesthetic of the game quite well. Puss’s quips also have a thick accent and come across as playfully fun, used sparingly so as not to annoy or feel like the movie tie-in is constantly in your face. Controls require swiping only and are just as responsive and intuitive as ever.

Replay value is great, as the game is addictive and Bandito mode should keep gamers enthralled for a long time. The unlockable backdrops and swords give us an additional reason to keep playing, as does GameCenter and OpenFeint integration for leaderboards and achievements. While we would have liked to see some of the other game modes make an appearance, Bandito mode provides enough incentive to tackle this version. At $0.99 (or $1.99 for the HD version), Fruit Ninja: Puss In Boots earns a muy bueno 4.5-Dimple score.

Fruit Ninja: Puss In Boots Review, reviewed by Kevin on 2011-10-23T00:00:45+00:00 rating 4.5 out of 5

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