We weren’t going to include Fruit Ninja in iAppalooza. Not because we didn’t like it – on the contrary, it’s one of the best games ever invented for a touchscreen device, and it’s Aussie made as well. No, we weren’t going to include it because, at over two million sales worldwide, you’ve probably already got it installed on your phone anyway. What changed our minds was the multiplayer mode that came when Halfbrick added Game Center support.
First though, for the three of you who have never played Fruit Ninja, a recap: The game requires you to swipe your phone’s touchscreen as virtual pieces of fruit are hurled into the air, cutting them in half. Combos are awarded for slicing more than three pieces of fruit in a single motion, and bombs are thrown into the air to make the game a little more difficult.
But it’s the multiplayer mode that both takes the game to another level, and showcases the potential of Game Center. Each player is given the challenge of swiping only their coloured fruit – highlighted with a gentle blue glow – with penalties struck for hitting your opponents fruit. There’s a bonus awarded for hitting the generic white fruit too.
It’s as simple a concept as you can get. But the thing is, it works over 3G. So you can be anywhere in the world, and playing Fruit Ninja against your mates while they’re riding in a bus or hiking through (3G covered) bushland.
One of the first times I played this, I took on Seamus while we were both travelling home on trains. Two different lines, two different directions and two comprehensive wins over the boss man (he did get me in the third round though).
The game costs $1.19. It’s a brilliant one player experience, but give it a go with a mate (or a random stranger) on Game Center and you’ll be truly blown away by how far mobile phone gaming has come in recent years.