Not being much of a mobile gamer, the Fruit Ninja franchise passed me by when it was at its most popular. In its initial form, Fruit Ninja was played by many casual gamers on their smartphones – swiping frantically at their screens in an attempt to slice apart the various fruits that would appear on screen. The concept was as simple as it was addictive, making Fruit Ninja one of the classics in the mobile sphere.
The game stuck around as well, and eventually made the leap to consoles when Microsoft introduced the Kinect. Motion controls allowed gamers to leave swiping behind and switch to a much more Ninja-like experience that had them chopping fruit up by using their arms as Ninja blades. Fruit Ninja VR takes this experience to the next level by bringing the franchise to a whole new dimension.
Aside from the leap to VR, this brand new PS4 version also puts you inside a true 3D environment. As a result, the sense that fruit is being hurled at you is stronger than ever – which enhances the intensity of the experience tenfold. The fact that you’re in a virtual space also means that Fruit Ninja is once again a step closer to making you feel like an actual Ninja. Kinect was a stride forwards, but you were still just interacting with your tv – and that’s where the action was. In VR, the action is firmly focused on YOU – and it’s the best way to experience Fruit Ninja.
Wielding your move controllers as swords, you can slice fruit apart, but you can also get fancy and use them as skewers by catching fruit from mid-air. Catch a couple, and you can swipe a bunch of fruits at once by moving your other sword across them. The motion tracking is excellent here, which is of course essential for a game that almost entirely depends on it. It may not be as accurate as swiping a screen, but it beats what was available in the Kinect version.
One of the strengths of Fruit Ninja has always been that it’s a game that anyone can play, and the VR version of the game is no different. VR means that things can get very intense, but developer Halfbrick accounts for this by offering a “Zen” mode as well, ensuring that the game can be enjoyed at a variety of paces. Aside from Zen, you’ll also find the familiar Classic, Arcade and Survival modes here.
As with many titles that have their origin in a mobile game, diversity isn’t Fruit Ninja’s strongest suit. It’s not a title you’ll play for hours on end where new gameplay elements are added at regular intervals, but it’s one of those games you keep coming back to for a short burst. It’s also one of those games that’s perfect for some quick rounds when you have friends over. It’s fun, it’s addicting, and it works great in VR. This should sit in your digital Playstation VR library right alongside the likes of Headmaster and Lethal VR as games you can keep coming back to.