So who’s excited about the new Puss in Boots movie? No one? Ok then, let’s talk about this fun Fruit Ninja game instead!
At first glance, Fruit Ninja: Puss in Boots looks and feels like a quick, licensed cash-in. In fact, even at second glance it feels that way. It’s a good thing we don’t review games after a few glances, because Halfbrick’s first licensed Fruit Ninja title is a blast, and a good indicator of what’s to come for the franchise.
By now I’m assuming everyone reading this knows the mechanics of Fruit Ninja games. If you don’t, go buy the original and find out. Puss in Boots offers two games modes: “desperado” and “bandito”. Desperado provides the original Fruit Ninja experience, which provides you with three lives that you lose one at a time for each fruit you fail to slice. Like the original, if you accidentally slice a single of the bomb the game is over. Every once and a while a magic bean (oooh, I get it now) will appear that gives you a 25 point bonus when sliced. I barely ever play this gametype in the original Fruit Ninja anymore, and there’s not much reason to play it in this version unless you want to unlock all the goodies in your “stash”. Just like the original Fruit Ninja, these unlockables include new backgrounds, and some clever new blades. (“The Guitar blade” is pretty fantastic.)
By far, the best feature of Fruit Ninja: Puss in Boots is “bandito mode”. Much like Arcade mode in the original game, bandito is what will keep you coming back to this game, and is something that I would fully expect to see in the inevitable (and as of yet unannounced) Fruit Ninja sequel. There are three stages to this game mode, each one featuring four random mini games that all involve delicious fruit abuse. You get three lives to complete all three stages (twelve minigames) to make it to the final stage. I won’t spoil the final stage, as I got a good chuckle from it. Let’s just say it made me want to have a birthday party ASAP.
All the minigames are timed, and each one comes with a random goal that can be exceeded if you’re good enough. One requires you to simply slice a single coconut, which sounds easy until you find that it takes multiple swipes to do so – with each swipe knocking the coconut around the play area. Another game presents you with a Tetris-like stack of bombs and fruit. As you slice fruit at lower rows, the upper rows of fruit and bombs fall into place. A different mini game takes things back to the old school “slice-the-fruit-as-they-fly-from-the-bottom-of-the-screen” mechanic, but rather than flying up individually, the fruit fly up in various patterns with bombs. I’m not going to go in-depth into every single minigame style, because there appear to be quite a lot. I had a great time playing through bandito mode, and I wish that I could choose for it to last longer than three rounds. Even better, it would have nice to have an “infinite mode” that let me keep going until I lost all three lives. Each minigame is scored individually based on combos and how far you can go beyond the initial goal before the time runs out. That score is then added to an overall total that is uploaded to the leaderboards when you die or beat the mode.
My love of the Shrek series pretty much ended about halfway through the second film. What can I say? I can only handle so much Eddie Murphy. That said, there was always a special place in my heart for Puss- and yes, I’m a cat person. Antonio Banderas was the perfect choice to voice the adorably suave kitty. I don’t know if Antonio is the voice behind the cat-crusader in this game, but it works! The comments Puss makes as you slice and dice your way through fruit are pretty hilarious, and actually are entertaining enough to not be annoying. Hearing a sexy “ooooooo…” or “mmmmm… juicy!” with Antonio’s soothing/arousing spanish accent made things all the more fun- especially when you remember that it’s coming from an anime-eyed feline! On top of the voiceovers, the spanish guitar music does a great job accenting the game’s visuals.
Because there are only two game modes available, with Bandito mode spanning only twelve minigames, Fruit Ninja: Puss in Boots really left me wanting more. This is a good thing, as I can’t say the same for 95% of licensed games that I play- especially on an iOS device. If I had to choose one Fruit Ninja game, I would certainly go with the original, but for fans of the original that are looking for something more, this game is definitely worth buying. If Fruit Ninja: Puss in Boots is any indicator of where the Fruit Ninja series is heading in future installments, I for one am excited. Will I see the movie? Probably not. Will this game stay on my phone after this review? You can bet your wee boots it will!
Fruit Ninja: Puss in Boots – Available Now