Fruit Ninja VR – Oculus Quest Review

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Fruit Ninja is another game on the Oculus Quest that has its roots earthed in mobile gaming. Like Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja started off as a mobile title back in 2010 and since then it’s Australian developer, Halfbrick Studios, has brought the game to a number of platforms, finally settling on VR in 2016 on the HTC Vive and PSVR, and as a Oculus Quest launch title. 

The gameplay in Fruit Ninja VR is simple. In each Touch controller hand, you hold a shiny metal katana sword, ready for chopping some flying fruit. As each wave of fruit gets catapulted into the sky, it’s your challenge to cut, swipe and slice your way through them to score points whilst avoiding flying bombs that are thrown into the mix to hinder your progress. It was highly satisfying on mobile, but it just gets even better in VR.

There are four game modes in the game, including Arcade, Classic, Zen and Survival. In Arcade mode you get sixty-seconds to slice and dice fruit to score points. If any bombs are hit by your katana you will lose ten points off your score. You can also enter into a frenzy and have fruit tossed at you from all angles and freeze time to slice fruit whilst they fly around you in slow motion. 

Classic mode is similar to Arcade however there is no time limit set and you have three lives that you must hold on to. If any fruit drop to the floor without being sliced, you lose a life, and if you hit a bomb you face immediate game over. 

In Zen mode, you have ninty-seconds of time which you can extend by slicing certain fruit. There are no bombs in Zen mode, so there is no punishment as such unless you run out of time. If you can chain time extensions you can play for a long while, but the threat of time doesn’t make this mode very ‘zen’.

The final mode in Fruit Ninja VR is Survival, which is something new to me in Fruit Ninja. You face a flying fruit dispensing machine that will change position and throw a wave of fruit in your direction. You must clear each wave of tossed fruit without missing in order to continue. Although Survival is a nice concept to the basic Fruit Ninja mechanic, I found it quite easy to not connect with all of the fruit thrown at me, which soon ends the game with frustration. A life system would have been better suited here.

The game’s visuals remain bright and colourful, which is something Fruit Ninja has always featured in all of its appearances across its many platforms. The dojo arena you play in stands tall in front and around you and its general visual style and presentation is very pleasing to the eye, Personally. I would have liked to have been able to unlock or play in different themed environments.

Due to the frantic nature of Fruit Ninja, I lost a little tracking with my Touch controllers, but this happened very rarely and I was able to recover it fairly quickly during my session. With that said though, the tracking and slicing with your katana feels great and it is quite satisfying, especially when the Freeze slow-motion effect kicks in.

Fruit Ninja VR retails for $14.99 from the Oculus Store. Unless you’re a die-hard fan of the fruit slicing franchise, I think Fruit Ninja is priced a little high for what you get in the game and the amount of limited longevity its gameplay offers. Once you’ve blitzed through the games’ four play modes, which can all be achieved in under fifteen minutes, I didn’t feel as easily drawn to replaying through any of the modes.

The snack-able nature of the game’s gameplay was well suited for mobile games, however, its developers have failed to take the opportunity to evolve the franchise, where they could have taken the theme and slicing gameplay mechanic and applied it to a much deeper VR gameplay experience. One that takes more advantage of the Quest and its room-scale abilities.

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