The Best Exercise Games for the Xbox Kinect

Review of Fruit Ninja Kinect

Posted by steve on September - 23 - 2013 with 0 Comment

Fruit Ninja Kinect

Taking all that made the iPhone and Android versions a runaway hit, this port to the Xbox adds all the right things to take advantage of the Kinect. It’s a fun diversion that isn’t the most intense of cardio workouts, but makes up for it by sheer fun and addictiveness.

Rating by steve: 4 1/2 stars

Well, I’m about two years too late, but I finally got a chance to try out Fruit Ninja Kinect. This was a game I’ve been promising to review for at least a year now.

For those who don’t know, Fruit Ninja was a game first released for the iPod Touch and iPhone in April 2010. It was that generation’s Angry Birds or Candy Crush Saga (weird how we measure generations of smartphone games in months vs. years). It also made its way to the Xbox 360 in August 2011.

It’s available as a download on the Xbox Marketplace, but I actually got mine free inside a Gunstringer box (it comes as a redeemable code). I finally got around to installing it and trying it out this weekend.

This is a great example of how to port a smartphone game to the Kinect. Unlike the awkward Angry Birds or Doodle Jump ports, which don’t really translate to the big screen very well, Fruit Ninja is an example of a game made better on the Xbox with a Kinect. As you stand on the playing field, you can see your silhouette in the background, so you know exactly where to do your karate chopping. From there, it’s just a matter of slicing the fruit and keeping away from the bombs with your two fists.

There are a couple game modes:

Classic Mode: This matches the original smartphone version. Slide as much fruit as you can, but don’t let more than three fruit drop to the ground, and don’t hit a single bomb, or the game will end.

Zen Mode: No bombs, power-ups, or strikes here. Just all the apples, kiwis, oranges, limes, pineapples, pears, bananas, coconuts, mangoes, and watermelons you can get in a minute and a half.

Arcade Mode: You get 60 seconds to score as much as you can. Special bananas allow you to activate freeze or frenzy modes if you chop them. But hit a bomb and you lost 10 seconds.

Party Mode: Here, two players can play together, either together or in battle mode against each other. Great way to work out with a friend.

So how is it as a fitness game?Well, the answer is, it’s not bad. Obviously you don’t get much lower body fitness, but the same is so addicting that you can’t help but play over and over to try to beat the last high score. And when you play over and over again, you start getting some cardio from flailing your arms and moving around from side to side. I wouldn’t say it’s a particularly intense workout, but it’s elevated heartrate nonetheless.

What I found disappointing is that this game isn’t supported by Kinect PlayFit, when it’s certainly a natural to be in that category. I’m not sure why the developers chose not to patch the game; perhaps they didn’t think it worth the trouble, especially since PlayFit doesn’t seem to be taking off as much as it could be.

Overall, if you don’t have this one yet, it’s definitely a good one to have.