Fruit Ninja had better watch out, because the App Store now has a new graduate of the Cordon Bleu School of Deadly Arts. Veggie Samurai, for all intents and purposes, is an unabashed clone, but it makes a few slight improvements to try and balance out the utter lack of creativity.
Fruit Ninja, for those who haven’t played it, is a simple high-score game by Halfbrick Studios with a unique concept: Slice up fruit as it flies through the air, and avoid the bombs. It soared to the top of the iTunes charts after it was featured in Apple’s New and Noteworthy section, and it has remained a top seller ever since.
She’s choppin’ broccoli.
The creators of Veggie Samurai, Quantum Squid, noticed Fruit Ninja’s success and thought, “Anything you can do, I can do better.” They set out to reverse-engineer Fruit Ninja, adding “dicing” to the slicing action (allowing you to chop veggies four times instead of twice), a few extra combos, and a Harmony mode with no bombs and a time limit. Oh, and you’re chopping up a completely different type of healthy foodstuffs.
As reviewers, we have to give a big fat F for originality to Quantum Squid for this unabashed rip-off. We think creativity should be rewarded and imitators shunned. But then again, we’ve given iPhone “clones” of Diablo, Grand Theft Auto 3, and Halo our highest ratings– and Game of the Month status. At least those games set their sights a bit higher than Veggie Samurai has.
Cooking with Wolverine.
While we wish Veggie Samurai had taken more than a half-step away from Fruit Ninja, Quantum Squid still did a pretty admirable job of ripping them off. The veggies animate quite nicely, especially on the high-res iPad, and you can use extensive multitouch to turn your fingers into a Cuisinart. A few little touches, like exploding pea pods in Harmony mode, are simple but clever.
In the end, we are disappointed that this game is so closely related to Fruit Ninja, but it does make an effort to top it. If you already own Fruit Ninja, you probably don’t need to own Veggie Samurai as well. We’re sure that with the added competition, many of Veggie Samurai’s minor innovations will soon end up in Fruit Ninja as well.