It's not often that the worlds of Android, gaming and Westminster politics collide, but Prime Minister David Cameron's recent claim/admission that he spends what spare time he has playing Fruit Ninja means this review ticks all those boxes. (My mum always wanted me to be a serious reporter, so this one's for you Mo.)
If you haven't played Fruit Ninja, the clue is in the name: a succession of fruits is thrown up on the screen, and you must slash through them with a swiping motion on the screen. It sounds simple, and it is, but don't misunderstand: as the pace hots up catching every fruit before it slips off the screen requires dexterity and quick wits. If you miss three fruits, your game is over. Even more tricky - every now and then the fruit is replaced by a bomb. Hit the bomb and your game is over. It's high risk, high energy, and highly addictive.
Fruit Ninja Free for Android is the free version of the game for Android phones and Android tablets. But it's far from a 'lite' game. Open up Fruite Ninja Free and you are offered the choice of playing a new game or heading to 'The Dojo'. The latter allows you to select new weapons and earn rewards, with unlockable blades and backgrounds, and you can also unlock achievements and post scores to the online leaderboards with Openfeint.
The 'New Game' option opens up three different ways of playing Fruit Ninja. Zen Mode is for the more relaxed gamer: no bombs and no lives to lose, just a 90-second fruit fest. The Arcade mode version of Fruit Ninja is fast and furious. Here bombs simply cost you points and hitting forzen fruits slows everything up to allow you to slash your way to more points in the alloted 90 seconds. See also: Best Android Apps
Gameplay is fun on a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, which has sufficient screen real estate to allow you to use both hands when attempting dextrous fruit-slashing, bomb-avoiding moves. It's a different game on our 4in Motorola Motoluxe: not worse, exactly, but different - as you would expect on a more cramped screen. In both cases, expect to smear up your screen good and proper as you thrash around slashing up fruit in the name of entertainment.