Remember when you were a kid and within days of a new must-have toy being pushed onto store shelves, your mum would come home clutching a cheap imitation she’d procured from the local Sunday market? That’s very much how it feels to play Fruit Pirate 3D. This game is a shameless rip-off of the brilliant Fruit Ninja, offering little in the way of originality or innovation.
As was the case in the game that inspired it, the objective in Fruit Pirate 3D is to slice fruit with your keen blade. The fruit is hurled upwards from the bottom of the screen and can be dispatched by drawing a line through it with your finger. Allowing fruit to fall off the bottom of the screen unhindered results in you losing some of your precious life, while accidentally slicing a skull means instant game over.
Fruit Pirate 3D’s only real claim to fame is the ability to slice fruit more than once. After the initial cut the fruit will split into pieces, which can then be chopped a second time. Also, instead of keeping track of how many objects you’ve successfully sliced, Fruit Pirate 3D records you score. Stringing together several successful chops can boost your performance.
Another feature introduced in this copycat title is “Blade Time”, which slows things down, Matrix-style. This naturally makes things easier as you have more time to react to fruit and skulls entering the screen.
There are three main modes to play around with, including Express (record your best score from 25 fruit throws), Unlimited (keep going until your life is exhausted) and Relaxed (one minute of time on the clock and no nasty skulls to contend with).
You can earn medals in each of these modes and even submit your best results to an online leaderboard, although sadly there’s no OpenFeint support, as was the case in Fruit Ninja. However, Scoreloop compatibly is offered, so if you’ve already got an account for that, you’re in luck.
Fruit Pirate 3D certainly appears to do the business, with 3D visuals and decent sound. The 3D graphics aren’t quite as attractive as they are in Fruit Ninja, in particular, the juicy explosions which follow each slice are far less impressive. Unlockables are also missing, so you can’t get different coloured blades or backgrounds. Granted, these elements are purely cosmetic, but they did help Fruit Ninja seem fresh and appealing, as well as giving you something to aim for.
To be honest, despite Fruit Pirate 3D’s cheeky replication of Fruit Ninja’s best-selling concept, it remains an enjoyable download. The big problem is that both titles retail for exactly the same amount of cash, and if you had to pick between the two, then Fruit Ninja is the only one to go for.