There's little doubt that the world has fallen in love with the fruit-slicing phenomenon that is "Fruit Ninja." The game has been a tremendous success on mobile devices and just recently debuted on the Xbox 360. Its march to fruit domination will continue next week with the release of the beta for "Fruit Ninja Frenzy" on Facebook. Halfbrick, the game's developer, gave me access to "Frenzy" a few weeks ago, and since then I've sliced many a piece of fruit (14,243 at present count). It's with that knowledge that I present to you this guide to being the very best Fruit Ninja you can be.
"Fruit Ninja Frenzy" is basically the arcade mode of the original "Fruit Ninja." You're limited to one minute per round, with the objective of earning as many points as possible. Slicing multiple pieces of fruit at once grants you bonus points, and there are power bananas (freeze, 2X points and frenzy) which will help you boost your score even further. There is, however, one big change between "Frenzy" and the other versions of "Fruit Ninja."
Smoothies are a new addition for "Fruit Ninja Frenzy" which change the way each round plays out. Before a game, you can select a single smoothie from a list of 12 options. Here's a list of what smoothies you can select:
Spirit Bombs - Bombs are no longer slice-able.
Extra Time - Rounds last 67 seconds instead of 60 seconds.
Sweet Start - Each round starts with a random power banana.
Final Splash - Rounds end with 5 seconds of bonus time and a power banana.
Blitz Boost - Increases the combo blitz cap by 5 points.
Combo King - Combos are easier and are worth more points.
Mega Freeze - Double the amount of fruit that appears after a Freeze banana.
Frenzy Rush - Fruit Frenzies from power bananas last 2 additional seconds.
Points Bonanza - Get 25 bonus points every time you get a 2X score power banana.
Lucky Blast - The first bomb you slice turns into a random power banana.
Bonus Bounty - Double the bonuses you get at the end of the round.
Ninja Criticals - Criticals are more common and easier to get.
The first three smoothies in this list are unlocked at the start. The others can be unlocked with Starfruit, earned by getting achievements (see page 2).
You can opt to bring in up to three smoothies at once, but those additional two smoothie slots cost Facebook credits. Smoothies also cost you a certain amount of juice per round and if you run out of juice, you won't be able to use any more smoothies until you collect more from playing the game.
Starfruit is the currency of "Fruit Ninja Frenzy." It can be used to unlock new smoothies, blades and backgrounds.
While you can purchase Starfruit using Facebook credits, it can also be earned in-game by completing achievement sets.
Achievement sets are similar to achievements on Xbox 360 or PS3. They're basically challenges like "Score 300 points in a round without slicing any strawberries" or "Slice 10,000 fruit across all of your games." Each achievement has three levels, bronze, silver and gold, with escalating requirements.
Achievements are grouped into sets. For example, there's the Freeze Master set, which contains four achievements relating to the Freeze power banana. Unlock all four achievements on the bronze level and you'll get 20 pieces of Starfruit. Unlock on Silver and you'll get 40 pieces of Starfruit. Unlock on Gold and you'll unlock a new customization item, like a new blade or background.
The trick with achievement sets is that many require tactical use of smoothies. For example, without smoothies, there's no way you'd ever have a game with five Frenzy bananas. But if you load up with smoothies that increase power banana appearances, you may have a chance. You can select up to three achievements to track in the middle of a game, which should help you stay on target.
TIPS FOR BEGINNERS
Start With Spirit Bombs
If you're just starting out, you should stick with the Spirit Bombs smoothie. Hitting a bomb will not only subtract 10 points from your score, but it will also negate any power bananas you have active and end any blitz streaks you have going. It's a great way to practice getting combos (the best way to earn points) without having to worry about hitting bombs.
Moving To Sweet Start
After you've played a handful of rounds, you should think about removing the crutch of spirit bombs and picking a smoothie with a bit more punch. Sweet Start is a great way to get a really early jump on a high score, since you'll start the game with a power banana automatically.
The Triple Banana Conspiracy
If there's one thing that is guaranteed to help your overall high score, it's having all three power bananas active at once. In "Frenzy," slicing a second power banana resets the timer for the original banana. Same goes for the third banana, resetting the timers on the first two. With all three power bananas active, you're getting double points, tons of fruit thanks to Frenzy and slow-moving fruit thanks to Freeze. Don't get excited and slash widely, though. Pick your slices carefully, as combos and blitzes are going to result in way more points than single-fruit slices.
Unfortunately, getting a triple banana going is mostly luck and will only happen once every 20 games or so. You can increase these odds by selecting smoothies that result in more power bananas (Sweet Start, Final Splash, Lucky Blast).
The Preferred Dev Smoothie
One of the neat things about "Fruit Ninja Frenzy" is you can check on a ton of your friends stats. One of the stats you can check is which smoothie they've used most. Since I've been playing the game before release, the only people on my high score list are from Halfbrick and their scores are much, much higher than mine. So how are they getting there? Well, it seems the smoothie of choice for the developers is Bonus Bounty, which doubles your bonus points at the end of a round. Since, with practice, you can get that bonus to over 100 points that adds 100 points on top of that, which is a pretty enormous boost.
More To Come!
There are a number of features which will be unlocked as "Fruit Ninja Frenzy" is opened to the public. A daily spin, for one thing, will allow you to spin a wheel for a chance to win bonus juice and Starfruit. More upgrades are undoubtedly in the works, so stay tuned!