REVIEW: FRUIT BLAST FOR iOS

A lighthearted motion-shooter from MEDL Mobile, Fruit Blast leverages the iOS mechanics and a bucket-wearing monkey into a memorable experience. Even though MEDL Mobile is the official face behind this title, a father and son team originally developed Fruit Blast. Mark Lewis and his son Parker wanted to design an app and with MEDL Mobile’s help, saw their dream come true. The initial launch of Fruit Blast met with little success, but the pair did not let their aspirations end there. After reworking their app, this relaunch of Fruit Blast is a title both father and son should be proud of.

As far as the game itself goes, the opening line of its story sums it up best: “A crazy monkey is on the loose, throwing fruit and coming for you!” All for an ultra-low price of $.99.

Game Mechanics

Fruit Blasts basic setup places the player face to face with a crazy fruit-throwing, bucket-wearing monkey. The monkey dances back and forth across different levels lobbing a variety of fruit at the player. As oranges, apples, pears, watermelons and more hurdle towards the player, you must tilt the device to move the crosshairs of your weapon onto the fruit and blow it out of the sky. If the player fails to destroy the fruit, it “splatters” across the screen, obscuring the player’s view of further barrages. As any good monkey-chaser would know, the player can only suffer so many collisions with fruit before it’s all over.

The screen layout is simple but functional. On the left side is the player’s status (Health, Timer, Score), a button to change weapons and one to squeegee the screen clean after being bombarded by fruit. There are six different weapons overall, the player starts with the basic pea-shooter and must unlock the rest. The player starts with a certain number of squeegees in their inventory and can win or purchase more as the game advances.

The right side bears the Pause, Reload and Fire buttons. Each weapon has a different firing rate, power level and amount of ammunition before reload. The option menu also allows the player to switch the control buttons left to right.

As the player blasts each volley, they are awarded seeds. The amount of seeds varies based upon air position of the fruit and the combo count, or number of unmissed shots. The player can use the seeds in the store to unlock more levels and weapons. There are six different stages levels and ten rounds per level.

The motion-controlled crosshairs utilize the device’s capabilities perfectly and are some of the best calibrated in the entire App Store. After a few sessions, it’s easy to recognize a standard of care and attention to detail in this game that has been missing from so many App Store titles.

Game Mechanics        Score   4.9 / 5

Ambiance

As mentioned above, there are six different levels to unlock. Each level is not just a different background for our monkey friend, but places him at different heights from which to throw. The levels are bright and unique.

The music and sound effects are appropriate for the situation. Fruit Blast even goes the extra mile, and allows players to set their own music (from the device) in replace of the standard score. This keeps the soundtrack fresh and a nice change from a preset loop.

Visually, the most appealing portion of Fruit Blast occurs when some fruit smacks the player. The fruit splatter on the screen is unusually detailed, and appropriate to the type of fruit and angle from which the hit arrived. This funky little aspect almost makes it feel okay to miss a shot from time to time.

Ambiance                    Score   3.7 / 5

Fun Factor

Fruit Blast is a truly enjoyable game and great change from some of the more serious games in the App Store. It’s completely kid-friendly (as long as you trust them tipping your device in all sorts of directions). The motion dynamic does draw the player into the game in a way the button-mashers lack.

Through all the rounds and levels, the dynamic of the game never really changes. The only exception is the rare bonus level, where you hunt the monkey and shoot a melon off his head. This does lead to a sense of repetitiveness after long playing sessions. The many unlockables, in this game, through the gathering of seeds, staves off any boredom.

For those players who want it all, without the effort, a store is provided. Starting at $.99 and ranging to $2.99 packs of seeds or squeegees can be purchased. Personally, I am not a fan of in-game purchases. When I buy a game, I want to have the whole thing, and not have to continuously open my wallet to enjoy the game’s advanced features. It is understandable why many companies employ this model; it makes good business sense, but is a turnoff in my opinion. Thankfully, Fruit Blast doesn’t stoop that far, and anything purchasable in the store can also be won through gameplay. This leaves the store for those gamers whose greatest gaming skill is their bankroll.

Fun Factor                  Score   4 / 5

Guidance

It is refreshing to find a game so successfully self-contained. The basic dynamic of fruit shooting precludes the need to search elsewhere for guidance or walkthrough. The Help Menu is indeed actually that- helpful. On top of that, there is a story section, for those of us unaccustomed to defending ourselves from crazed monkeys on a regular basis.

Guidance                     Score   4.2 / 5

 

Fruit Blast Level Two

Fruit Blast Level Two

Final Thoughts

More and more in modern consumerism the distance between the handcrafted and mass-produced is reduced by the increased capacity of machines to accurately reproduce man’s efforts. While this may be true, the distinction between the two comes down to a certain “feeling” that belongs to those things painstakingly crafted. Fruit Blast has this special feel. After a few gaming sessions, the detail and polish of this game reflects the obvious passion of its designers. Fruit Blast, and the story behind its development, is reminiscent of the early days of electronic, home-brewed gaming. For these reasons, Fruit Blast earns some of the highest scores I’ve given. I hope that Mark and Parker Lewis have launched a new trend in gaming.

Final                            Score   4.2 / 5

Written by Andrew

GD Star Rating
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REVIEW: FRUIT BLAST FOR iOS, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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