Release Date: 6/10/2010
Fruitbash is a recently released indie puzzle game, with a relatively simple concept; clear every square of the game’s grid by matching three identical fruit in a row. Unfortunately in this case, the game’s simple concept is also matched by simple and repetitive gameplay.
Although the presentation is polished and the game offers what appears to be a wide range of features: Live and local multiplayer, challenge mode, a campaign and avatar compatibility, when put under the microscope all the game offers is a repetitive twenty-five levels in a polished package.
The levels themselves are unvaried with only a few differences between them, namely the shape, size and variety of fruit and although the differences do serve to increase the difficulty, the levels remain overall far too easy and the only hint of any difficulty comes from clearing the final few squares towards the end of each game. Unfortunately, any sense of achievement from clearing one of the last squares is bittersweet. More often than not it’s more down to luck than skill and due to the difficulty of maneuvering fruit around the grid you are often forced to use the game’s in-built move-suggester, a feature that cannot be disabled.
While the single player may not be far from stellar the game does offer both local and Live multiplayer as well as six unique levels for this mode however after a few attempts, I was unsuccessful at finding anyone playing on Xbox Live. The game must also be praised on the well designed control scheme. While puzzle games are typically more suited to a D-pad or mouse the fluid combination of ‘A’ plus the analogue stick is well designed. This example of well thought out design only makes it all more frustrating to think how easily the game could have been improved. Had the levels, or at least the challenges, had a turn or time limit the game would have an element of difficulty and replay value; but instead after the completion of level there is no reason or motivation to go back and try again.
While this game may have had potential as a game for the DS or iPhone, taking advantage of touch screen features and building on its strengths for short-bursts of fun. As an Xbox game it doesn’t really hold much appeal. While it must be praised for the overall polish and presentation, apart from that it fails to entertain in sessions of more than a few minutes. If you’re looking for a cheap game to play while you wait to join a friend this may be worth the 80 MS points, in any other case, I’d look elsewhere.
Review by Arran France