Fruit Rocks Review – Android
Classic side-scrolling action with all the frills.
You know the story.
The one where it’s a really happy day on Earth, people start shooting off fireworks and the next thing we know, aliens with malicious intentions are squibbling (yes, I did make that word up) all over our beautiful green landscape.
Squibbling aside, the central premise of Fruit Rocks involves the destruction of a variety of alien invaders using a combination of, well, fruit and rocks.
And, boy, is it fun!
After signing up for the scoreboard, players are launched into the world of Fruit Rocks via a short cutscene explaining just how humanity ended up in this mess. Vivid, colorful images fill the screen of my Android device, accompanied by camp, yet enjoyable, music that immediately endears me to the game. Following this cutscene, a brief tutorial sets out the logistics of how exactly the player will be using fruits and rocks for the purpose of crushing alien skulls.
Control of the game is extremely simple and Fruit Rocks relies on the physics-based nature of the action to maintain interest, rather than the player having to master a series of increasingly complex movements. Its simple, quick to learn nature is exactly why this game, and many like it, are so appealing for players of all ages. My 5 month old daughter successfully launched a rock with a simple swipe of the screen and would no doubt have had further success, if not for choosing to lick the screen instead. That said, control of the game can occasionally feel choppy, particularly when swiping, which on more than a few occasions seemed to do nothing to cut the ropes holding rocks at a crucial point.
For most similar action titles, such an inconvenience would do little to affect gameplay. In Fruit Rocks, however, the screen is in perpetual motion as the level progresses. As aliens move off the screen, so too does the player’s opportunity to defeat them. Defeat too few aliens and a restart of the level is your only option. Hence, timing is crucial in the execution of successful moves and a player can’t help but wish the controls were a little more accurate at times.
The side-scrolling nature of Fruit Rocks is one of its best features. Constant motion in gameplay forces players to think quickly about the most appropriate approach overall (when to use fruit versus rocks) and the execution of their move specifically (which fruit should be used). This helps the game to maintain a sense of challenge, particularly in later levels, that will ensure adults don’t become too easily bored with its mechanics.
In order to combat the increasing difficulty of a constantly moving screen, Fruit Rocks also incorporates bonus items. When shot, these items provide benefits to the player, such as large explosions that take out nearby aliens or the ability to chase enemies toward the middle of the screen (essentially buying the player additional time).
With 28 levels available, Fruit Rocks provides a decent amount of entertainment and, while held back by the occasional inaccuracy in game control, it’s worth the $0.99 price tag. Good graphics, interesting aliens and an entertaining soundtrack help to ensure the game’s playability goes beyond a simple ‘play once and put down’ for most players. Among its competitors, Fruit Rocks does not stand out as revolutionary or as a must-have, but it certainly shows considerable promise from new studio, Ad Maiora.