Review: Fruit'Y

We recently reported that a new puzzler, Fruit'Y had been released for the Dreamcast and that it was available as a fully boxed game with a nice printed disc. The fact that it retails at €2.99 meant that it was an instant purchase for me, and it only took a couple of days to arrive in a nice padded envelope all the way from mainland Europe. After Ghost Blade and Volgarr the Viking, this is the third newly-released game I've had the pleasure of popping into one of my Dreamcasts this year, so let's take a closer look at what the fuss is all about.
Fruit'Y is actually a freeware game that is available to download from the Retroguru website, but I decided to visit the Dragon Box shop and buy a physical copy because (as mentioned) it's a new game for less than the price of a Pot Noodle multi-pack. And I'm pretty sure that playing Fruit'Y won't give me extreme constipation followed by a bout of violent, explosive diarrhoea...although this is yet to be confirmed.

Fruit'Y, much like a modern PS4 or Xbox One release that costs £50 or £60 of your monthly wage, doesn't come with an instruction manual. Due to this, the gameplay mechanics are explained on the back of the box and also during the intro when you power the game up. Basically, this little shit of a tiger cub likes to play with his food but his mum gets a bit annoyed with him when he does. Rather than give him a good old smack with a belt buckle (that's what I got when I misbehaved, and look at the fine figure I cut today!), Sheran the cub dashes off into the jungle to play with fruit to his heart's content. That's where you come in. Assuming the role of an omnipresent and vengeful god (think Kratos from God of War, but with better hair), it is up to you to move a little curser around on the 'board' and manipulate said fleshy fruits' very molecular make-up. If this all sounds like the rambling of a very drunk, very tired madman...then you'd be perfectly correct.
On the right side of the screen you will see an arrangement of fruits. On the left you will see an another, slightly different arrangement. In the column separating the two halves of the play area you'll see a sequence of fruits (and Sheran jumping around on a little pedestal like the self-important brat he is). The point of this central column of fruits is that it represents the sequence of transformation that the fruits on the board will 'travel' in once you select them. The one you select changes into the one two fruits down, the ones on the right, left, above and below change once. All you have to do is match the pattern on the right hand screen and then you move onto the next stage. Sound ridiculously complicated, but it really isn't (I've even made a little tutorial video for you at the bottom of this guff to explain it a bit better than my stoopid wurds eva cud).
Throw in a time limit and a finite number of moves and you've got a real brain teaser on your hands in Fruit'Y. It kind of reminds me of that Lights Out game you used to play with once on Christmas morning and then throw down the back of your bed when your mum wasn't looking. Or maybe that was just me. The difference here is that Fruit'Y is a charming little game and has some really catchy music, nice pixel art visuals and 120 stages of fruit-transforming frustration fun. It also has full VMU support for saving of high scores, and a continue option so you can always start your game from the last level you completed.
Shopping list...check.
For €2.99 (that's about 9p in real money), you really can't complain and those folks at Retroguru have been supporting the Dreamcast (and other defunct systems) for ages now. You could go and download the free version but I would wholeheartedly recommend you put your hand in your pocket and support this little developer. Fruit'Y is a great game and a nice, relaxing diversion from the space shooters and gore-filled platformers that have also appeared this year.

Now, as a self-styled deity I'm off to shoot thunderbolts at the dog barking in next door's back garden. Either that or make it rearrange fruit on the lawn. Now that would mess with the neighbours' heads...

Further Information
Dragon Box Shop

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