Katana X is a sword simulation game that was inspired by the popular "Fruit Ninja" title. This is not the first title that brought this addictive fruit-slicing madness to virtual reality, but if you enjoy playing this game on mobile or the Fruit Ninja VR title other similar titles, you might want to continue reading and learn more about this amazing game, which in my opinion, it's even more satisfying and fun to play than Fruit Ninja VR.
The core gameplay mechanics are simple. You need to use your Japanese Katana sword to slice out Japanese tatami mats or flying fruits to pieces before the drop down by gravity. These are two separate game modes. In the "Tatami" mode you have "Time Trial" or "Survival" modes. In Survival, you can choose between Normal or Single Strike. A single strike is harder because you shouldn't fail even a single target.
Once the Tatami mode has started, you need to quickly slice the tatami mats as quickly as possible. They will appear in various positions around the circle play area you are standing on. The hit area is highlighted in a light brown color. You should use your Katana sword to slice it diagonally so it will break into pieces. This hitbox area changes its position and size in the pole. Sometimes there are even more than one area that you need to slice, sometimes just one. You need to be agile and most importantly accurate to succeed. The game utilized the track motion controllers, which means there is not aiming aid here, you need to be accurate like you are holding and slicing it in real life.
The second mode is the beloved one where you need to slice up flying fruits to pieces. You can choose the "Free Play" where you can play at your own pace and use one or two Katana swords. There are also the Training, Survival and Time-trail game modes as well.
In the Fruit Slicing game mode there will be many fruits flying in front of you. In practice mode, you can even change the pattern and pattern count, the fruit size, min and ma amount of fruits, their speed, and bomb ratio (you should avoid hitting the bombs). There are various fruits available in this game, including watermelons, oranges, kiwis, lemons, apples, etc. The developer made sure the game is easy to pick up yet still very challenging. It certainly takes a lot of time to master.
Oh, one cool thing that I really like about Katana X VR is that if for example, you don't hit a fruit hard enough, it will get stuck on your sword and you need to shake it out. If you hit it very slowly, it might even bump instead of being sliced. The physics in this game are really good, very realistic and I think this is one of the things that I really liked about the game. Keep in mind that failing to slice fruits will either cause you to lose a game or just get a lower score. Combos will multiply your score and allow you to get an even higher score at the end of the session. There are both a local and global leaderboard to keep you motivated to get better in this game.
I think that what makes Katana X stand out from the rest is its realistic style and physics and not arcady as Fruit Ninja. Fruit Ninja is more cartoony as well and I think that this approach to game design is what makes Katana X stand out from Fruit Ninja and why many of you might even prefer playing this game instead.
The graphics in this game are really nice and I loved the Japanese decor. The game also boasts 3D position audio that adds to the immersion. The combination of excellent physics, appealing visuals, and audio, as well as an addictive and competitive gameplay aspect, make Katana X a great VR game for all ages. It's a room-scale VR game, but there is no teleportation or movement involved, so it's very comfortable to play, but just make sure that there are no obstructions in the play area. The game can be a good exercise because it requires a lot of upper-body movement.
As of the time of writing, Katana X is available in Early Access on Steam starting Jun 10th, 2017. We might see even more improvements and more games modes once the game gets close to its full release development stage.
This is by far my favorite fruit slicing VR games out there. It's available for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift via Steam, so don't forget to check it out.