Cutting fruit is usually a chore, but in slash-happy Fruit Ninja it's good casual fun.

The game's straightforward finger-swiping action is just that - action. Instead of weighing down its basic arcade gameplay with frivolous elements and unnecessary embellishments, Fruit Ninja delivers pure fruit-slicing action.

Depth comes from a variety of well-conceived modes and expert use of Game Center and OpenFeint for achievements and leaderboards that keep you coming back for more.

Put da lime in da coconut

Classic mode hurls fruit on your screen, which you hack with a swipe of a finger. Each sliced piece of fruit nets you a point, whereas cutting through multiple pieces of fruit simultaneously earns you extra combo points.

There are also elusive critical slices that award ten points, although it would be better if such moves were based on skill rather than completely random.

To prevent scribbling, dangerous bombs occasionally pop up that explode when touched. Fortunately, you're generously given three strikes before your game is up. Missing a fruit and allowing it to fall of the screen unsliced counts as a strike, making diligent play the only possible path to leaderboard-topping high scores.

Berry good

Superb integration with OpenFeint and Game Center draws you back, but the game's appeal is also down to the expertly designed slate of modes: multiplayer via Game Center, a timed Zen mode, and an inventive Arcade mode with crazy banana power-up.

All have been carefully constructed and balanced for fun. There are also goodies to unlock - backgrounds, slice animations - providing further reason to come back for more.

What really keeps you coming back is the game's quality feel. Unlike other quick-hit arcade games, Fruit Ninja feels polished and substantial. While the game itself isn't serious, developer Halfbrick has done serious work in constructing this nicely pitched title.

Ideal for filling in those empty moments here and there, Fruit Ninja embodies the essence of iPhone and iPod touch gaming with its accessible and entertaining arcade action