Snip away the spare minutes in your day with Cut the Buttons

There’s no doubt that Fruit Ninja is an enjoyable game, and as such it has seen its fair share of clones. Open Name has developed a variation on the concept with the snippety game Cut the Buttons. Comprised of that familiar, yet still different, visceral gratification that Fruit Ninja fans have come to enjoy, Cut the Buttons is a great procrastination tool for eating up a few minutes at any given time. Though its design isn’t the most ergonomic control setup in the world, at least it isn’t a carbon copy of an already popular title.

Instead of tossed fruit and finger slashing, players are granted a digital pair of scissors (conveniently switchable between a left or right handed configuration), a bucket, and an infinite supply of button strewn pieces of clothing lobbed onto the screen. So what does all these mean? Well, by placing a finger atop each handle of the scissors, players attempt to physically snip off, using a cutting motion, as many buttons as possible.

It follows the same basic rule set as Fruit Ninja in that players continue to snip away until three uncut buttons are missed and fall off the screen. The idea is to cut as many buttons as possible — which is accompanied by an oddly gratifying sound effect — before failure inevitably occurs. Unlike Fruit Ninja, however, Cut the Buttons only grants points when buttons safely land into the previously noted bucket.

This is where the controls feel a little wonky. Players can actually move the bucket from side to side with their finger in an attempt to catch the falling buttons. However, because the scissors require two fingers to operate, moving the bucket is awkward at best. The only way to effectively control both is to use one hand for the scissors and one for the bucket, but such can make it difficult to see the screen.

It seems logical enough, but one has to consider the fact that most users will be playing their iDevice on the go, meaning that they’ll typically be holding it with one hand and playing with the other. It’s possible to use one’s thumb for the bucket, but it leaves the iDevice in a precarious position. It’s just not feasible to play Cut the Buttons, as intended, with one hand. Thankfully, moving the bucket is not wholly necessary for basic play. Simply timing one’s snips for when the cloth is centered above it will usually result in scored points.

Cut the Buttons

Other perks also exist, like bonuses for cutting off more than three buttons in one go, or filling up the bucket and earning extra points or lives. Of course, penalties are present too, such as attempting to cut screwed in buttons that subtract points. These are particularly annoying too as they’re virtually impossible to avoid when trying to cut other buttons attached to the same cloth piece (which seem to host more and more buttons as time goes on).

Should players not wish to concern themselves with failure, there is an option for that as well. Like most games of this nature, there is an arcade mode strictly tailored to earning high scores. Given a limited amount of time, it’s all about earning the most points possible without any worry of missing too many buttons and failing.

Overall, Cut the Buttons is a pretty simplistic game clearly inspired by Fruit Ninja. Thankfully, however, it’s not a blatant clone of the popular title and has an allure all its own. Visually solid with quality presentation, it’s a great application to pick up and play for a few minutes at a time wherever one is. It does have its irritants here and there, and its control scheme isn’t the best in the world, but all in all it’s an above average title that at least tries to be slightly different.