Yesterday, I reviewed Canabalt, an Android and iOS game where you attempt to run as far as you can while dealing with various obstacles. This type of game is very prevalent on the platforms, as the simplified controls of just touching to screen to jump, fly or whatever else you need work very well. Leave it to Halfbrick Studious, the creators of Fruit Ninja, to find a way to take that simple yet addicting gameplay to a whole new level. Their version of the game style: Jetpack Joyride.
What is even better is the game is free to play.
Grab That Jetpack and Take Off
In Jetpack Joyride, you play as Barry Steakfries, a man who has broken into a top-secret lab and stolen a prototype jetpack. He isn’t trying to use it to take over the world or anything, though. He just wants to take it for a ride. As long as you are touching the screen, the jetpack engines will fire allowing Barry to rise into the air. You must avoid certain obstacles in your quest to travel as far as possible, including zappers and missiles. There are also a few items scattered throughout the level you can collect:
Vehicle Power Ups: These will randomly choose a vehicle for you to control. Each vehicle has certain strengths and weaknesses, and each one is based on something either from another game or form of media. For example, there is a Profit Bird, a red bird that drops money when it flaps its wings modeled very similarly to the ones from Angry Birds. There is also a rather nice hog, and when Barry rides it, he uses a shotgun to blast the scientists he encounters ala Terminator 2.
- Spin Tokens: Each spin token can be used on the slot machine you get at the end of your game. You can win coins, bomb blasts that will extend the distance you traveled even further or, if you are very lucky, a second chance to continue from where your ride stopped. You can also trade in the spin tokens for coins if you so choose.
- Coins: Coins are the currency of the game. Get enough of them and you can buy upgrades to your vehicles, new jetpacks or even gadgets that will affect the gameplay, such as beacon that causes missiles to fail from time to time.
Along with these items, the game gives you different missions to complete. You may have to high-five 50 scientists, brush by several of the red bulbs scattered throughout the level or go a certain distance without picking up any coins. If you complete these missions, you are awarded with stars, and after earning so many stars, you are awarded a new rank and a sum coins. Once you level up the top rank, you “prestige,” allowing you to start the process over again with new missions.
The Very Definition of Addicting
Jetpack Joyride is one of those games you set out to play for five minutes and, next thing you know, you have been playing for an hour. The gameplay is extremely addicting, making you want to play “just one more time” because you know you can go farther, achieve that next mission or get enough coins for that power up you have been eying. Of course, there are also the leaderboards, though at last check, they are not active for the Android version.
If you find you are not getting coins fast enough for your liking, you can make in app purchases to get more, but with the missions rewarding you and the magnet upgrades to the vehicles which pull nearby coins to you, I have never found a need to do that. My only objection to the game would be sometimes it throws the obstacles at you in such a way that your end seems rather cheap, but that is a relatively minor complaint for what really is a joy of a game to play, especially when said game is free. Jetpack Joyride gets a 10 out of 10.
Check out the trailer for Jetpack Joyride and see if this game just might be one you would want to try.