Jetpack Joyride, Halfbrick Studios’ awesome take on cave fliers, was just released and is now available from the app store. Featuring the usual Halfbrick spit-and-polish and a wealth of gameplay elements that keep things fresh, exciting, and painfully addicting, Jetpack Joyride is a terrific example of iDevice gaming done right.
Jetpack Joyride Pros:
- Best version of a cave flier by far
- Great visuals that invoke past Halfbrick titles
- Catchy arcade soundtrack
- Simple one-touch controls
- Vehicles, missions, slots, in-game currency for buying items
- GameCenter and OpenFeint integration for leaderboards and achievements
Jetpack Joyride Cons:
- Rare loss of progress (after battery died, we lost a bunch of money but retained level)
- Currently no syncing across devices
- Can’t stop playing
Barry Steakfries makes his triumphant return, and he’s brought his machine-gun jetpack with him. He spends this side-scrolling adventure racing through an underground tunnel, using his jetpack to raise and lower his body while avoiding a bunch of obstacles, including electrified zappers, mobile lasers, and the occasional screaming missile. Barry bursts through a wall to start the game, knocking out scurrying scientists and a couple of zappers as he begins his offensive. His speed builds gradually as he gains more ground. The tunnel contains pockets of coins that Barry can collect by flying through them. The coins can be used to purchase cosmetic outfit and jetpack upgrades, as well as special bonuses and vehicle upgrades. There are 5 types of vehicles that Barry can utilize by smashing into a special box that appears occasionally throughout the game. You are randomly awarded the Lil Stomper, Profit Bird, Gravity Guy, Bad As Hog, or Crazy Freaking Teleporter. These vehicles are effective until you contact an obstacle, when it explodes and Barry is left to fend for himself once again. It’s a nice security measure that allows you to protect yourself from an early ending and lengthen your runs.
Once you do finally zap yourself, touch a laser, or eat a missile, your body drops to the ground, skidding to an eventual stop, though you can still snag coins if you happen to hit them while tumbling. At this point, you get the opportunity to play a slots mini-game with any of the Spin Tokens that you may have grabbed floating around the level. Simply pull the handle to stop the 3 rotating drums. You must line up 3 like images to win and prizes include additional stashes of coins, double coins on your next run, an early bird jump to 750m on your next run, resurrection that will allow you to continue from where you died, or 3 levels of bombs that will explode and propel your lifeless body from where it came to rest farther into the level. It’s an awesome touch and a really fun feature. As if that wasn’t enough to keep you going, you always have 3 missions to complete at any given time, which often ask you to perform a certain task over a specific distance, collect a certain number of some item, high-five a bunch of scientists, scrape your head on the ceiling, die between 2 specific distance markers, avoid all coins for a certain distance, and a ton of other things. You earn stars for achieving these goals and move up in a level system by collecting a certain number of stars. Each new level also includes a coin bonus.
Graphically, Jetpack Joyride has a terrific cartoon look that reminds us of Monster Dash, with great animations and a lot of character. Overall, the framerate was good, with only an occasional hiccup. The backdrop cycles between a few different looks, such as a warehouse full of boxes, an undersea view, a laboratory, and more. Other than offering a feeling of progression, the backdrops don’t really impact gameplay in any way. The soundtrack is arcadey goodness, complementing the game very nicely. There are a bunch of different sound effects that also enhance the experience. Controls are of the single touch variety, with Barry rising while your finger is on-screen, and falling when you release. It’s simple, effective, and natural.
Replay value is through the roof, given the endless high scoring challenge, the mission system, the shop, the slot machine, and all the little details that make this game so enjoyable. GameCenter and OpenFeint integration offer a couple of global leaderboards and more than 2 dozen achievements to earn. A universal app for a miniscule $0.99, Jetpack Joyride is a 5-Dimple stud that’s likely to skyrocket up the app store charts.
Jetpack Joyride Review,