From the creators of Fruit Ninja comes this non-traditional side-scroller. There’s just one level to master in Jetpack Joyride, but that’s okay, because the point isn’t to move through level after level, it’s to keep upgrading your character and equipment.
The controls couldn’t be simpler: just touch the screen to move your on-screen, jetpack wearing character (who goes by the name of Barry Steakfries — no joke) vertically up, or let go to descend as he speeds non-stop to the right. There are countless other games in the App Store that feature this kind of control scheme and character movement, butÂ Jetpack JoyrideÂ has fine tuned the feel of itÂ until it’sÂ just right.
But there’s a twist. (Isn’t there always?) Your jetpack is more than a mere conveyance. When you fly up over the evil scientists who built your lethal jetpack, and who run about fleeing from your rampage, the fire it produces turns to gunfire, shooting straight down at your hapless victims below.Â Obstacles are everywhere; one strike and you’re out. Round over. Complicating things further, the jetpack builds speed the longer you use it, making the game ever-harder to master.
You’ll want to collect the floating coins along the way, and look for the special slot machine coins that you redeem at the end of each round in the in-game slot machine to pick up rewards. Some of these will shoot you along further in this round (even though you’re dead) while others can be used in your next round.Â There’s also a built-in store called “The Stash” where you can use the coins you’ve collected to buy better stuff.
Power-ups are easy to grab; like everything else, you simply fly into them. They instantly replace your jetpack with much more powerful vehicles, which include a flying dragon, a teleporter, a gravity inverter, a metal stomping suit with killer feet, and more. Developer Halfbrick has already added a set of new upgrades and promise more in the future, at no cost.Â These clever power boosts change the entire dynamic of the game, providing a welcome change of pace from the jetpack, but they only last as long as you can avoid obstacles. The longer you play, the bigger and better upgrades, achievements, and rewards you’ll unlock. There are even numerous versions of the titular jetpack that you’ll eventually acquire as you get better at the game, which do a lot more than just fire bullets (I’m not spoiling the surprises here).
On first pass, Jetpack Joyride seems like an incredibly simplistic exercise. But the more you play at it, the deeper you’ll find its rewards go. Halfbrick has scored again with another game every bit as addictive and fun to play as Fruit Ninja.