It’s been a pretty rough couple of days for Barry Steakfries. Sales are down across the board and he’s not in a very good mood. As he wanders aimlessly towards another potential rejection, he notices that this next house isn’t like all the others on the block. No, these people seem to be testing out some kind of jetpack, and it looks really cool. So cool in fact that Barry decides he wants to take it. So he does.
And that’s where Jetpack Joyride begins, in all its unabashed glory. There’s no complex plot to be had or hidden messages of political corruption, it’s all about flying on a jetpack. Oh, and did we mention that the jetpack is actually a machine gun? Let’s work out the details after the break.
The world of Barry Steakfries is not a complicated one, and neither is the game itself. This is your classic side scroller in the vein of Super Mario Bros. or any other Nintendo platform from the ’80s, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Barry starts equipped with that fancy machine gun powered jetpack, and he can walk on the ground like anyone else, although you can’t adjust the pace. By touching the screen the jetpack roars to life, lifting Barry up into the air to avoid obstacles or collect coins, and then gravity brings him back down to Earth. Simple, right?
Well it is, and that’s part of what makes it so fun. When playing, your goal is to get as far through the world as possible, which is essentially one long hallway full of pratfalls and hazards. You don’t have any lives per se, so every time you hit an obstacle you die and go careening through space until your body stops. If you picked up any of the special coins along the way then you can go for extra coins or a bomb that will propel you further, or you can just end the game right then and there.
Since there are no additional physical levels, and since everything is just move forward and proceed, this is a very easy game to pick up and play at anytime. I found that your actual playing time on the game varies greatly, depending on how addicted you get. At one point I played just one game and it lasted maybe a minute or two at the most. Later on in the week, I played a few times in a row and the next thing I knew I lost 30 minutes.
Interestingly enough, there really is no set point system either. You’d think that every little scientist that you decimate would count towards a point total, but it doesn’t. Instead, your points come purely from collecting coins and progressing forward.
The game would be pretty boring if all you did was fly at one speed through a hallway, so there are a few little gems in the game as well. For one, you can pick up additional vehicles along the way. They come randomly, but each one has its own advantages and disadvantages, and they all tend to ramp up the speed after a bit ensuring that you will lose the vehicle along the way. But by losing it, you also essentially gain a life, and now you’re back to moving on your jetpack.
You can buy some of these neat toys as well using the coins you’ve collected, although most of them don’t really add to the gameplay other than aesthetically. In my time playing the game I bought a few Head Starts and Final Blasts, but not much else. There are a lot of options here though, and I didn’t tap into all of them by any means, so your experience may vary.
Each time you play, you’re given a group of three goals that you need to try to accomplish, and each of these goals has their own star rating. By completing the goal, you’re awarded the stars and the more stars you have, the higher up in the game you progress, giving you more vehicle options and so on.
These goals range from the fun to the insanely difficult. For example, at one point you have to high five a certain amount of scientists, which really is pretty simple to do. On another, you have to narrowly miss several missiles, something that’s much more difficult. I found that these missions are really the key to motivating you to keep playing, and in my case, pushed me on until I got past level 9 or so.
So Is It Fun?
Wow, what a loaded question, but a fair one.
I spent quite a few hours playing Jetpack Joyride, and even while I wrote this review I picked it up and played it again a few times, just for fun. For me, playing an old school styled game is a bit of nostalgia, and when it comes complete with the fun music and characters, it’s just the icing on the cake.
Yes, it’s lots of fun. So much so that I even moved the app to my second screen, that way I play it more frequently. Now, whenever I have a few minutes to play, Jetpack Joyride is my go-to game.
This game is great fun, but it’s not 100 percent perfect. It would be nice to have additional level options, if only so that you could see something different scrolling across the screen instead of the same old thing. But other than that, there’s really not much to complain about. When you can play a game for several hours straight and still come out having fun, that’s a pretty good average in my book.
Have you played Jetpack Joyride yet? Do you like it? Let us know in the comments!