Jetpack Joyride iPhone Game Review – PocketGamer.co.uk
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Jetpack Joyride iPhone Game Review – PocketGamer.co.uk

August 10, 2019


At first glance, Halfbrick’s latest is a very
simple game. Much like that one-click helicopter Flash
game that commanded a few too many IT classes, Jetpack Joyride is about carefully lifting
and landing block-headed protagonist Barry Steakfries to avoid obstacles and collect
coins. There are certainly some fresh ideas on the
table: laser beams to dodge, heat-seaking missiles to bluff, and moving tokens to hunt.
Oh, and the odd special vehicle too, including gravity-defying exoskeletons, space-distorting
pods, motorbikes, and massive mechs. But for the most part Halfbrick wants to keep
things simple. And yet Jetpack Joyride is so darn compulsive – even more so than genre
benchmark and just-one-more-go champion Canabalt. That’s no coincidence. It’s the Australian
studio’s masterful grip on social competition, teasing unlocks, and extracurricular activities
that will keep you coming back for more during ad breaks, microwave countdowns, awkward lift
rides, and lengthy bus journeys. For example, there’s the in-game store, which
is filled with pointless aesthetic tweaks for you to buy with your pillaged coins. Curiously,
you seem to perpetually have just too few coins for the next big prize. One more go
should fill up your coffers, though. There are also the Game Center achievements
to gun for, some friendly competition with pals and the public on Apple’s leaderboards,
and an endless stack of ranks to rise through. There are also miniature missions. You have
three of these on the go at any one time and they give you something a little more specific
to aim for than simply ‘survive for a long time’. It might be high-fiving 15 scientists, collecting
a certain number of coins on one go, purposely dying at a specific distance, or simply playing
the game a whole bunch. Whatever the case, they ensure that every go of Joyride is meaningful. Another deviously smart addition is the slot
machine. If you manage to snag a token or two during play you can try your hand at a
jackpot gamble. This might net you some bonus coins, perhaps a second chance or, most devilish
of all, something like ‘double coins on your next go’. How can you say no to that? No amount of leaderboards and beckoning bonuses
can fix a bad game, of course, but Jetpack Joyride is always a treat to play. The one-touch
gameplay is responsive, your floaty jetpack-toting character is surprisingly agile, and even
at its fastest the game’s various obstacles are never unfair or impossible. It has brilliant presentation too, with a
quirky pixel-art style and an oh-so catchy backing track that – somehow, despite being
played on a loop for the hours you’ll pile into this game – never grates. A miracle,
by all accounts.

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