Finally, Barry Steakfries makes his epic return to the iPhone. Still sporting the greatest name of all time, he’s also sporting one of the coolest vehicles in the world… a Gatling-gun jetpack. Welcome to Jetpack Joyride by Halfbrick Studios, who also brought us the acclaimed Age of Zombies and the Famous Fruit Ninja.
The game updates and brings a lot of humor to the classic flash game Helicopter, in which the goal is to get as far as you can as things get faster and more hectic. Touching the screen makes you fly, while doing nothing lets you run on the ground. You have to use your recently stolen jetpack to avoid lasers, zappers, and missiles, all while collecting copious amounts of coins. As you play, you collect other special vehicles, like the Lil’ Stomper mech suit and even the gravity manipulation suit from Gravity Guy. These all control a bit differently, and act as a one hit shield before being destroying and letting you continue in your jetpack. You also collect spin tokens, which are cashed in upon your death for a special slot machine game. The rewards range from being blasted further along the track, being brought back to life, or just coins and other beneficial items.
There is a leveling system in the game that is reminiscent of the game Tiny Wings. You have three missions at any given time, which are just names for random feats to be completed in game. Rather than needing to complete all three to level up, they are cycled out and replaced with new tasks as you complete them. The coins you collect are used to purchase things in your stash. You can purchase cosmetic things, like new jet packs or the costume from Fragger, or useful things like vehicle upgrades, boosts, or extra lives. You can even pay to have a mission completed if it is too difficult for you. If you would rather just enjoy all the costumes from the get go and don’t care about progression, you can buy several different coin packages through in-app purchases.
The art style and effects in the game are simply gorgeous. It’s full of tongue-in-cheek humor and references to other iOS titles. The soundtrack is fantastic and I absolutely loved it. The simple one touch game play just exudes elegance, which is probably the symbolism of the start menu music. It’s one of those games that you just have to keep playing “just one more time,” over and over. Both Game Center and OpenFeint achievements and leaderboards are supported for your competitive needs. This is a super fun iOS universal title which signals the return of mobile gaming’s greatest bad-ass hero, and it’s only one dollar. Everyone should pick up this game and start playing.