Halfbrick Studios' popular iOS running game Jetpack Joyride has finally made its way to Google Play. Mission-driven progression and a range of crazy gadgets, jetpacks, vehicles, achievements and character customisation add replay value to the simple controls and repetitive nature of Barry Steakfries' endless journey. See Best Android Apps.
Upon first launch of this app, we felt sure we'd seen it before. Italy Games' Zombie Dash, which we reviewed earlier this year, is a clone of Jetpack Joyride, yet made its way into Google Play many months before the original. In some ways the clone is more enjoyable to play, with a wider range of environments, weapons and vehicles, and a host of zombies and lethal obstaces to keep you on your toes. The difference here is in the introduction of challenge-based progression, utilities, gadgets and character customisation. See Android Advisor.
Unlike other games of its type, in which you must run, and run, and run, until eventually you die, Barry Steakfries is able to use a jetpack to fly over zappers and bullets, and to help him collect coins scattered throughout the game. (We say scattered; in fact, they're used to spell out such things as 'Barry', 'HB' for Halfbrick and, in case you weren't aware of what they were, 'Coins!'). More Android app reviews.
Vehicles are accessible at certain points within the game, including the Bad Ass Hog, Lil' Stomper, Crazy Freaking Teleporter, Profit Bird and, our personal favourite, the fire-breathing dragon affectionately known as Mr Cuddles. This huggable gent fries vast swathes of innocent scientists in the lab, but his hulking, swooping body proves to be an effective coin magnet. Smartphone reviews.
Spin tokens are collected where available, which can be used in a one-arm-bandit-style fruit machine at the end of the game to win such things as an extra life, a 750m boost, 100-, 500- or 1,000 coins, double coins on the next game, extra spins and a range of small- to large blasts that add a few extra metres to that all-important distance figure. Alternatively, you can cash them in for 50 coins apiece.
You simply tap the screen to jump, or tap and hold to fly; gravity sorts you out when it's time to head back down to earth. The need to use just a single finger or thumb makes Jetpack Joyride simple to play wherever you are, even with only one hand. Given that a game this simple could quickly become boring, Halfbrick Studios has a number of tricks up its sleeve to help keep things fresh.
First up are challenges. Three missions are offered at a time, which you take as long to complete as you need. This is handy: although some, such as high-fiving 15 scientists, involve no more than brushing past them, others are more tricky, and have you diving into death's path to score near-misses with missiles and zappers. For each mission that's completed you're awarded between one and three stars, and each time you collect a certain number of stars you move up a level and are awarded a virtual cash bonus.
We enjoyed completing the challenges, but found we finished the game in just a couple of days with only intermittent play. However, once you've completed Jetpack Joyride you can start over, and in doing so win the 'A man, my son' achievement. There are plenty of other achievements to unlock, including such things as 'Good work, Woody', where you must run into the bottom obstacle three times in a row without leaving the floor, and 'Crackling', in which you must blow up a flying pig with a missile.
Hang on a minute, a flying pig? This is one of the many gadgets on which you can spend the coins you collect. You can also buy a dezapinator, nerd repellant, x-ray specs, an insta-ball and a gravity belt, for example. And if you're truly addicted to Jetpack Joyride and have pocketed a great number of coins, you can also waste money upgrading the vehicles (basically giving them a gold paint job), buying boosts and blasts, giving Barry a zombie, robot, king or DJ make-over, purchasing a snow machine or bubble gun jetpack… The list of possible customisations goes on and on; you don't have to buy any of them but, if you think you've completed the game, think again.
With so much available to buy, it's understandable that you might want to give your Jetpack Joyride account balance a quick cash injection. Coin bundles start at 99 cents for 20,000; if you have a criminally intelligent mind you can also grab a counterfeit machine for $1.99, which doubles the value of each coin you collect.