Often when considering a video game purchase or download we take into account a great many things. How the game looks, how it plays, how long it will take to finish, how often it'll get updated, is there a good story and more. Two of the most important of these are how a game looks and how it plays. On Android there are more and more games coming out with stunning high-fidelity graphics but often, they fall short on gameplay. There's a reason people still play Angry Birds: it's fun. If you take a look at the Play Store you'll find plenty of games that have great graphics and good gameplay or good graphics and great gameplay. It's tough to get that balance right however, Halfbrick may have managed it with Jetpack Joyride. Read on to see if they have or not
Description: Coming from the same developer that brought us the incredibly popular Fruit Ninja, Halfbrick, Jetpack Joyride features simple gameplay that is designed to be both easy to grasp but also difficult to master. You're put into the footsteps of an employee who works at a lab, going through the day-to-day slog when one day, you witness the testing of a secret Jetpack. Naturally, you want some of this action and you go ahead and break in, steal the jetpack and begin your joyride. Check out the brilliant trailer below to see what it's all about:
How It Works: To start this brilliantly simple game all you have to is to go ahead and install it from the Play Store and run it. Getting started with the game is crazy easy, all you have to do is load the game and from there it drops you right in the action. Controls are really simple: because there's only one of them. Tap on the screen to go higher, hold to keep going higher and let go to descend. Technically that's three, I suppose but it's all one tap when you think about it. This sounds perfectly easy enough, right?
It's fairly easy to start going but once the game starts to throw more and more at you is when you realise that this is a hard game to master, indeed. When playing through Jetpack Joyride the game throws varying obstacles at you varying from electric barriers to incoming missiles. This is pretty standard fair but, after a while, the variety of these really bogs you down and becomes quite difficult.
Not unlike Super Mario Bros. the game features a sort of power-up system. When you can manage to hit the square with cogs in it you'll be placed into a vehicle of some sort. There are a variety of vehicles and each one of them puts a different spin on the one-touch control system. Some of faster, some not so quick and some just down-right bad ass. For instance, the Dragon is my favourite:
There are also a whole lot of coins floating around the level in such a fashion that collecting them becomes a challenge in and of itself. For instance, you can be trying to get a whole row of coins when you forget to dodge a missile. These coins however, can be spent in store to gain upgrades, utilities to speed up levels and you can even change how the character looks.
Opinion: Like I said in my opener, it's hard to find a game that delivers good graphics and good gameplay in unison. JetPack Joyride might not be the best looking game available for Android nor the best playing game however, it gets the delicate balance act of these two things right. For instance, the game looks good enough for me to be impressed by the artwork but it also plays well enough for me to waste crazy amount of time playing. The gameplay is satisfying too, it's fast paced and full of risk, it genuinely is a joyride you can take anywhere. It's easy to play on the way to work or sit down for a longer session around the house.
- Speed (5/5) – It's quick to get up and running and the game is very fast paced bringing with it satisfaction when you finally master it.
- Features (4/5) – You could say that a game with such simple gameplay couldn't possibly pack that much into it but the added store and slot machines add a lot to the game.
- Theme (5/5) – The graphics here aren't stunning but what they are is charming. They remind me of all the charm from the side-scrolling shooters of yesteryear with modern polish.
- Overall (5/5) – If you've played Jetpack Joyride and you didn't like it then there must be something wrong with you. All I have to say on the matter.
- Fast-paced action makes the game fun to play for however much time you have – on the way to work or at home on the couch.
- Coins are a great in-game currency that constantly reward you the more and more you play.
- The numerous different vehicles are a great addition that manage to keep it fresh.
- It could be my massive hands but my right thumb is constantly blocking the missile warning light.
- Most of the upgrades are ridiculously expensive.
Conclusion: Jetpack Joyride is a game that you cannot afford to miss, not only because it's free but also because it's one of the best games to come out this year. It's extremely simple, yes, but does that mean a simple game cannot be fun. No, of course it doesn't. What Jetpack Joyride may lack in fancy features it more than makes up for in fantastic gameplay, it's so easy to get yourself wrapped up in this game. You can have hours of fun at a time and continually curse yourself at how bad you are when you first start playing however, once you get to that point where it just "clicks" you'll be unable to stop.