Jetpack Joyride Review and Tips
Ready to Ride?
I recently discovered Jetpack Joyride (from watching someone playing it on the train to work and guessing the name) and thought I'd write a review about this addictive little 'free' game on smartphone devices.
Jetpack Joyride by Halfbrick Studios is a sidescrolling action game where you control Barry Steakfries in his jetpack to collect coins, vehicle powerups and see what the longest distance you can fly for without dying is. It’s a simple concept but it’s done very well indeed.
Sometimes the simplest games are the best. The screen moves for you and all you need to do is touch the screen to make Barry go up and release to make him go down. It’s very easy to control and I’ve experienced no slowdown other than very slightly when you receive a text while playing for one second or so. Levels are randomly generated so you never play the same layout twice which keeps everything fresh and interesting.
As a result of the randomness of the stages, you're never really bored at all as always something unexpected appearing in a slightly different way which keeps you glued to the game and carefully controlling Barry to avoid him getting fried!
Pimp Your Jetpack!
The draw to playing Jetpack Joyride is customisation, missions and seeing how far you can fly compared to others online. As you play you collect coins which can be used to purchase different jetpacks with separate animations ie a bubble jetpack which shoots bubbles out rather than bullets, items of clothing to change the look of Barry as well as gadgets and utilities (powerups). The more you play the more you unlock. It’s an addictive pick up and play experience and has the ‘just one more go’ effect. It’s a free download but you can buy in game coins if you want to earn items quicker but in all honesty it doesn’t detract from the enjoyment of the game as certainly isn’t necessary unlike many other Freemium models (Real Racing 3 I’m looking at you!)
You’re tasked with completing missions as you go (3 usually listed at any one time and can be completed in any order) such as collect 100 coins in one game, fly X amount of metres in total or destroy the wall 5 times. Each mission awards you stars to complete a mission level. As you complete the mission levels you earn new titles as well as a decent amount of coins to use as you wish. It gives you something else to aim for and focuses you on goals which is a large part of its addicting quality (other than it’s really fun to fly around!).
If a mission is becoming too hard for you then there is the option to skip the mission by using coins earned from in the game. This can be quite useful on some of them but for the most part you won't need to skip many of them as all very achievable with enough practice.
Welcome to the Danger Zone
Barry does have obstacles in his path that are there to stop him in his tracks and some are trickier than others.
Zappers – These are the most common obstacle that you will see and are often static beams of electricity and differ in size. However as you fly further they can rotate slowly or quickly and become more challenging as the speed of the screen speeds up.
Rockets – Rockets are occasionally fired from the right hand side of the screen always proceeded by an exclamation alert which gets quicker and quicker as you fly further also. They become problematic when more than one is launched directly after another so you have to be quick to avoid them.
Lasers – Lasers are probably the easiest to avoid out of all the obstacles and you are given a lot of warning as they take up the whole screen and prepped before they fire. They start off as static but the patterns become more random as you fly further and some start to move also so they become more challenging.
Scientists – These are not really an obstacle but they wander about on the floor rushing around (presumably because a man in a jetpack has entered their facility) and serve as cannon fodder for your jetpack or vehicles.
Fly, Ride or Hover
To help with your mission you have access at times to certain vehicles as floating powerups which can help you get further and further through the facility and also allow you to receive a hit by an obstacle and not die instantly – the vehicle is destroyed and you are back to being good old Barry with his jetpack. They also make extra coins appear when you collect one so are important to amass your coin collection. Some of the vehicles vary from a motorbike with you becoming dressed as The Terminator complete with shotgun to kill oncoming scientists to a mechanical profit bird which drops money as he flies – don’t worry it comes out of his own pocket and not your coins! They are all really fun to use and help vary the game from just being in a jetpack the whole time.
If that wasn’t enough, as you fly around you collect rare tokens called ‘Spin Tokens’ which you can use as once you die a slot machine appears allowing you to use your tokens to get bonuses such as extra coins, boosts for the next game, explosions to help you travel further or even a second chance life allowing you to continue the same game. This is another way you can earn more coins and as mentioned before Halfbrick Studios are generous in giving you many options to earn your own coins.
All in all it’s a funny, addictive side scroller that’s well worth your time and effort. It’s well designed, distinctive graphically and most of all it’s fun to play. Perfect for that morning train journey or to pass the time...just don’t come to me if you can’t stop playing it...it might just be your new gaming addiction!
- Don’t waste money initially on buying new jetpacks, clothing or ‘one off’ utilities for Barry. Coins are more wisely spent on new gadgets as these have a direct impact on avoiding danger, increasing the value of certain coins or making more spin tokens or vehicles appear.
- Unless it is a mission requirement NEVER exchange the spin tokens for coins. Your potential rewards you get for each spin of the slot machine far outweighs the 50 coin bonus for exchanging them. Especially as you can get up to 1000 coins on a fortunate spin or a double coin value bonus for the next round.
- Gemology and Coin Magnet I have found to be the most useful for getting lots of coins quickly. Gemology turns some of the coins into gems which are worth more than the normal coins. Coin Magnet creates a small field around you when you are near coins attracting them to you. Definitely important to have both of these equipped when you get a double coin bonus from the slot machine.
- The Teleporter vehicle is one of the hardest to control but it can be the most rewarding as if you teleport just slightly before a zapper, you can actually travel a really long distance if you are quick enough. Also take note of the speed of the Teleporter targeting system as this moves at a set speed so you can focus on your timing, especially if you want to place yourself at the very top or very bottom of the level.