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Halfbrick Studios created one of my favorite time wasters of all time – Fruit Ninja – but just because a developer creates one great game does not always mean that the next one will be as engrossing. What I love about Fruit Ninja the most is its simplicity. Jetpack Joyride is a very different game and I was not too sure about this one, despite the good things I had heard. Run and gun games are not always my favorite things but as the game is now offered free I really had nothing to lose right?
Sound and Graphics 4/5
In terms of graphics Jetpack Joyride is pretty simplistic, having a real retro back to the 90s console game feel to them. That is not to say however that the graphics are in any way bad – just not PS3 level. But they don’t need to be. This game is about the action and in any case I think Barry Steakfries is a fun, cute protagonist and I’m pretty sure the merchandising potential is huge.
The sounds are not too memorable but you have just enough of them to enhance the game without over powering the game.
As is the case with Fruit Ninja the sound and graphics are really not designed to be the big attraction of Jetpack Joyride. They are fun, colorful and clear and certainly do plenty to enhance the game but as you will see, it is the gameplay that really grabs you here.
Before it was released a lot of people it seemed had the same thought as I did. Can Halfbrick really top Fruit Ninja? Or even come close? You actually get your answer within the first ten minutes of gameplay or so, which is about as long as it took me to get hooked.
The game’s star is Barry Steakfries – a big buff cartoon of a chap who is a rather bad salesman. Wandering around rather depressed about his lack of success he spies a “top secret jetpack” in a window and imagining all the wonderful things he could do with such a thing he breaks into the lab to steal it and from there all the fun begins.
There are no levels per se in Jetpack Joyride. Instead you must guide Barry into and out of harms way while collecting as many coins and power ups as possible. The one touch controls are very easy to use (tap, tap, tap some more) and it is safe to say that you do not have to be a rocket scientist to figure the gameplay out (awful joke I know)
To say that Jetpack Joyride is as addictive as Fruit Ninja is an understatement. Every time you die (well, Barry dies) the game resumes in a different way so it never gets too repetitive. And there are plenty of things to collect and spend your coins on that enhance the game. My only disappointment was that new jetpacks did not give you any kind of enhanced abilities but to be fair there are plenty of other vehicles to do that.
Another thing I love is the detailed stat tracking. Not only can I see at a glance how many coins I have earned for Barry but also how far I have managed to guide him before killing him, the number of games played and even some weird ones like distance that Barry slid on his face (play the game you’ll see what I mean)
You can keep track of how your missions with Barry are stacking up against the rest of the world in the Game Center. As usual that was a bit disheartening as just as I thought I was doing well I had a look at some of the leaders and well – I have a long way to go yet!
Value for Money – Originally a paid app Jetpack Joyride is currently available for free. But I would happily pay for this game and consider it money well spent. lucky for me it is free though as I was able to download both the iPhone and the iPad versions so that I can fire the old jetpack up wherever I may be.
Summary – Quite simply put Halfbrick have another hit on their hands. A brief look at my stats shows me that, between iPhone and iPad, I have logged over five hours in the last few days, a lot more than the 30 minutes I had intended to spend to do this review. And I think that tells you everything you need to know!