hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Jetpack Joyride

Review: Jetpack Joyride

7:15 PM on 09.01.2011 // Nick Chester

With so many "runner" games on iOS, another one is certainly a hard sell. But there's a reason these games are so popular. It's a simple concept -- a character moves continuously from left to right at an ever-increasing speed, the player's goal to jump, slide, or whatever to avoid obstacles. The goal: get as far as possible.

Halfbrick's latest, Jetpack Joyride, is yet another in a long line of these endless runner games. But don't let that turn you off. Between responsive controls, colorful sprites that are easy on the eyes, and a clever rewards system that will keep players coming back for more, Jetpack Joyride is comfortably the best in its class.

Jetpack Joyride (iOS)
Developer: Halfbrick
Released: September 1, 2011
Price: 99 cents 

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to play Jetpack Joyride, and that's half of its appeal. Like many iOS titles, its controls boil down to tapping the screen and occasionally, um, tapping the screen some more. You'll be doing so to initiate protagonist Barry Steakfries' machine gun jetpack, tapping (or holding) to make him hover in the air as you avoid lasers, missiles, and a maze of electric ropes. As you proceed further, the stakes get hire as Barry moves faster and faster, and the game's traps become trickier and trickier. 

While the machine gun jetpack may very well be the most awesome mode of transport ever in the history of forever, it's not the only vehicle in Barry's arsenal. Occasionally and randomly, additional vehicles can be picked up along the way. From the "Crazy Freaking Teleporter" to the Tiny Wings-inspired "Profit Bird" (which borrows sound effects from the popular, money-making iOS title), each vehicle will react to those same screen taps and holds, but responds a bit differently. For example, the "Crazy Ass Teleporter" will allow you to zap to new areas of the screen with a simple tap. The "Profit Bird" is one of the more slower vehicles, but can be made to fly with repeated screen taps, and I found it easier to navigate than many of the others. You'll come to find your favorites as you experiment and play, but given that they basically offer one free hit (i.e. mushrooms in Super Mario Bros.), you're going to want to grab 'em when you see 'em.

Halfbrick has also thrown some additional random elements into the mix with bonus coins that appear periodically throughout your journey. These coins can be redeemed in a slot machine after a run (when you hit an electric fence, missile, etc.) and can offer a number of bonuses and perks. Some will even give you a second chance, letting you continue on to reach a higher score. In other instances, you might have a bomb dropped on you to give you some extra distance to reach even higher scores. 

These basics and the very nature of wanting to best your own high scores (and your friends' via Game Center or OpenFeint) would be enough to keep you coming back for more. But Halfbrick has also integrated an impressive mission system that kept me playing this simple game for hours on end. At any given time, players have three goals to reach, ranging from hitting certain distances to near-missing X-number of missiles. Completing goals earns you stars, and as you rank up, missions roll over into a fresh set of objectives. There's always something to be striving for, whether it's topping the leaderboards or knocking another one of the game's missions off your list. 

There's also a ton of extras packed into Jetpack Joyride, most of them purchased with coins picked up during gameplay. While some of them are simply cosmetic (my Barry Streakfries looks like a zombie now; what's yours wearing?), others are more useful in gameplay. One-off items can be purchased, like second chances or distance-boosting bombs, or permanent upgrades like adding a coin magnet to the game's many vehicles.

There are few criticisms that can be thrown at Jetpack Joyride, but I'd be lying if I said it was a completely perfect experience. For one, the very nature of having to tap the screen with your finger can lead to obstructing your view, and potentially a hazard that will cause your game to end. To the game's credit, you can tap anywhere on the screen, including a small area directly behind Barry. Your mileage with this may vary, but I never really found a place where my finger never seemed "in the way" at some point. 

There's also a lot of luck involved in Jetpack Joyride, at least when it comes to reaching the high end of the leaderboards, and this may frustrated some. True, the game is all about fast reflexes and being able to keep up with the blazing speeds that Barry can reach. Make no mistake, the touch screen on any iOS device can keep up with the game's controls, which are quick and responsive. But there's a bit of randomness involved, as well, particularly when using those bonus coins. My best run came from the sheer luck of getting multiple bomb bonuses and a heart, which earned me a chance to continue on further. Even still, the most skilled players will always have an edge, and will also have that element of luck on their side. 

At a mere 99 cents, Jetpack Joyride is an insane value for what's offered. Let's put it this way: the in-game stats on my iPod tell me I've put six hours into the game; include my time playing on an iPad, and you're adding another two or three. To put that into perspective, I probably didn't have to play more than 30 minutes of this game to give it a proper review, the game is simply that straightforward. I simply was having so much fun, and I didn't want to stop. 

Speaking of which, I've said enough. I think I've got some more Jetpack Joyride to play. I'd suggest you get to doing the same. 



Jetpack Joyride - Reviewed by Nick Chester
Entrancing - It's like magic, guys. Time disappears when this game and I are together, and I never want it to end. I'm not sure if this is a love that will last forever, but if it is, you'll get no complaints from me.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Nick Chester, Former Editor-in-Chief (2011)
 Follow Blog + disclosure Tips
Editor-in-Chief @ nick at  more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
The issue with Mike's article isn't that he doesn't like SMB. His tone makes it feel like his opinion is presented as fact, and the article goes way off track from the title.
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
The last bit made me laugh for some reason. [img][/img]
El Dango avatarEl Dango
My silly joke comment on Mike's article looks really mean next to all the bitter ones. Why are people so accepting of my unpopular opinions, but not his?
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
I'm still watching this over and over. Dude is tremendously talented, to say the least. Just wait until the solo and breakdown. [youtube][/youtube]
TheAngriestCarp avatarTheAngriestCarp
Nice. Destructoid articles no longer scroll on my tablet or phone. Who should I email about this?
LinkSlayer64 avatarLinkSlayer64
Anybody like Rhythm games? I found a really cool one on, I likes it, I likes it a lot! Although you gotta use Firefox due to lag caused by chrome unfortunately.
CJ Andriessen avatarCJ Andriessen
Finding name brand candy in Chibi-Robo Zip Lash brings an unexpected joy that reminds me of finding Duracell batteries and other real products in the first Pikmin.
techsupport avatartechsupport
Super Meat Boy must be one of the most difficult platinum trophies to exist for Playstation. Beat every dark world section without dying? Ha, okay.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Attention Craigslist users: No one wants your ps2 sports games no matter how much you repost them/drop the price, unless it's NBA Street, Def Jam Vendetta or SSX3. The rest are better used as drink coasters.
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
If you imagine this song as Kojima speaking these as parting words to his creation of Metal Gear, it's actually pretty heat breaking...
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
It's my Birthday 22 today, Bleh!
Virtua Kazama avatarVirtua Kazama
One thing I've learned about the Japanese fighting game players: They are willing to play any fighter no matter how good or bad it is, and they don't shit on the game or the community behind it.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
I killed Darth Vader by crashing a spaceship into him 10/10
Parismio avatarParismio
Watched the first ep of One Punch Man and I was not disappointed. It seems like they'll be adding their own stories into it because I don't remember that fight in the last 5 minutes in the manga. I'll have to reread it to make sure.
Paul S avatarPaul S
What the hell is Sega using in the printing of their PS3 game manuals? I wouldn't be surprised if some dumb kid stuck one in a plastic bag and started huffing the fumes to get high.
CeeDotGreen avatarCeeDotGreen
Been playing MGO obsessively, still can't find anyone in their right mind that uses the Hush Puppy. So of course I'm gonna be the dumb bastard that tries.
TheAngriestCarp avatarTheAngriestCarp
Why don't we have more games that use filtered 3D models to creat faux-pixel art? It's such a cool, smooth style, but you never see any games using it.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Oh lawd. Next Saturday, Gamestop will have three hour access to Tri-Force Heroes. Nintendo, really wish we could just get normal demos from you more often, please!
MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
I made this. Want one? [IMG]HTTPS://[/IMG]
JawshButturBawls avatarJawshButturBawls
Star Wars Battlefront is pretty good. Except the beta is basically a demo with nothing in it so that upsets me. but it's still pretty good.
more quickposts


destructoid's previous coverage:
Jetpack Joyride

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -