Barry Steakfries dusts off his machine gun fueled jetpack to star in an updated version of his classic sleeveless escapade. Fans and newcomers alike will enjoy all of the new content, but is it enough of a game to warrant a download?
Jetpack Joyride is an extremely simple game to play but very difficult to master. You basically push almost any button you want to make Barry ascend and let go to make him descend while you collect coins and goodies and avoid hazards. Your goal is to survive for as long as possible with your high score reflecting the total distance that you've travelled. You can collect tokens as you play that are used for a slot machine at the end of each run which may reward you with a handful of different bonuses including a chance to be revived and keep playing. As each playthrough progresses, things will get more hectic and faster paced so your reactions will definitely be put to the test. Generally speaking, it's a simple and rewarding game that will surely suck you in.
The graphics are cartoony and a notch above what you'd expect in a 16-bit game. Character animations are hilarious as scientists run back and forth panicking and Barry almost constantly exudes a badass vibe. Hazards clearly stand out and some even have warnings to cue the player of the imminent danger. There are plenty of unique vehicles that Barry will find himself in and each one appears completely ridiculous which makes them a joy to drive. The in-game music consists of one looping track. It's a pretty solid song that takes a while to get old but you may want to go in the options menu and mute it when it eventually does. Sound effects serve their purpose well since everything from collecting coins to getting blown up sounds instantly satisfying. Overall, Jetpack Joyride's sights and sounds are full of silliness that end up making the game all the more enjoyable to play.
Jetpack Joyride feels fresh almost every time you play since each playthrough is randomly generated with different layouts, power-ups, hazards, and surprises. Although a run may only last a couple of minutes, the game does a good job of making you want to play again since each playthrough is unique enough to not get boring as soon as you may expect. However, considering the gameplay itself is so simple, it does become repetitive after playing for a while. This doesn't mean that it's a bad game; it's just best to play in short sessions.
What makes Jetpack Joyride go above and beyond your expectations is the amount of content. From time to time, Barry will ride vehicles such as motorcycles, teleportation machines, and a dragon named Mr. Cuddles. What makes each vehicle unique is the fact that they all control differently. By the push of a button, you may perform actions such as inverting gravity, jumping, or flapping and this helps to greatly diversify the gameplay. Another mechanic that adds a ton of value is that you can level up by completing missions and purchase costumes and various upgrades with your earned coins at the store. The amount of goodies to unlock is quite significant. Purchasing upgraded vehicles, one-time use boosts, and helpful gadgets is a rewarding way to spend your coins. However, the game bugs you to buy more coins with real money when you can't afford something which tends to get annoying.
Jetpack Joyride Deluxe features some extra content such as new costume items and vehicle upgrades, a couple of new vehicles, and S.A.M. which is a powerful machine that you can use once per day. What owners of the original game will find intriguing is that you can import your save file to this version so you can continue your rampage with all of the stuff that you've already unlocked.
Both existing fans and those new to Jetpack Joyride will have quite a lot of fun with Jetpack Joyride Deluxe. With its simplistic yet hard to master gameplay and tons of content, it's an easily recommendable title for anyone looking for frenzied fun in small doses.
- + Does a great job of mixing things up
- + Tons of content and bonus unlockables will make you want to keep playing
- + Hilarious premise with fitting animations
- - Gets repetitive after a while so it's best when played in short sessions
- - Only one song plays during gameplay
- - Bugs you to buy coins a bit too often