iTuesday Review: Jetpack Joyride for iPhone and iPad

Jetpack Joyride is a side-scroller where the object is to make it as far as possible while avoiding zappers, lasers and missiles and collecting as many coins as possible. The controls are simple, you touch the screen anywhere to make the jet pack move up, and release your finger from the screen to lower your jet pack. If you’re hit once, it’s game over. Pretty simple! If this was the entire premise of Jetpack Joyride, I would be fairly satisfied with it. It would be a great time killer game that would keep you hooked; the type of game you wouldn’t want to put down because you know the next time you could beat your previous record. But Jetpack Joyride actually takes it a few steps further by adding a few other elements.

First off, there are power-ups you can collect. From a “bad as hog” (which had to have actually been bad ass hog but changed for kids) to a “crazy freaking teleporter”, each one has different benefits and different controls. You never know which power-up you’re going to get either. Each person who plays the game will probably have a favorite they will hope for each time. My favorite is the dragon, Mr. Cuddles, in case anyone’s wondering. You can get hit once while using your power-up, then it’s back to the jetpack.

Gravity suit power-up!

There are also coins to collect. After each run you can spend the coins on a variety of items. The items fit into two categories. The first are items that will help you get more coins. It could be something like an upgrade that makes Mr. Cuddles a coin magnet, or an item that allows you to get hit more than once. The second category of items is just items for esthetics – like a different colored helmet or jetpack. So when you really think about it, the coins don’t really matter. Still, there’s something about having them and spending them that just adds to the game. One thing that bothers me though is how long it takes to earn coins to buy some of these esthetic items. The reason it bothers me is because you can also buy coins via an in-app purchase. So clearly these items are priced so high to encourage customers to spend real money on more coins. These are the type of in-app purchases I can’t stand. But hey, no one’s making me buy them so I’ll shut up.

Throughout your run you’ll also have a chance to collect tokens. Once you die, these tokens can be used in a slot machine. The slot machine will give you a chance to win items such as a second chance life or extra coins.

A token floats by

Jetpack Joyride can easily be described as pointless. You collect coins so you can spend them on items that will help you get more coins. You get tokens so you can hopefully win something – but even if you don’t it won’t really change the gameplay. Yet, there’s so much going on that it doesn’t feel pointless. Besides, even if there is no point, if it can provide hours of entertainment it’s worth it. According to the counter on the game I’ve played 100 games totaling about 2.5 hours – that’s more time then I’ve spent on some games that do have an ultimate goal.

Jetpack Joyride is available for $.99 in the App Store. If you ask me, it’s worth it. Great news though, you can have it for free. If you have a Facebook all you have to do is like the App Store on Facebook and you’ll be able to participate in a promotion Apple is running to get the game for free. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Final Rating: 7.5/10

CBR Break Down:
Console Played On: iPhone 4
Approximate Time to Completion: N/A
Price Bought at: Free via Facebook
Recommend Purchase Price: Get it from Facebook while you still can!

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