The iOS app store has a habit of getting flooded with a glut of games within a particularly popular genre. This makes it hard to find innovative and truly unique takes on said popular genres without burning through a lot of similar games. However, what if I told you that perfecting what is already proven is just as innovative as proposing unique and informative takes on the genre?
Jetpack Joyride is just such a game. It doesn't introduce anything new to the endless running-style of side-scrollers. But, it perfects every single element of the genre, and creates something in which its parts are stellar, and the sum of those parts is bloody legendary within its style of gameplay. Imagine Rainbow Dash filling the skies of Equestria with a double Sonic Rainboom, and that sums up my reaction to this game. And yes, I am a Brony.
The graphics feel hand-crafted. Imagine a Looney Tunes cartoon animated at 60 frames per second, and you would come close to the level of cartoony fidelity this game displays. The colors are bright and beautiful without overwhelming the eyes, which is quite the feat given the trend set in many other iOS games of assaulting our corneas with bright splashes of color and not much else. The menus and user interface are similarly well-crafted, and I applaud Halfbrick for making it criminally easy to find what you need within a second of thinking of it.
*app boots up*
*Victrola playing in background*
*tap to start*
*Catchiest. Music. Loop. Ever.*
The sound effects are polished to perfection. You hear the bullets of the machine-gun jet pack perforate the floor. You cringe as Barry gets singed by a Zapper or blasted by a missile. The rank up audio cue is absolutely epic. I could go on and on. But I won't, and I will simply say that the audio must be heard to be believed.
See: Above trailer (link is here in case the trailer didn't embed right: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jzxi8nid9BQ&feature=youtube_gdata_player ) The story is absolutely silly, but filled to the brim with cartoonish fun. The story has so much humor packed into it that it stays with you for several minutes after you turn the game off. It is short, sweet and undeniably awesome. After all, action movie heroes have done bad-ass things for even less logical reasons, right?
Ok, bad joke. But the point is made. (^_^)*
The controls are simple: tap anywhere on screen to send Barry hovering in the air with whatever jet pack he is equipped with. But Barry doesn't ascend at a constant rate. He accelerates, going higher faster the longer your finger stays on the screen. Couple that with missiles, lasers and zappers to avoid, vehicles which have honest-to-God variations on the main control method, constant forward acceleration, coins and tokens to collect, the tokens used in a slot machine mini-game that can mean the difference between the end of a run and another chance to continue, missions that give stars that increase your rank and which scale perfectly with your current rank, a shop to spend those hard-earned coins on, and the depth quickly amazes the brain. But it isn't just the depth that is awe-inspiring; it is the ease and simplicity with which this depth is accomplished. It is simultaneously complex and simple. Whoa.
Jetpack Joyride is the new gold standard of the endless running side-scroller. It perfects nearly every single element that made the genre interesting and blends it in a pool of silver and gold cartoon magic that is an absolute joy to play. To say that Halfbrick have knocked it out of the park with this game is an understatement: they knocked it into f@&$ing orbit.
Bottom line: Get this game. It is awesomesauce.