Barry Steakfries has a jetpack (one of many that can be purchased) and he's trying his best to fly out of a never-ending corridor filled with scientists. Unfortunately, between the missiles being fired at him, the lasers that occasionally slide up on him, the fatal electric wires scattered about, and the ever-increasing speed of his journey from left to right, things aren't going so well.
Carefully placed vehicle drops allow Barry to momentarily drop the jetpack in favor of something entirely different. One suit turns the game into VVVVVV, allowing for on-the-fly gravity switching, while another has Barry teleporting all over the screen, trying to avoid electricity. The motorcycle from Monster Dash even makes a return -- Barry sees it as an opportunity to whip out his boomstick as well.
This is all without mentioning the in-game marketplace, where you can upgrade vehicles, buy new jetpacks, get various clothing and visual items to alter Barry, and purchase "Utilities" for the coming game. Those "Utilities" (read: power-ups) effectively act as buffs, potentially reanimating him from death, or launching his dead body further down the corridor to earn a bit distance, or granting double coins during the next round.
Earning power-ups is handled via slot machine, played after each round in Super Mario Bros. 2
-style, and pulls are earned by grabbing floating chips throughout the levels. If you really
want, you can buy coins with real dollars
and use that to level up sooner (which grants you ... more coins), or to buy buffs and other items in the game's store. However, the speed at which you earn coins means you'll never feel like you have to get into the microtransaction game.
So, hey, there's a lot going on in Jetpack Joyride
if you hadn't noticed. I've been explaining it with this handy analogy: Doom
is to Halo
, as Canabalt
is to Jetpack Joyride
. Halfbrick's game moves the concept of Canabalt
forward, far enough for it to become the new standard. Other than Danny Baranowsky's incredible soundtrack
, Jetpack Joyride
so much it'll be hard to remember a time when having just one mechanic was enough.
Halfbrick has shown with each of its games that it understands how to take the best aspects of previous titles and blow them out, turning the App Store into a gameplay iteration test unit of sorts. Like Monster Dash
, there are a handful of mechanics in Jetpack Joyride
that could easily stand alone as games unto themselves, and I expect Halfbrick will recognize that (if some folks at the studio haven't already).Jetpack Joyride is available from the iOS App Store for $0.99. We're always looking for new distractions. Want to submit your game for Portabliss consideration? You can reach us at portabliss aat joystiq dawt com.