Jetpack Joyride Review

By , on August 31, 2011

Jetpack Joyride
Download on the AppStore
5 out of 5


  • Multiple game features interlock to provide a constant sense of progression.
  • Fun (and familiar) vehicles to cruise around in.
  • Smooth, detailed 2D sprite designs; bright, fun and lots of detail.
  • Incredibly catchy background music; energetic, jazzy and dynamic - suits just about every situation.


  • In-app purchases can be tempting; threatens to ruin the delicate balance of reward/effort (do note however, this is entirely personal).
  • Insufficient explanation of 'golden' upgrades.


While touch-to-fly style endless games are nothing new, Jetpack Joyride trumps them all by packing together gorgeous designs with fun gameplay and replay value that's bursting at the seams.

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There were two particularly interesting results that came of Brisbane-based developer Halfbrick studios release of Monster Dash (a fun, but basic endless runner) last year. Firstly it was the introduction of Barry Steakfries - a rebel without a cause and all-around monster slaying badass. Secondly, a temporary power-up allowed you to soar through the sky on the wings of a gatling-gun jetpack - if that doesn't evoke a Tim the "Toolman" Taylor style series of grunts, I don't know what will.

And so now we come to the second in Halfbrick's series of Steakfries-inspired endless runners, but this time it's all-jetpack, all-the-time. The single-touch controls allow you to control Barry's height, spewing forth bullets, flames, lasers or even rainbows depending on the jetpack you've chosen from the unlockable selection in the store. Coins scattered around the screen provide the cash necessary to buy these boons (along with aesthetic changes and temporary power-ups), giving you incentive to come back for more.

Unfortunately, things would get predictably tiresome if you were simply grinding out cash for the sake of it. Thankfully a mission system provides objectives such as high-fiving scientists, grinding your head on the floor or surviving a trip in the teleporter vehicle for a set distance. Stars are awarded for completion of these tasks, upgrading your 'level' and providing cash bonuses, giving you a constant sense of progression.

All of this tightly integrated gameplay would be for naught if the presentation wasn't also up to scratch. Fans of games like Metal Slug will appreciate the fine cartoonish detail that has gone in to the underground science-lab world of Jetpack Joyride, with scientists bumbling around while lasers, explosions and rockets fly around like a never-ending visual smorgasbord. Of particular note is the background music which is so catchy you'll find yourself humming it between sessions - if nothing else the game is worth it for this aural pleasure.

As with all endless titles repetitive play can wear down the joy of Jetpack Joyride, but unless you're playing it almost non-stop the amount of unlockables, bonus features such as coins for a 'slot-machine' finish to each run and the mission system will keep you coming back for more. The new king of runners is here and it's called Jetpack Joyride.


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