Platforms: iOS, Web, Android, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita (reviewed), Blackberry 10, Windows Phone 8, Windows 8
Jetpack Joyride is a simple game. You strap on a jetpack (which you’ve stolen) and see just how far you can make it through a secret science facility. Along the way you’ll need to avoid various hazards while collecting an assortment of goodies. As you’re constantly moving forward, your only controls come from boosting your jetpack by using any of the face buttons or the Vita’s touch screen (as well as the back touchpad, if your prefer). Holding the button (or screen) will send you flying upwards into the ceiling, while tapping it will allow you to control your ascent and nearly hover, if necessary. Your only true goal is survival.
While survival may be your main focus, that’s not to say there aren’t other things to do if you so desire. As I mentioned, you can collect items such as coins, vehicle pick-ups and tokens. The coins you collect can be spent in the game’s shop, known as “the Stash”, on a plethora of items ranging from new jetpacks and clothing to more helpful gadgets. If you’re going to unlock everything the Stash has to offer, you’ll be spending a fair amount of time with Jetpack Joyride. Vehicle pick-ups will spawn a random vehicle ranging from a motorcycle to a “crazy freaking teleporter” and each one controls just a little differently from the last. Finally, tokens collected throughout a level can be used to play a slot machine following your run. Here you can earn everything from coins to extra lives. Each of these different items you collect go a long way in keeping the game from getting too repetitive and make it a far more addictive experience.
Another way Jetpack Joyride keeps things from getting stale is in the form of “missions.” Missions are in-game objectives that range from easy tasks like high-fiving scientists to slightly more difficult endeavors like traveling a certain distance without collecting any coins. As you complete these missions, you’ll collect stars and as you collect stars you’ll level up. Leveling up in Jetpack Joyride is mostly superficial, as nothing really changes except your level number and you’re only rewarded with a small amount of coins. With each 15 levels completed you’ll be awarded with a new badge that you and your friends can see in your profile. You can pretty much level indefinitely, which means you’ll always have something to shoot for while on your endless journey for more coins.
I never would have thought that a game like Jetpack Joyride would have been the first game to really hook me on Vita, but it was and I’m glad I gave it a shot. It is a fun, charming and downright addictive game. So whether you’re just looking for some quick fun or out to chase scores on the leaderboards, Jetpack Joyride is more than deserving of your time. There aren’t a lot of things in the world that are free (and worth your time), so I highly recommend you snatch this up and I can’t think of one good reason for you not to if you have a device to get it on.