Jetpack Joyride’s classic one-touch endless running action is finally available on Android! The free game puts you in command of Barry Steakfries, a disgruntled bureaucrat who decides to run amok in his place of employment: a top secret laboratory full of dangerous toys.
Using a jetpack powered by minigun propulsion, Barry dodges the facility’s various security precautions while gaining more and more speed. Along the way, Barry picks up coins which can be used to buy various gadgets as well as plenty of vanity items. Rare spin tokens allow Barry to use a bonus slot machine after wiping out, which can reward him with extra coins, a boost on the next run, or even a second chance.
Graphics and Audio
The graphics and audio are virtually unchanged from the iOS version of the game, which is mostly a good thing. There’s an indisputable charm to the slightly pixilated but highly polished art style. The iOS version has had about a year to hone everything, from the wild flailing of the scientists below, to the alarm lights, to the missile warning system.
I’ve always been a huge fan of the soundtrack, which you can download for free here. The sound effects are all really well done; the ding sound of grabbing coins (which you'll hear a lot of) doesn't get remotely annoying. In fact, before long, it becomes very rewarding to hear it, knowing that each one is a step towards that shiny new anti-nerd repellent.
Despite the stylistic graininess of the in-game graphics, the menu system is very sharp and smoothly animated. The only slight misstep I’ve noticed in design is that the system-wide menu button isn’t employed properly, and it instead relies on the in-game buttons.
Gameplay and controls
The only control you have to worry about is elevation; tap anywhere on the screen, and Barry puts the gas on whichever jetpack he’s rocking. Simple as that may be, the obstacles (and rewards) come fast and furious, so Jetpack Joyride remains a test of twitch reflexes and skills.
Ever since the gadget update on iOS, Jetpack Joyride has been a lot more about progression and customization than it was before. You only get two gadgets, and they can drastically alter your play style. For example, one pair of shoes give Barry an extra kick when jumping off the ground, while another gadget speeds his descent towards it. These are of course, in addition to the vehicle power-ups that show up throughout your run, which include a gravity suit that can reverse polarity, and the sarcasm-powered Profit Bird.
There’s plenty of more frivolous items available too, including a wide array of costumes and jetpacks to don. In-app purchases are employed for acquiring coins, which is just about the only reasonable way one could get the more extravagant items. The Stash also offers one-time power-ups, in case you're feeling extra lucky about your next run.
There are also three missions on the go at any time, which reward you with stars. Collect enough stars, and you rank up. Unfortunately, there’s not much point to it since new gadgets are unlocked based on how many gadgets you’ve already purchased. The top distance you travel is also tracked, and there’s a long list of achievements, but without leaderboards to properly claim bragging rights, these mechanisms are something at a loss. At least you get some coins for leveling up.
My biggest gripe about Jetpack Joyride on Android is that I’ve already logged lots of time on the iOS version, and there’s no mechanism for syncing my progress across devices. If Jetpack Joyride is going to continue a cross-platform spread, this is something of a necessity; few players will be willing to sink money into IAPs if they know those purchases will be lost if they ever decide to switch devices. Another major downside for our international friends is that for the time being, Jetpack Joyride is only available through the Amazon Appstore. Though there are certainly workarounds, they aren't exactly easy to employ.
- Great classic style
- Tons of unlockables
- No progress syncing between platforms
- Limited to Amazon Appstore
As far as free time-wasters go, Jetpack Joyride has a certain timelessness about it that will stay attractive for a long time. The developers continue to crank out new content for it all the time, and once cross-platform progress syncing and leaderboards are in place. You can find Jetpack Joyride for free on Amazon here; hopefully we'll see it pop up on Google Play soon.