Jetpack Joyride review for PS3/PSVita/PSP
By Aaron Rout (aka Here-Comes-Bod)
I am lazy. I am a lazy podcast host. I am a lazy human being. I would rather be sat in front of my PS3 than going to work, doing housework or even writing this review. So why am I writing this and what is the point I am making here? I am writing this because I love Jetpack Joyride and i think that if you are anything like me you should enjoy it too.
Jetpack Joyride was originally released for the Iphone and Ipad back in September 2011 and due to its popularity was subsequently released on Facebook and more recently for Android devices. Now publisher Beatshapers have brought it to the PSN. It is a mini which means you can download and install it to whichever Sony device you desire. (PS3,Vita,PSP)
The game begins with the hero, Barry Steakfries, taking an experimental jetpack and flying through a secret laboratory. The object of the game is to fly as far as possible while collecting coins and avoiding various obstacles including zappers, missiles and lasers. During the flight you can also pick up spin tokens which can be used at the end of the run in a slot machine mini game where you can win various prizes including extra coins and power ups to use in subsequent games. There are also boxes to collect containing extra vehicles that Barry can ride until he hits an obstacle. These include a motorbike, a teleporter and a dragon (the legendary Mr Cuddles).
On top of your main objective, there are missions to complete on the way. These might include rubbing your head against the roof for a certain distance or collecting a set amount of coins in a single run. You are given three missions at a time and when completed you are awarded one to three stars depending on the difficulty of the mission. The stars awarded are added to your experience level and a new mission appears. Upon earning a set number of stars the player levels up and receives a coin reward. The coins earned can be used in the in-game store known as the stash. The stash is full of things to buy including new outfits, new jetpacks, gadgets and upgrades.
The controls are so simple you can play the game with one finger. The flight is all controlled with the X button with the occasional tap of square to use certain gadgets. The graphics are not quite as crisp as the Iphone version but are still ahead of any other mini I have played. The sound effects complement the pace of the game nicely and the music is surprisingly catchy. The music, although repetitive never got on my nerves although if it does begin to grate you can turn it off with a simple click of the shoulder button.
As this is a mini it is never going to compete with the big hitters but this should not detract from the fact that this is one of the most simple yet addictive games of recent years. Developer Halfbrick have crammed so much content into what is basicly a single button game that it never gets boring. There is always another mission to complete, something to buy in the stash or those few extra metres to go to beat your previous score that makes it so addictive that you just have to have one more try.
This brings me to the main problem that I have with the psn version. The fact that there are no leaderboards. One of the things that keeps me coming back to the Iphone version is the need to stay ahead of my “friends” on GameCenter. As you have no one to compare your score with you are only competing with yourself. The other issue which I think will put many people off is the price. $3.99 in North America and £3.49 in Europe seems a little steep for a game that you can play for free elsewhere.
I am lazy. I think that is why I love Jetpack Joyride. You dont need to follow a story. You dont need to concentrate on which button does which action because there is only one button you need to remember. The easiest game to turn on and one of the hardest to turn off. Deceptively simple but thoroughly addictive gameplay. Plenty of content to unlock in the stash and an in game achievement list means there is always a reason to play again. A great game that I would recommend to anyone. But I have to end with a question. Would you really pay for a game that you can play for free!?
Jetpack Joyride Update:
Turns out that is not quite the end of the review. In a sudden unexpected twist to the story, Jetpack Joyride has been released again. This time it is a full psn title and has been published by Big Ant Studios. Now I am a fan of Beatshapers and their previous titles, but after playing this new incarnation I have to say they made a large error of judgement with their mini version. This new version of the game plays the same but has several improvements over its mini counterpart. The graphics are smoother and there are a few extra gadgets that were missing from the mini. The addition of leaderboards and trophies add to the sense of competition and achievement. But the main point that elevates it above the previous version is that it is completely free!
Jetpack Joyride (mini) – 8/10
Jetpack Joyride (psn) – 10/10