"Barry Steakfries Strikes Again"
Halfbrick Studios is quickly making Barry Steakfries into a mobile gaming icon. The stubble-bearded, bobble-headed hero already impressed gamers in Monster Dash and Age of Zombies, but Jetpack Joyride reveals Barry’s secret origin. Once a despondent salaryman, Barry decided to steal a jetpack from a local lab and maniacally fly through everything in his path. Thus began the saga of a hero whose resume now includes three of the iPhone’s best games.
- A lot of craft has gone into this twitch-reflex gem -
Granted, Barry Steakfries is hardly a complex protagonist in the vein of Solid Snake. Still, it’s the personality given to him by Halfbrick that makes his games so fun. Similar to Monster Dash and Age of Zombies, Jetpack Joyride falls into a genre strongly established on the mobile market-- in this case, the infinite flying game. As Barry joyrides constantly forward on his jetpack, without a care for the innocent scientists that get in his way, the player has to keep him alive. The controls are very simple; touch the screen to have Barry jet upwards, and release to have him plummet back down. The challenge is in controlling him precisely enough to avoid the deadly traps in his path, which gets progressively more difficult as the pace of the scrolling picks up. A few power-up vehicles allow you an extra hit, and “Spin Tokens” give you the chance for an extra life via slot machine, but otherwise you only get one Barry per playthrough-- this is a game meant to be played in short bursts.
There are hundreds of games that already fill the twitch-gaming niche Jetpack Joyride inhabits, but Halfbrick’s title stands out because of its excellent presentation and thoroughly developed structure. Most mobile games now carry achievement systems, but Jetpack Joyride goes above and beyond the call of duty with its rewards. In addition to the 40 Apple Game Center Achievements, there are dozens of in-game “missions” that require gamers to change their playing styles and approach the game differently. Sometimes the player will be challenged to get as close as possible to the electrical traps without actually getting burned. Other challenges will encourage the player to accumulate as many coins as possible within a single run. Coins play a large role in the game, awarded for completing missions as well as being strewn across the levels, and are exchanged for many customizable skins. Halfbrick clearly had a field day with Barry’s alternate looks, as you can make him a SWAT team member, a zombie, or even a hula dancer.
- Challenge abounds, but Barry's got the tools to deal with it -
Once you complete all of the missions, there isn’t much to Jetpack Joyride beyond simply beating your high score. The game will still be addictive in short doses, but it won’t hold up as well against extended play. However, there are few mobile titles that infuse a quick diversion with so much character, and even fewer titles that do so for only ninety-nine cents. At that cost, it’s practically criminal for any self-respecting gamer not to purchase and play Jetpack Joyride.
GameDynamo's Score for Jetpack Joyride (Mobile)
Neil Kapit is a freelance writer, cartoonist, and "La Li Lu Le Lo" agent based in Los Angeles. His work can be seen on www.therubynation.com.
[View Jetpack Joyride images / screenshots +]
[Watch Jetpack Joyride videos / trailers +]
[View more Jetpack Joyride articles (news, previews, reviews) +]
[View Jetpack Joyride cheats / guides +]
More from GameDynamo