Apple have made a habit of releasing apps that will take over the lives of us mere mortals. I was hooked by Angry Birds, I’ve played through a career on New Star Soccer, while the more said about Angry Zombies 2, the better.
However, the aforementioned trio, amongst numerous other games that take up valuable time on the tube, pale in comparison when it comes to possibly the greatest iPhone app available to man – Jetpack Joyride.
The basis of the game is simple – you have a Jetpack and you take it for a Joyride. We follow the life of Barry Steakfries, whose life has taken a downward turn. A failing door-to-door salesman, Barry approaches a building emblazed in neon lights advertising the location of a ‘Secret Laboratory’, much like a confused super-villain would do.
Blissfully unaware of the building he is approaching, he comes perilously close to ringing the doorbell in the vain attempt of making a further sale. However, before he is given the opportunity to do so, his attention is attention is grabbed by the sight of the Jetpack.
Unsurprisingly, like any grown man tapping into his inner child, Mr Steakfries breaks into the laboratory and proceeds to steal the Jetpack and, as the title of the game suggests, takes it for a Joyride.
It’s a relatively simple pretence as the player touches the screen to use the Jetpack and releases to stop it. Dodging lasers, zappers and missiles along the way, the idea is to collect as many coins as possible and set new personal distance records.
With the help of numerous vehicles along the way, including a teleporter, a Falcor rip-off dragon called ‘Mr Cuddles’ and, my personal favourite, Lil’ Stomper – a Transformers-esque scientist crushing machine – it aids in securing as many coins as the gamer can, which can be used to secure upgrades, buy gadgets, new Jetpacks and outfits for Barry.
Now, I understand Jetpack Joyride has been available for some time, but the fact of the matter is; I only downloaded the game back in August. On a trip to Barcelona, I caught a glimpse of my youngest brother playing the game while in the taxi between the airport and the hotel.
Hearing him and my older brother discuss the game, I had to purchase Jetpack Joyride to discover what all the fuss was about. What made it that much better was the fact that it was free. I’m not against paying for apps, but if I find something that costs nothing, like a free lunch I’m going to enjoy it that much more.
Now, it’s approaching the middle of November, and I still can’t put the game down. Commuting on that train, in cars, on the tube; I still cannot bring myself to not play it. Reaching a distance of 4,014m, my personal best may not be as impressive as some, but by Jove do I continue to attempt to break that record.
Either way, unlike New Star Soccer and Angry Birds, Jetpack Joyride is one game on my iPhone I doubt I’ll ever get bored with. The simplicity is the best aspect of the game and it’s one that keeps my coming back for more.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have 38,421 coins in my stash as I continue my quest to reach 100,000 in order to buy that Golden Jetpack.