Describing Jetpack Joyride 2 is an understatement. You play as Barry Steakfries, a man strapped into a jetpack that automatically propels itself forward. You tap and hold to move it up, release to drop it, and fire bullets as you weave in and out of enemies to finish a level.
Halfbrick’s latest game has the same casual compulsiveness as many mobile games of the past: Angry Birds, Threes, Crossy Road, and even the developer’s 2010 mega-hit Fruit Ninja. It’s highly addictive and extremely approachable, full of harmless art, lame jokes, and a just one level up mentality.
To say that Jetpack Joyride 2 is the unique The reason to get Apple Arcade is to oversell it. It’s fun, sure, but that’s like saying Candy Crush Saga was once worth creating a Facebook account for. (Debatable). I don’t think it’s a great app by any means, but it has enough charm and oomph that I’m happy it’s an Apple Arcade exclusive.
But playing Jetpack Joyride 2 is the only way to truly understand it. The game has a drive and energy that can’t be sold through text messages, and while it has the skeleton of a free-to-play game turned Apple Arcade exclusive, it packs plenty of magic as a chaotic shooter.
The original Jetpack Joyride is an endless runner where you are automatically propelled forward while dodging enemies and electrical traps for as long as you can to achieve the highest score. In Jetpack Joyride 2, the game changes its endless runner mechanics for real levels. Each level on the game map gets progressively longer and usually ends with another new addition to this sequel, a boss, or a special event. The sequel also adds various power-ups and weapons, which fire automatically when picked up, making for an interesting and quite addictive level of on-screen mayhem.
It’s fun to take advantage of a kind of flow state as you progress and strategically dodge traps, shoot enemies, and collect coins all at once. The chimes, colors, and plethora of collectibles create an almost casino-like sense of accomplishment.
The game is really as simple as tapping and holding the screen to move Barry (or his alternate reality female counterpart, Betty Beefpies) up and down. Everything else is automatic, which I love. Sure, there’s a story in Jetpack Joyride 2, but it’s so childish, short, and unfunny that it’s easy to ignore: just quick-flipping lines of dialogue that are over in five or seven taps.
The remains of a free-to-play
Like Air Twister, Jetpack Joyride 2 has the skeleton of a game that was initially planned to accept real life money. But like all the best Apple Arcade games, you don’t really need any money to play it. It’s clear that the developers changed that avenue to earn money with in-game coins that you can collect through daily bounties, collecting coins and completing levels. What often happens with these types of iOS games is that you are left with a handful of in-game currencies that confuse the player on how and where to spend.
Jetpack Joyride 2 has a lot of upgrades for Barry, be it health, weapons, jetpack or otherwise, and it’s a great incentive to earn money. But with so many coins, he will sometimes forget that his in-game cash is piling up somewhere on the menu screen, and discover that he has yet to venture out and collect. this is not bad, per se – I mean, this is free fake money here, but it gets a bit annoying if you’re one of those keeping up with the rewards.
I’ve played Jetpack Joyride 2 between breaks at work and before bed and have racked up about three hours of gameplay so far. I’m having a blast, no doubt, and I’m excited to progress further in the game. But one thing to keep in mind is that Jetpack Joyride 2 isn’t really finished. Several reviewers who have progressed further than me have said that the game just… ends, but it doesn’t end. Halfbrick promises an update in the future, though no date has been revealed, and it will likely add a batch of new levels. It will also have the addition of an endless mode, but it is not yet known when it will arrive.
It’s worth getting caught
Jetpack Joyride 2 is worth a try if you already have an Apple Arcade subscription. However, it is not the The Apple Arcade game we’ve all been waiting for to convert those non-users. It is an amazing game full of flying and shooting fun, highly addictive currency and coin collecting, and a game that forever convinces you to play just one more level. It’s a blast to play and really grabs your attention. It just needs a little more time to be a fully finished product.