We've had our hands on an early build of Halfbrick's Jetpack Joyride [99¢] for quite some time now, and ever since then I've been trying to figure out the best way to approach a review of the game. Between our own hands-on preview and Halfbrick's series of developer diaries (Parts 1, 2, and 3) I'm really not sure what else can be said about the actual gameplay. Between myself, and Halfbrick's own videos, you've seen everything that Jetpack Joyride has to offer. As explained in the previously mentioned preview, Halfbrick hasn't done anything particularly innovative with the game, instead, they've taken a tried and true gameplay package and in essence, turned it up to 11.

If you've at all missed out on what Jetpack Joyride is, please go check out our preview. I'll quote some here to whet your appetite:

Halfbrick has taken the cave flyer formula which has been done to death and via their seemingly trademarked Australian majicks created a game that I simply cannot put down. In fact, just writing this article is proving to be difficult because every time I go back to the game to add something to my notes, I find 15 minutes has flown by as I've endlessly sent Mr. Steakfries to his doom via lasers, missiles, and zappers.

The controls are rock solid, and work via the standard tried and true single button approach where you touch the screen to power up the thrusters of Barry's jetpack, and release to send him falling back down. Powerups are plentiful via vehicles that you can ride in that all behave very differently. These vehicles serve as a temporary shield of sorts, and will allow you to, for instance, take a missile to the face without ending your flight. …more

What makes Jetpack Joyride truly noteworthy isn't the array of power-ups, the endless customization, the various objectives, or the on death slot machine system. It's really the sum of all these different parts that have created a game that has kept me playing to the point of disregarding real world responsibilities for one more go at Jetpack Joyride. And really, I believe this is the highest praise a games journalist could possibly give a game.

In the world of the App Store, there's a never-ending supply of new games to try. We maintain lists of games to check out, and it seems like those lists rarely, if ever, reach a point where we're "finished" for the day. It's a brutal cycle that doesn't often afford us the ability to actually sit back and play the games we enjoy, because there are always other games to play from an endless queue of seemingly worthy titles that all deserve a once-over. This is especially true for me as I keep our team of writers on track and make sure all of our coverage jives.

Jetpack Joyride is the first game in a very long time that has left me lagging behind checking my email, leaving the Adium icon hopelessly bouncing in my dock with new instant messages, and entirely disregarding the fact that my clothes have been sitting in the dryer for nearly four days now. Attending to emails, answering IM's, and even folding clothes just loses out every single time to playing one more round and seeing how far I can go.

Normally this is the part where I'd try to qualify what kind of person would most enjoy Jetpack Joyride with tired cliches like "fans of the genre" and other phrases we love using. But really, everyone I've handed my phone to in the past week to try the game has reluctantly handed it back with a massive smile on their face a few minutes later. Jetpack Joyride doesn't need any kind of "if you like randomized endless games" or any other disclaimers. It is a game you simply must own.

Jetpack Joyride is universal, and will run on every iOS device except for the O.G. iPhone and first generation iPod touch. There's an entirely optional in-app purchase mechanic as well where you can buy coins instead of earning them in game, but since that basically robs you of any kind of progression and replay value I'm not sure why you'd ever do that-- But, fair warning to those of you out there who get worked up over the inclusion of IAP, no matter how unnecessary it is. If you for some reason need some additional convincing before mashing that download button in iTunes, swing by our forums where you'll see similar praise for this incredible game.

TouchArcade Rating

  • Anonymous

    Great review - downloading now!

  • http://twitter.com/ezonecom The Edis Bros.

    This game is a ripper - they are going to make some serious money with this one! Just wondering, any idea of the connection between Halfbrick and Miniclip (Fragger and Gravity Guy are featured in the costumes/powerups)

  • Guest

    Am i missing something? I can't find a link to the app for the App Store. Didn't you articles always used to end with App Store links?

  • HelperMonkey

    This "brutal cycle" of an "endless queue" of games sounds dreadful. Especially with Hodapp the Tyrant cracking the whip. I can just imagine... "More games, you miserable S.O.B.'s! Play! PLAY!"
    Video games. It's a tough racket. Go easy on 'em, Eli.

  • Kojima

    wow, there is so much crap in this game, i love it! It brings you playing it over and over and all of the side missions, and customization is a big plus too. The music is also very superb too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=664531244 Daniel Skatter

    Note the vehicle reference to Tiny Wings as well. Complete with sounds so similar....

    • http://twitter.com/MattRix MattRix

      I think it's basically a reference to any game with birds...

  • Pyrodite

    wish they'd make it free for its grand debut

    • WilliamHTafthulu

      Meh, it's only $0.99. That shouldn't break your bank for such a fun game, yah?

    • Daniel Tasayco

      Its actually free on App Store's Facebook page this week of 31/10

  • http://twitter.com/myglasseye my glass eye

    Not a great review really. Just raves and raves without really saying much about the game. Worst crime: no detail about controls. Only one button, for the jetpack? How do you manoeuvre around? Tilting? Because if so I'm out, tilting sucks as a control scheme. Or is it buttons for left and right? If so how do they work, are they good? 

    • Anonymous

      No review will be worth anything if you don't even bother to read it all.
      It does explain the controls. Here's the quote from the review....

      "The controls are rock solid, and work via the standard tried and true single button approach where you touch the screen to power up the thrusters of Barry's jetpack, and release to send him falling back down."

      There is no left and right movement. It's an endless runner.

    • Anonymous

      The game's awesome. However, I agree with your review criticisms. He only talked about the controls via quoting another article, which I don't think is best way to do it. And 90% of the review were superlatives telling how "great" and "fun" it is without much meat or analysis of, say, the GC implementation - in this case the writer may have been TOO biased to adequately review the game. But I guess in the end what counts is, he's right! JJ is great and fun. And you should buy it.

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        I seriously see no purpose in just re-wording everything I said in the preview. What was the last review where we got in depth with how Game Center was implemented? Most of the time we barely even mention if a game has it or not because it's largely irrelevant to whether or not a game is good.

    • http://twitter.com/MattRix MattRix

      If he had to talk about every control scheme it *didn't* use, it'd be a very long review 😉

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        I think for next year's April Fools I'm going to compile all of these weird complaints and write a 10,000 word review detailing every feature that's both included and omitted, along with every conceivable control scheme both used and not used.

    • Proudnerd255

      Agreed. very very poorly written tell nothing about the game absolute hypefest. i used to work for appadvice and this kinda crap woudlnt be accepted.

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        Good thing this isn't AppAdvice then!

      • Proudnerd255

        yeah you might actually get some hits then 😛

  • Taylor @ TBE

    It's all one finger controls. You hold on the screen to move the jet pack up, release to let the jet pack fall. When you're the bird you tap to flap your wings up, do nothing to let it fall. Controls all fall under the whole "one touch" roof. No shoddy tilt controls here!

  • http://twitter.com/chaosz911 René de Groot

    Only had my hands on the game for 5 minutes, but can already tell it's a heap of fun! Great job! 

  • Sramisetty

    A spinal tap reference? Now I know why touch arcade loves you so much. Awesome review too.

  • Mohammed Razeen Hansrod

    Angry Birds yo' going down!

    • Anonymous

      With the help of Spy Mouse!

  • Jimmö

    At first I thought it looked sooo boring but after playing for an hour I cant stop! This is addictive and a lot of fun! 🙂

  • Brian Hobbs

    In light of a news story I read yesterday about a couple whose baby died of neglect because they would daily spend 12 hours a day playing computer games at an internet cafe, the idea that "kept me playing to the point of disregarding real world responsibilities" is "highest praise" is a bit eerie.

    Granted, I totally understand what you're saying, and I also recognize that the degree of "disregard" to which you were referring is far, far less extreme than the above example, but it does make you ponder a bit about the fact that "addicting" is such a compliment in gaming.

    Philosophical musings aside, I will definitely be giving this game a try. Probably today sometime. While at work...

    • Soarel

      That would be the Prius Online case, right? I always cracked jokes about that one.

  • http://twitter.com/FlacoNY23 Flaco Boy

    wow this is some good $0.99 for this game...i got the game as soon as it came out been playing this game since i woke up been playing for 2 hours..For some reason i put it down n then go back to it idk why 

  • GiHubb

    It's a nice game, very polished, but I don't go too bananas over it. Its an endless runner at the end of the day and does get repetative. However the biggest annoyance that seem to plague other Halfbrick games as well is that high scores aren't saved properly, my highest score so far is 4198 but for some reason in Game Center and in the in app itself high score table with your friends, an old high score of mine appears of about 3100. Yet on the opening screen the real and proper high score is shown. Why isn't this one used? Very frustrating, I remember something similar in Fruit Ninja. I mean, in an endless game, what is there but high score bragging? Halfbrick- please fix this!

  • http://about.me/davidlnguyen David Nguyen

    This is a great, polished cananbalt style game for a buck. It beats the 90 percent of shovelware titles (some of which TA promotes but will not name) out on the app store.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ZEROFACES Dreimos Heijnen

    When I first read this review, I rolled my eyes and thought, "Oh lovely, my favourite TA writer has succumb to inadequate , biased-raving, low-detail, ultimately unhelpful reviewing." I always agree with EVERY one of Eli's review, in fact Dungeon Raid and Battleheart become some of my top iOS games because of Eli's love for them. But this review just felt...off. Different. 

    I decided that even if this game ended up being really fun, I was still highly disappointed in Eli for not giving us his usual very well written/rounded out reviews. Nothing could take away my negative feeling for this review.But then I played the game. 0.0Suddenly it all made sense. 

    Jetpack Joyride is absolutely amazing. Period. 

    I came back and read the review again, and completely understood. I made a mental note to never doubt Eli's opinion again and make sure to refer everyone to this review for a perfect example of what this game does to someone after they play.

    I have played just over 50 rounds in about 2 hours of play and I still don't feel I've justified my desires for this game. There's something about it, something unexplainable, something perfect, that just makes it SO DAMN GOOD!

    I'm no one to any of you, but in my opinion this game is truly one of the greatest to ever grace the App Store.

    Great review, Eli!

  • Anonymous

    It runs fine on my 1G Ipod Touch, maybe you could check with Halfbrick and amend your last paragraph?

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      That information came from Halfbrick. I'm of the impression that they just mention that so when it barely runs no one gets angry. 🙂

      • Anonymous

        Well it runs great, without any noticeable slowdown, so they must have designed it to do so. If Halfbrick wanted to set a minimum hardware spec then they could simply make it incompatible with the older OS (Original iPod stops at 3.1.3).

        Anyway, thanks to HB for thinking of those users with older hardware (even if I don't like the game 😉 ).

  • FFA

    I dont like reading TA reviews..there always soo... wrong. 

    • Brian Hobbs

      And yet you still do it, apparently, because deep down, you know the truth: TA is awesome.

  • Anonymous

    iOS Top 10 App of the year.

  • Macaroon

     This is the first Halfbrick game that I getting in to. I could never see the appeal of Fruit Ninja. You cut fruit....now what? Then came Monster Dash, which was distinctly meh in comparison with endless runners like Canabalt and Robot Unicorn Attack imo. This one however is in another league. Really lovin' it!

  • BruteOutlawz

    Perfect review for a perfect game

    Im probably about to get flamed but...... GOTY anyone??

    Game is super addictive, lots of upgrades and great graphics

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5FLRQI2X2LU3IHMCG7HEAEFD5I Cat Astrophy

    I don't agree with enforcing a charge to get to 750m ahead. The game gets really boring when you're forced to slog through the very easy stage of the game just to get to where it gets more fun. Forcing me to grind boring runs (or pay real money) to get to the good part is bad design. Head Start should be a toggled option. Paying 10k gold to unlock it would be fine.

  • Macaroon

    Don't agree. It's balanced fine. What you call grinding others will call getting into the groove. You can either pay a little for a head start or try your luck on the fruit machine. Plus don't forget you can trade in a slot coin for 50. Toggled options would skew the leaderboards.

  • http://twitter.com/AhiruDuck Ahiru Nakamura

    totally worth the buck, love grinding games, with tons of unlockable stuff... this is so much fun!!

  • http://simple.st haqu

    Yeah, one finger is all you need to get so much action on your screen. This game is truly awesome. And App Store reviews tells the same. Being universal for $0.99 it's a must-have game.

    Visit Jetpack-Joyride.com and like it!

  • yanhua wu


    Nike Sko

  • jetpack dissident

    I just finished the game and I dissent from the unanimous raving. I found it repetitive and unexciting, about on the level of the Texas flying man game I had on my old Sony Ericsson. But then, the only other iPhone game I've played is Plants vs Zombies - perhaps my standards are too high?

  • Shackacann

    Soooo addictive, Love it!

  • Newb

    My absolute favorite game ... I love 6 games this is one of them. I normally play a game 15-30 minutes tops. I played this 22 hours the first week. They are constantly adding new items.

Jetpack Joyride Reviewed by Eli Hodapp on . Rating: 5