Not since the shadowy reign of Kate Moss came to an abrupt end has being two dimensional had such an lurid cache. Then came Halfbrick and their new arcade for apple and android phones, Jetpack Joyride, which is now available from online stores as a free download- a time waster and penny saver. This modern slab of pure 80’s acid wash jeans nostalgia revels in a simple arcade playability, while provides a level of visual pyrotehnics Iphone games have previously lacked.
The premise of the game is as simple as the average smart phone user, and just as shallow. You play as Barry, the seemingly puerile protagonist of an (incomprehensible) world populated by wailing scientists, revolving yellow things that are fatal to touch, levitating coins and kamikaze jetpacks that, like a urine stream after cold midnight, never stop. This is where you come in. You touch the screen whenever you want “Barry” to utilize his titular jetpack to fly higher, thus dodging the murderous obstacles etc. Once you start getting used to the game’s reliable physics, you should probably go watch “Apocalypse Now” or “The Shawshank Redemption” or do something which is both entertaining and artistically nourishing, instead of trying to beat my record distance of 3986 metres.
There are some really cute novelties and a level of depth you wouldn’t expect from the sparse dimensions, all aiming to keep the repetitive concept new. Clothing choices to fit all Zeitgeists and different Jetpacks to buy will make you feel like the accomplished materialist you’re probably not if you’re playing a free downloadable game with intensity.
This is an eminently playable toy from a company that has made games for X-box and Nintendo. A good confection for people who have recently quit smoking and need something to do whilst waiting for a bus. I wouldn’t buy it though.