The only game that has kept me engaged these past few weeks has been Jetpack Joyride. Aa fun, engaging and surprisingly deep iOS game by Halfbrick studios, the creators of fruit ninja. On the outset the game looks like any other two minute iPhone game.
Like Canabalt, it’s a run to right and avoid any obstacles. The only way to survive the myriad of zappers and missiles is to tap on the screen which activates your jetpack, allowing you to fly over and under obstacles. Along the way you pick up these rainbow tinted squares that let you take control of a vehicle. Each one is unique in control and design without being overly complicated to use. The vehicles are great because they provide you with a buffer to take an extra hit of damage before you lose your run. Some of the eclectic vehicles are the Profit Bird which purges dollar bills from its rear as you pick up altitude, to a suit that allows you to mess with your own gravity.
You also pick up spin tokens and coins. Coins allow you to purchase clothes for your character as well as different jetpacks and even one time use items. Tokens collected allow you to use a slot machine that has a variety of different effects. From blasting your beaten corpse further down the course, to reviving you from the dead or awarding you more coins. All these features keep you in the game a bit longer then you would normally expect.
Jetpack Joyride does open up, mostly in thanks to modern achievements. You see, the main objective of the game is not to go as far as possible (like Canabalt and robot unicorn) though those are ancillary goals. The main goal is the achievements you are given to acquire badges. You’re allotted three achievements at a time (go 500m without grabbing coins, nearly avoid 10 zappers, etc). This constantly changing goal keeps you in tuned with gameplay and gives you those small victories toward the eventual “prestige” mode of Jetpack Joyride.
This constant feedback loop of success makes Jetpack Joyride deep enough and variety fulled to keep someone engaged for weeks on end. It did it for me.
Currently only availible on the Apple App Store for a dollar you can quickly download it below.