Review: Jetpack Joyride PS Vita (PSV)

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Title: Jetpack Joyride PS Vita (US) / Jetpack Joyride FREE (EU)
Format: PlayStation Network Download (29.7 MB)
Release Date: December 31, 2012
Publisher: Big Ant Studios
Developer: Halfbrick Studios
Price: Free
ESRB Rating: E
PEGI: 12+
Jetpack Joyride is also available on PlayStation Network, PSP, iOS, Android.
The PlayStation Vita version was used for this review.

Most free to play games come with some sort of catch where you have to pay for something to progress a little bit further, or in some cases it feels like you pay for enjoyment as most seem to lack it without the costly upgrades. Now I know what you’re thinking, you can buy things in this game, but I never felt like I needed to and was having a lot of fun without even looking in the store. There’s also a Minis version titled Jetpack Joyride and it’s $3.99/£3.49 for a lesser version, without trophies. No need to buy that one.

Halfbrick Studios, the same people behind Fruit Ninja didn’t really bother with a story apart from the opening three seconds of each game. There is an explosion from which you (Barry Steakfries) emerge wearing a jetpack on your back. It seems like the place is in panic mode and you have to get as far away as humanly possible. That’s it, and in my opinion, it doesn’t need anything more. So what makes this so game addictive that even my wife and kids are hooked?

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Gameplay:
With just pressing the rear touch pad on the Vita you take off in your jetpack, the screen automatically scrolls right, very slowly gaining speed. This game is all about timing, when to fire your thrusters to gain height or when to drop to the ground and continue running.

There are coins & tokens to pick up. Coins are for use in The Stash to buy anything from a new jetpack to an upgrade. Tokens are only used at the end of the go in a little fruit machine which can give you a variety of bonuses, like a head start on your next go, extra coins or even a second chance from where you died.

There a few vehicles in the game which when hit with an obstacle you’ll lose but are fun and upgradeable. There is a mechanical dragon called Mr. Cuddles, and even a Crazy Freaking Teleporter, yes that’s it’s name!

All the backgrounds are random but do nothing to affect the gameplay, but the obstacles are random as well which obviously do alter how you play. The goal as mentioned earlier, is to get as far as possible, making for some excellent score chasing. You can post your accomplishments to Facebook to brag even more if you like.

Missions are also a nice inclusion to the game which add a bit of variety and is another way it keeps me having just one more go to rank up. Some of these could be to travel a certain distance without collecting any coins or near miss X number of  missiles.

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Visuals:
It’s not anything to write home about. It’s easy on the eyes and the characters are cute and simple, which is probably for the best as when you get far into the game it can get very fast. Obtaining different items from The Stash can change the look of certain things, items and people in the game. The PlayStation 3 version can look strange if you have it on the maximum screen setting but the Vita iteration looks fine.

You might have noticed the first jetpack you use is a machine gun-pack simply because it was that way in the first stages of the games development and it just stayed that way.  As you progress in the game you can buy different outfits or jetpacks but are just visually different.

Audio:
A fun little tune plays in the background which surprisingly does not get annoying. Sound effects are okay too. Nothing distracts you from the game and I never felt the need to turn it down.

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Online/Multiplayer:
This game is single player only.

Conclusion:
I would have happily paid for this game which makes it even better because it’s free. There is nothing stopping you from picking this up and becoming very obsessed with it. I have had a quick go on every version and the best is the Vita as there are no obstructions to the screen and it looks good without any noticeable slowdown. To keep the trophy whores happy they included 12 of them, which also helps with the replay value. Take note game developers, this is how you do it.

Score:
9.0

Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Wii U, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

Have a nice day.

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