Jetpack Joyride 2 Review – Run Up That Lobby

Original Jetpack Joyride released in the infancy of the mobile market. Small but quality games have been successful and the platform has not been overloaded with free gacha games. Jetpack Joyride represents a nice middle ground, providing a great fun core mechanic to compete for high scores without the need for excessive microtransactions. In the 10 years since it was released, the market has changed. High-end games are struggling on mobile right now, and while the most successful titles may ask for less money, they do it more often. Jetpack Joyride 2 could have pivoted to accommodate this new profit-focused model, but developer Halfbrick opted to put the game on Apple’s Arcade subscription service instead. This means it won’t ask you a dime and surprisingly it’s no longer an endless runner. The new structure, with the familiar jetpack gameplay, is a great choice that would make for a better game, but unfortunately it’s still incomplete, leading to an abrupt and disappointing ending.

The main mechanics of Jetpack Joyride 2 are the same as the first part. You, as Barry Steakfries (or the alternate reality female version, Betty Beefpies), sprint down a long corridor using a jet to move up and down and avoid obstacles. All these years later, dodging electric traps and rockets while your jet’s jet zaps scientists without luck getting in your way is still an instant blast. The change, however, is that the sequel features levels, bosses, some light RPG mechanics, and even a shallow story. An endless mode is promised at some point in the future, but for now Jetpack Joyride 2 is a game with a campaign. This change is surprising considering the success of the first game (still receiving updates), but I love it. Beating levels more often rewards you with a bunch of bad runs before you finally get a good one, and bosses are a fun additional challenge to get through every few levels. The different levels also mean that the stages look different as you progress, so you no longer have to stare at the same background while packing.

Bosses and levels will be overcome with another surprising new mechanic of Jetpack Joyride 2: Guns. About half of your time is spent dodging obstacles, while the other half is spent shooting. This new builder fits and feels natural. This is partly because Barry and Betty shoot automatically, meaning you just have to line up to shoot. It makes shooting a basic extension of what you’re doing, and blasting a robot with ammo when you drop underneath a passing rocket feels great. The shooting action is even more fun against bosses as both speed down the fire-exchange corridor.

Between marching your way through various science facilities, you’re using your collected coins to upgrade jetpacks and weapons. The various upgrades feel like they were conceived for a free game, as you exchange tokens for random weapon upgrades that you then need to purchase with coins. Having different currencies is never fun, but without real money backing them, I would love to manage it and make decisions about what I want to upgrade and when.

A facility is also unlocked early to automatically generate different currencies, even when you’re not playing. Determine where the base uses its resources and occasionally exploit invading aliens and put out fires so it can continue to be a very simple, little management sim, but I would love to not think about it. it in a few runs and checks to find a nice cache of coins waiting for me.

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Exhibition room

The story of Jetpack Joyride 2 exists as a very light-hearted setting for what you’re doing, but it’s nothing short of remarkable. Barry and Betty chat with boss characters between levels with one or two non-funny lines and will occasionally chat with a friendly scientist. The chats are short enough that thankfully it doesn’t get annoying, but it doesn’t add much to the momentum ahead either.

The story is third with fun gameplay, but I’m still disappointed when the game ends abruptly. When I beat the third boss – after about eight hours of play – I was greeted with a coming soon sign and no worthwhile incentive to keep playing. By the time I beat that last available boss, I’ve maxed out my max and unlocked the best jet set. I believed the developer Halfbrick when it said more content was on the way, but I was amazed at how it ended abruptly without fanfare. Jetpack Joyride 2 doesn’t end, it just stops.

Despite the abrupt end, I’ve had a great time with the Jetpack Joyride 2 up until that point. I eagerly anticipate what will be added to the next game and fully plan to play it. The addition of gunfights and the new campaign-focused design make the sequel feel fresh while delivering what’s so much more exciting than the original without sacrificing any gameplay. I just wish it was a complete package.

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