Welcome back to Badass-uary! Did you miss me? If so, GET THE FUCK OUTTA HERE! That sentimental bullshit isn’t allowed! It might taint our testosterone! And we’re here to fuel ourselves to the brim with testosterone! Incidentally, you know what else is fueled by testosterone? Also, rocket fuel? Jet packs! So let’s take a look at the badassness that is Jetpack Joyride! Try not to singe your balls while we jetpack all over the place! But if you do, record that shit, and then POST IT ON YOUTUBE! Because that’d be hilarious!
Game: Jetpack Joyride
Console: iOS, Android, Windows 8, and PSN
Developer: Halfbrick Studios
Publisher: Halfbrick Studios (Big Ant Studios for the PS Vita)
Release Year: 2011
Jetpack Joyride is a freemium game released on smartphones, tablets, and the Playstation Vita that is undeniably badass and incredible. I’ve really only one screen shot to show you that pretty much sums up its greatness in a way words just cannot:
That is a mechanical dog perched on a mechanical dragon’s head as they wreak havoc on a laboratory. The man riding the mechanical dragon is named Barry Steakfries, and he is the greatest man ever. For you see, his sole purpose of raiding this presumably secret and possibly underground laboratory is to steal their jet pack and ride the shit out of it. That’s it. He just wants to take the jet pack for a spin. As far as video game character motivations go, I’ve never heard or seen one so masterfully executed and universal! I mean, who in the world wouldn’t want to ride a jet pack? EXACTLY! But who actually has the balls to bust into a highly secure lab and gank one while showing flagrant disregard to their well being, all in the name of being awesome? Barry Steakfries, that’s who! And when I say “bust into,” I’m meaning that as literally as I possibly can.
This is how real men enter rooms!
Walls? Pfft. Solid matter can suck it! Barry knows there’s a jet pack on the other side, and he’s not letting bullshit like concrete stop him! You know what else Barry knows? Nothing’s worth doing unless there’s a record to beat! That’s why he keeps track of how far he goes in the top left corner. And Barry’s serious about going the distance. So much so that he’ll use a bomb to blow his ass a few hundred meters further. Because you go big or go home when you’re dealing with jet packs!
“Is it safe?” I don’t see why that matters. It’s jet pack time!
So the point of the game is to go from left to right while dodging missiles, electric barriers, and lasers. You know, the typical shit you dodge while jetpacking. But since there’s no end to the level, you’re supposed to see how far you can get before inevitably dying in a horrible fiery death. You know, just like in real jetpacking. There really isn’t much else to the game. You go as far as you can, die, and try again. It kind of reminds me of Balloon Trip from Balloon Fight, except Jetpack Joyride is way better because it has jet packs and isn’t boring with terrible controls. Also, Barry doesn’t collect balloons like a premenstrual little girl.
Jetpack Joyride is very simplistic, but that’s not to its detriment. There’s only one command you can do in the game: tap the screen to activate the jet pack. It doesn’t get any easier than that, folks. And this simplicity makes sense. You don’t have a lot of time to think and search for buttons when your goal is to get in as much jetpacking goodness as you can in the short time you have before you die. Touch to fly; don’t touch to not fly. Brilliant!
You’d think that pressing your screen over and over again to get a little further down a corridor would get old very quickly, but JJ has a few tricks up its sleeve to mix it up a bit, like random vehicles. Each vehicle controls in a different way, effectively changing the game up. JJ also keeps you saying “Just one more game.” The game’s intelligently designed to be played in short bursts (though that never happens). Typically, I can get to 3000 to 4000 meters before I die. That’s about four to five minutes of gameplay that can occupy any downtime. Waiting for the bus? Jet pack time! Have to restart because the porn you’ve been downloading has riddled your computer with program-stalling trojans? Jet pack time! Taking a dump? You better believe that’s jet pack time!
Some Angry Birds would have made this war less boring.
But what makes coming back to those short gaming sessions so irresistible? Oh, so many things! My main reason to come back is coin collecting. I can’t help but collect shit in video games! It’s a terrible and fruitless addiction that’s driving my family away, ultimately allowing more time for my sweet, terrible and fruitless addiction. You can collect coins throughout your runs, which is fine, but it’s the objectives that hook me. The objectives, or missions, are given to you randomly and range from rubbing your head on the ceiling to high-fiving scientists as you run by. That’s right: The scientists, who you repeated abuse and steal from, recognize how badass you are and openly reward you with high fives. Barry is the man!
Pictured: Barry giving exactly zero fucks as he stares down a missile.
Anyway, completing these missions levels Barry up. Leveling up gets you more coins and more objectives to complete in order to level up and get more coins and more objectives to complete in order to level up and… OH GOD! I’m doing it again!
Quitting Jetpack Joyride is easy. I do it 20 times a day.
Coins can also be obtained by the manliest means ever: Gambling! You can collect spin tokens while joyriding. Upon dying, a slot machine appears and you get to pull the lever as many times as you have tokens. Rewards include blowing yourself up for distance, the aforementioned coins, and even resurrection. Barry is like Jesus… but with a jet pack!
Now there’s a savior!
I suppose now’s a good time as any to explain what the coins are for. Short answer: Everything! There’s an in-game shop that let’s you purchase clothes for Barry, new jet packs, gadgets (such as your awesome dog) that give you added effects, consumables like bombs, and upgrades for your vehicles. Everything you buy is pointless, but I don’t care! I love to collect coins to buy stuff! The combination of collecting and buying to improve yourself so you can get just a little further somehow makes all the pointlessness of the game worthwhile. It’s such a brilliant design that I want to punch Halfbrick Studio right in their collective dong!
Whenever I have violent, dong-punching thoughts, I remember that the dog gets its own vehicles, too, and I smile.
For a freemium game – hell, for any game – Jetpack Joyride is amazing. Its incredible sense of humor and addictive gameplay make for a more worthwhile experience than you normally get with most smartphone games. The Vita version has button controls, allowing for a more traditional gaming experience while simultaneously making the game ten times better. There’s no reason to not play this game; in fact, I’m sure 90% of you have already played the shit out Jetpack Joyride. Nevertheless, I just couldn’t pass up putting it in Badass-uary when it so obviously deserves to be put here. On the Badass-O-Meter, I give Jetpack Joyride a 7 out of 10 – Steve McQueen!
Steve McQueen – Charismatic and amoral, this title’s anti-hero status makes it the envy of other men and video games. Given that the main character does his own stunts, it just makes the game that much cooler. This title definitely deserves your time. Make sure to play this title with your lady friend to put her in the mood.
Most Badass Moment – Getting resurrected and then killing yourself immediately. Because fuck divine intervention!