Jetpack Joyride is my favorite iOS game so far.
The gameplay is extremely fast, with each playthrough lasting between 30 – 90 seconds on average, but excellent balance, pacing, and reward structures, it always feels new and more advanced, even though it’s just you, the player advancing your skills as you compete against advancing goal structures. Game design magic came together perfectly here.
But everything just clicks for me with Jetpack Joyride, it IS a joyride, unlike so many of the vampiric titles out there.
- Art Direction: Superb. Pretends to be retro, but is merely hiding 32 bit beautiful in those blocky graphics. GUI is minimal and could perhaps use indicators for your current mission tokens, but that’s ok too, less is more!
- Balance: Go HalfBrick! Everything is balanced more or less perfectly. As you play, you learn and are able to complete the challenges, and buy things, it just all *works*! Rare. Also, implements the best instance of a full-approach menu I’ve seen yet. It’s more like a cascading full-approach. Or something. Well crafted.
- Procedural: Every play is a fresh and experience, because no level is the same. They are procedurally generated, meaning each level is (probably) built by AI, then tested by a player AI to test it before throwing you into it.
- Price: Free. Implements a very low-key In-App-Purchase model, but I have yet to spend a penny, and have been advancing at a totally satisfying pace.
- Under Active Development: Even in the short time I’ve been playing, it’s had several substantial updates, which is good, it means Halfbrick is is probably gathering stats and adjusting accordingly, adding new content, squashing bugs, give me anything except software without support!