Jetpack Joyride 2
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Jetpack Joyride 2
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Jetpack Joyride 2 is a downloadable action game exclusively for Apple Arcade. The game is a sequel to 2011's Jetpack Joyride app, and brings much of the fast-paced action from the original game app to its digital laboratories. Players take on the role of Barry Steakfries (or Betty, if they prefer), fighting their way through robots, laser grids, fireballs, missiles, and more. While players can fire bullets, energy blasts, and other things at incoming threats, no blood or gore is shown, and the explosions that result from combat are minimal. Similarly, scientists that collapse from being hit with bullets or collisions are "knocked down" instead of killed. Otherwise, there's no inappropriate content shown.
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What’s It About?
JETPACK JOYRIDE 2 marks the return of a classic game hero to the digital spotlight, as Barry (or Betty) Steakfries takes off with their jetpack on another adventure. While it's been 10 years since the last adventure against Legitimate Research Labs and their diabolical machines, not a single step has been lost. Players take their hero on a side-scrolling adventure as they attempt to collect coins, gems, and other power-ups to help them clear each level. It won't be easy, because they'll have to avoid laser grids, missiles, robots, and other hazards. You'll automatically fire your jetpack's guns to try to destroy incoming threats, but otherwise, you'll have to dodge these hazards. Getting hit will burn some of your jetpack's health, which can only be replenished by collecting health power-ups. If you get hit too many times, you'll have one chance to spend gems to continue that stage at the point where you fell. At the end of a level, you'll either collect coins and gems or fight a mini-boss of some kind. Regardless of whether you complete or fail a level, you'll take some time with the items you've collected and progress made, which will provide experience to level up your character. This will help unlock new features such as a factory to produce coins, tokens, blueprints, and gems. You'll also get access to a garage to boost vehicle token strength, a way to enhance the 17 power-ups in the game to be more effective, as well as new missions to give you rewards for completing tasks. Strap in tight, because it's time to fight your way through the labs once again.
Is It Any Good?
The classic action gameplay returns, and it doesn't feel like it's lost a single step (or should that be rocket blast?) in the decade since the original game launched. Jetpack Joyride 2 brings Barry Steakfries out of retirement with his superpowered contraption as he fights against Legitimate Research Labs and their experiments. Hordes of enemies come at you from the right side of the screen in waves, and it's up to you to shoot or dodge your way past them to complete the level. At the same time, you're keeping your eyes out for power-ups, gems, and coins so that you can upgrade your gear and accomplish missions. The gameplay is simple to learn and play, and the difficulty scales at an even pace. What's also great to see is how the translation to Apple Arcade has improved some of the play mechanics. Since you're not worrying about paying for gems to continue, the blueprints, gems, and coins you earn can be spent on boosting your stats, and there's so much you can enhance that it's a lot of fun to dive into multiple levels when you've got a few minutes to spare.
With this refocused attention on gameplay, it's hard not to notice that levels feel just the same as they did 10 years ago. Sure, it's nice that it's easy to pick up, and that you can even play it with one hand, but so much of the game feels almost entirely the same as the original. It would've been great if there were some vertical levels or some other kind of variety as part of the normal gameplay. As it is, the most creative stages are in the arcade, which allows you to play mini-games for extra items. It'd be awesome if stages were focused on the gravity suit, for instance, instead of it being a limited power-up. As a result, you may find yourself playing a few minutes of the game only once you've gained a few levels, because they all feel very similar. But if you want a bite-sized arcade experience, you can't go wrong with Jetpack Joyride 2.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Parents can talk about revisiting classic games. Does the action of Jetpack Joyride 2 feel as fresh as it did a decade ago, or does it feel somewhat outdated? Are there elements here that feel better than newer released games because they're improving on classic play?
What's the most appealing part of the gameplay: working on upgrading the jetpack and gear, or blasting your way through labs? Or are you a fan of the arcade mini-games? Is there something else that you feel could've been included in the game?
- Platform: Apple Arcade
- Pricing structure: (Apple Arcade subscription costs $4.99/month.)
- Available online?: Available online
- Publisher: Halfbrick
- Release date: August 19, 2022
- Genre: Arcade
- Topics: Robots, Space and Aliens
- ESRB rating: NR for No Descriptions
- Last updated: August 19, 2022
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