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The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Jetpack Joyride is a side-scrolling action game from the developers behind the popular Fruit Ninja. Barry Steakfries, the game's hero, steals a jetpack that's armed with a machine gun and tries to escape the lab. The object is to get as far as you can without dying -- and you will ultimately die. The violence is cartoonish, but the people scurrying on the ground are never identified as evil in any way and don't try to stop Barry if he runs past them, raising questions about why he's firing on them. Coins letting you upgrade your jetpack, appearance, or buy advantages in the game can be bought via in-app purchase, but they are also earned as you play, so it's not necessary to pay for them. Users can share high scores via the Game Center social network, but participation is optional.
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What's it about?
In Jetpack Joyride, players attempt to escape from a laboratory after stealing a specialized jetpack that propels itself by shooting bullets. They have the option of running or flying through the air, shooting scientists on the ground. They will also have to avoid spinning electrical arcs, which destroy the jetpack and end the game. Players can also get power-ups, which include a mechanized suit and teleporter, to help them get further in the game.
Is it any good?
JETPACK JOYRIDE is the epitome of the "one more turn" title. It may be somewhat simplistic in its gameplay and not have a ton of original elements, but the game is so well polished and executed that you can't help but continue playing again and again and again. From the variety of bonus weapons -- like the stomp suit or the bad as hog (a clever pun on the more objectionable term) -- to the fun enhancements you can buy with coins (earned within the game or available via in-app purchase), it's downright charming. And the inclusion of Barry Steakfries, a hero in other games by the developer, is a nice nod to the team's dedicated fans. For a dollar, it's impossible to wrong with this one.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free (The game is free to play; optional in-app purchases range from $2 to $30.)
- Release date: September 1, 2011
- Category: Action Games
- Size: 18.20 MB
- Publisher: Halfbrick Studios
- Version: 1.0
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 3.1.3 or later; Android 2.2 and up