A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Not a lot of messages here, apart from causing some destruction in science labs and persevering against the odds. Players will continue against enemies to boost their jetpacks, but apart from improving their chances against enemies or fighting evil scientists, nothing is expressed.
Positive Role Models
Barry (and his female counterpart, Betty) are likable characters, but there's no significant depth to them other than causing mayhem and fighting enemies with their jetpack. Masked scientist Craig is a frenemy that seems along for the ride for heroes and villains alike.
Apart from Barry and Betty, very little diversity in the game. Most scientists appear masked, most enemies are robots or other machines.
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Ease of Play
Gameplay is easy to control. By simply tapping and holding the screen with a finger, players can fly up; releasing their finger lets them float down. Characters fire automatically when threats are detected, and collecting weapons, items, and other power-ups is as easy as colliding with the object. Powering these items up is done between rounds.
Violence & Scariness
While players are fighting robots, dodging missiles, and firing weapons at incoming threats, the visuals are cartoonish and stylized. No blood or gore is shown, scientists in the path of fire are knocked down instead of killed, and explosions are small and minimal.
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Products & Purchases
This is a sequel to a decade-old app, Jetpack Joyride.
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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.