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Your lifestyle, your quirk
I’m guessing Halfbrick Studios has Boba Fett to thank for Jetpack Joyride’s popularity. Forget the ridiculously silly way he was offed in Return of the Jedi (better yet, focus on how cool his father, Jango, was before Mace Windu lopped off his head); the Fetts are the reason jetpacks are so endearingly awesome.
I don’t know the actual storyline behind Jetpack Joyride. You play a guy with a jetpack who’s crashing some sort of scientific research facility, where you must use your jetpack to collect coins and evade the security traps and missiles the facility launches at you. The game gives you objectives to accomplish, like collect a specific amount of tokens, or high-five a certain number of scientists as you go. Why you’d want to high-five the scientists whose lab you’re destroying remains a mystery to me, but it’s fun to swat them as you run past. The scientists try to flee in terror when they see you, occasionally running into their own traps. Good times. Besides reaching specific objectives, you can also achieve powerups by jetpackin’ your way to specific boxes. When you tap these boxes, you usually wind up with a vehicle of some sort. The Lil’ Stomper is a fun one; it, too, has jetpack functionality, which you need to use if you want to evade the various land mines, but you can also just run wild through the facility with it, squashing and kicking scientists with your giant mechanical feet. There’s also the “Bad Ass Hog,” a motorcycle that routinely defies the laws of physics, but hey, this is a video game, who freakin’ cares?
To know Mr. Cuddles is to love him. If you’ve seen Reign of Fire, you know just how much damage a suitably pissed dragon can do to a planet—the mechanical dragon is no different. You fly through the lab, blasting everything in sight. It’s utterly glorious.
While I’m loving all the games available for iOS, I’m beginning to realize the limits of my iPod. It’s…just…too…small (that’s what she said). Part of this may be that my eyes are simply no longer good for staring at tiny figures running around an already-small screen, but I really do think a lot of these games are best enjoyed on a slightly larger surface. Jetpack Joyride’s pace increases as you get further into the level, and on that tiny screen, things just start to become blurry. Unfortunately, I’m lightyears away from being able to invest in an iPad, so at the moment I’m stuck. That’s my only real quibble with the game, but if you’ve got tired eyes like me, it may become a sticking point. The little musclebound hero and side-scrolling gameplay reminds me a bit of older Duke Nukem games, which of course got me thinking about a world where Duke Nukem has access to something like Mr. Cuddles. While I’m quite peaceful in real life, I’m very fond of my shoot ’em ups, and Duke Nukem on a mechanical dragon just sounds like all kinds of wonderful to me. Jetpack Joyride is available for the iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/jetpack-joyride/id457446957?mt=8