Jetpack Joyride (PS Minis)

The popular action game Jetpack Joyride, which was made by the same folks who brought us Fruit Ninja is now available as a PS Mini downloadable title for play on the PS3 or PSP. Play as a guy with a jetpack as you rampage through side scrolling levels, gathering coins, collecting goodies, and avoiding obstacles along the way.

Play control couldn’t be simpler. Your character constantly runs from left to right without stopping. Hold down the X button to activate your jetpack and hover in the air. The longer you hold the button down, the higher you’ll go. Skillfully tap the button to avoid electric nodes, missiles, and laser beams. Take a hit and it’s game over. Your score is based on how far you can go before getting blasted. And that’s all there is to it. Levels are randomly generated each time, so even though you are doing the same thing over and over again, it feels a little different every game. While you are playing you can complete prompted missions, like collecting a certain number of coins or going a certain distance, or other weird and wacky requirements. Fulfill enough missions to level up.

As you fly around, keep an eye out for goodies to help you stay in the game. Coins let you buy items back at the shop. These include new looks for your jetpack guy, new kinds of jetpacks and other upgrades, and more. Only problem is it costs a LOT of coins to get all that stuff. Collect the square with the colorful gears and you’ll be able to pilot another flying vehicle with different controls and attacks. It also comes in handy because that vehicle will let you take an extra hit. Bouncing around levels are special giant coins that let you take a spin at a slot machine after you lose. Sometimes you can get extra coins this way, or a second chance at the level where you left off!

The only problem with Jetpack Joyride is that it’s best played in small bursts on a portable game system instead of at home on a PS3. But you can still play it on a PSP at least. Despite the game’s repetitive nature, it’s a surprisingly addictive game and I can now see why it’s so popular on other mobile devices like the iPad. But if you don’t have one of those, this PS Minis version will do in a pinch. Definitely one of the better PS Minis titles out there.

Kid Factor:

Jetpack Joyride is rated E-10 with ESRB descriptors of Fantasy Violence and Simulated Gambling. Your character can get blown up, shocked, zapped, or generally flopped around, but the violence is no worse than a Road Runner cartoon. I guess the Simulated Gambling comes from the slot machine mini-game. Reading skill is helpful for the menus and missions, but not necessary as the core game is super easy to figure out on their own. Younger players might get frustrated at the difficulty or bored with the repetitive gameplay, though.

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