Developer Halfbrick Studios recently revealed the sequel to its classic side-scrolling endless runner Jetpack Joyride. Jetpack Joyride 2: Bullet Rush soft-launched February 6 in select markets.
The mobile game is available now from Google Play and the App Store in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Halfbrick plans to release the game worldwide in the next few months, although an exact date is still to be determined.
If the title Jetpack Joyride doesn’t ring any bells, it’s probably because of the game’s age, initially releasing in 2011. The game was well-received at the time, although it never saw the overwhelming success of Halfbricks’ main claim to fame, Fruit Ninja. And judging by the early reviews, Jetpack Joyride 2 has not changed much in the last decade.
Protagonist Barry and his bullet-powered jetpack are back to defeat a mad scientist bent on world domination. As before, the player’s goal is to make it as far as possible before being overwhelmed. Halfbrick promises new graphics, animations, and mechanics. The main addition is a gun Barry can fire at enemies. However, Mobile Gaming Hub reports that little else is changed. According to MGH, Jetpack Joyride 2 is more a refinement of the 2011 endless runner than an evolution. The second game also reportedly contains a lot more paywalls and unskippable ads than its predecessor.
Given Jetpack Joyride’s age, it may seem odd that Halfbrick chose to release a sequel now instead of seven or eight years ago. The studio got its start in the early 2000s making Nickelodeon tie-in games for the Game Boy Advance. Its real success began with Fruit Ninja and the switch to iOS and Android.
The studio’s been relatively quiet since its early 2010s heyday though. Halfbrick’s last release was the action platformer Dan the Man in 2016. Five years might not be a big deal for some studios but is a relatively long gap for a successful mobile developer. Halfbrick may be hoping that a recognizable name might give it a boost getting back into the game.
It's no secret that Amazon has jumped at every opportunity to get involved in the ever-lucrative gaming industry. From the creation of its own development studio in 2012, to its purchase of the Twitch online streaming platform in 2014, to the Twitch Prime service granting Amazon Prime subscribers monthly Twitch subscriptions, free games, DLC, and more. Even just last year, the company announced its Luna video game streaming service, in lieu of services like Google Stadia.
Now, with the popularity of social media and streaming platforms, as well as the ability to carefully edit clips and videos on social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram, Amazon has launched its own mobile game-oriented social media video-sharing app called GameOn. Previously, the app was only available on the Google Play store, but it is now available for download on iOS devices or in mobile browsers.
Amazon's GameOn seems to combine aspects of Twitch with the increasingly popular TikTok app, allowing users to not only view mobile game clips and videos posted by creators, but create, edit, and post their own with ease as well. The app seems to act completely separately from Twitch, does not require an Amazon or Twitch account to use, and is completely free to download.
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