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Video Game / Jetpack Joyride

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Jetpack Joyride is an interesting and addicting little mobile game developed by Halfbrick Studios, free for download on iOS, Android, PlayStation Network for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita, and Windows 8 (formerly).

Barry Steakfries is a down-on-his-luck gramophone salesman, with the business about to go bankrupt from low sales. One day, he finds a secret laboratory of "Legitimate Research" and sees their newly invented Machine Gun Jetpack. Excited for what he could do with it, Barry steals it and goes on the adventure throughout the entire laboratory and its Endless Corridors. As that last part implies, the goal is to travel as far as you can without dying.

The game is a third entry in the Barry Steakfries series, following Age of Zombies and Monster Dash, but chronologically takes place before them. First released on September 1, 2011, and has been constantly updated since with many different outfits, jetpacks, skins for vehicles, gadgets and achievements.

Currently, the game has several Temporary Online Content events: Classic (Zappy Bird, Cut & Run, Bling It On!, Hygiene and Anniversary), Crossovers (Back to the Future, Metal Slug, Star Trek, Ghostbusters and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and Holidays (Christmas, Lunar New Year, Saint Patrick's Day, Easter, Piratesnote  and Halloween).

Also has an India-exclusive version and an arcade redemption game made by Adrenaline Amusements. A board game adaptation by Lucky Duck Games was released in 2019. A sequel, titled Jetpack Joyride 2 was soft launched in early 2021 and released on Apple Arcade in 2022.

This game provides examples of:

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    Tropes A-M 
  • All There in the Manual: The plot isn't present in the game itself, but the original trailer summarises what's going on. There are evil scientists who want to take over the world and Barry breaks into their secret laboratory to steal the jetpack they just invented and use their own inventions against them.
  • An Asskicking Christmas: After a mishap by Barry involving helping the scientists rig their Christmas decorations into a dubstep performance caused Santa to get a seizure, Barry and Flash take the Sleigh of Awesome to go deliver the presents. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Announcer Chatter: For Metal Slug Event, there's the announcer from Metal Slug X-Advance, used whenever player starts and ends the round, equips one of the jetpacks based on Metal Slug weapons or one of the Protagonists' outfits from the shop or gets a vehicle.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The Marty McFly Head's description:
    You will feel like a time travelling teenager who is going back to the future to deal with bullies, parents and poor fashion choices.
  • Animal Mecha: Mr. Cuddles and Profit Bird are vehicles shaped like a dragon and a bird respectively.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Any time you gain/lose a vehicle, end a boost, or anything else you have little control over, a shockwave bursts out that blows away/deactivates every hazard onscreen to avoid cheap deaths.
    • In "Smash the wall several times" challenge, using the Free Ride with the Crazy Freakin' Teleporter still counts towards the progression.
  • Author Avatar: Some of the costumes are based on the developers of the game, though they are usually added when the developer leaves the company, with Honest Phil being the only exception. Other costumes are Harwood, Tall Pete and Prince Ali.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • The vehicles were deliberately designed to evoke this. They have cool designs, give Barry an additional hit point, and serve as a short break from the regular gameplay, but also change your controls and give very little time to adjust, leaving you to lose them very quickly. This is shown best with Crazy Freaking Teleporter, which teleports you to a position of an arrow that uncontrollably moves up and down, was the result of developers trying to see how dumb can the vehicles be, while the description states that despite the ability to teleport being seen as a breakthrough, "its range made it quite worthless".
    • The "Robot Bird" Rock Opera music video shows that Profit Bird and Mr. Cuddles were meant to serve a different purpose at Legitimate Research, but their Animal Mecha designs rendered them not very practical, which the scientist who created them openly admits. The former was made to be an airborne ATM for tall people, and the latter was for high altitude plane welding.
    • The golden piggybank jetpack is stated in its description to be the most wasteful thing ever made. It's propelled by expelling hundreds of thousands of 1928 $1000 bills insanely quickly.
  • Background Music Override:
    • Every time S.A.M. gets activated, the music changes to a Dubstep remix. Its skins come with different themes.
    • Colossatron, Bone Dragon, Chinese Dragon, Frost Wyvern, Retro Roarer, Mecha Micro, Dullahan, Nian Chopper, Celtic Teleporter, Sleigh of Awesome, Chariot of Harmony, Sleigh of Gingerbread, Wave Rider and Brazen Barnacle vehicles all have their own themes as well. Since 2023, all default vehicles (except for Profit Bird) have their own themes as well.
    • Equipping DJ Barry as a "head" replaces main theme with the one used for S.A.M (The aforementioned Dubstep Remix).
    • Hardwood Head also overrides the main theme with a unique track.
  • Bankruptcy Barrel: The Wooden Barrel replaces Barry's clothes with a barrel and is the cheapest "suit" in the game at 500 coins.
    "Nothing says 'stock market crash' like wearing a barrel instead of clothes."
  • Bizarrchitecture: The laboratory has a randomly generated interior. Some backdrops depict what you'd expect, a laboratory with test tubes everywhere, posters on the walls, and scientists working. Then we have some parts of the lab that depict it being situated underneath a volcano, in the English/Welsh countryside, underwater, and in a cave full of gold.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: Barry is a Heroic Comedic Sociopath who loves causing chaos, but his opponents are a gang of Mad Scientists with nefarious intentions.
  • Bling of War: The gold vehicle upgrades make the vehicles look pretty and shiny. There's also a gold and platinum version of the Machinegun Jetpack, the Shark Head and the Rainbow Jetpack, Golden Top Hat and Golden Suit. Most of the aforementioned items can be obtained by playing Bling It On! event.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Killing the scientists leads to blood-free dismemberment.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: If the player is low on coins, they can get massive amounts of them by buying them with real money. Additionally, the player can earn in-game rewards by watching advertisements.
  • Bullet Time: Rocket Time, a power-up that slows down time an makes player dodge slow-moving purple missiles. Dodging all of them rewards you with a vehicle. Thankfully, touching a rocket doesn't kill you.
  • Character in the Logo: Most versions of the game's logo feature Barry flying on the jetpack.
  • Company Cameo:
    • There's a formation of coins that spells out "HB", short for creators Halfbrick Studios. Arcade port of the game features two additional coin patterns that spell out "Sarbakan" and "ADRENALINE" (for "Adrenaline Amusements"), who developed and published it respectively.
    • Half a Brick gadget is another nod to the studio. When Barry is KO'd, he turns into a brick that splits in half after falling on the ground.
  • Continue Countdown: When you die, you get a chance to spend a Final Blast (to give your score a small boost) or a Quick Revive (which revives you). However, you only get a few seconds to make this decision.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The game takes a lot of elements from Monster Dash, including Machine Gun Jetpack itself and the Bad As Hog, which plays exactly like it did in the previous game with shooting now being an automatic action.
    • One of the backgrounds depicts Legitimate Research in Zombie Metropolis, one of several locations from Monster Dash. During Halloween, the laboratory takes place in another location from said game - Vampire Kingdom.
    • One of the Lil' Stomper skins is a Zombie T-Rex, the first boss of Age of Zombies. Accompanying "Holy Balls!" delivered in flavor text is actually what Barry says in that game upon encountering it for the first time.
    • One of the clothing sets can turn Barry into a zombie, which looks exactly like how they were depicted in two previous games.
  • Cool Bike: Back from Monster Dash, The Bad As Hog allows to go fast on the ground and ride the eponymous bike while jumping through the obstacles and shooting anything in your way. And unlike Monster Dash, you don't even need to press a button to use the shotgun.
  • Cool Boat: Wave Rider is a jetski that comes with "80 billion gallons of water" that floods the laboratory and can dive underwater.
  • Cool Sidecar: Having Flash equiped as a gadget will add a sidecar to Bad As Hog (and any of its skins) when it is collected.
  • Critical Existence Failure: The Strong Arm Machine (S.A.M). If it gets hit by one or two missiles, it will look damaged, but still remains fully functional and won't lose speed. If it gets hit by a third missile however, it all goes down.
  • Defictionalization: In-Universe example, according to the Colossatron skin's description:
    "The scientists enjoyed playing Colossatron on their phones so much that they decided to make an exact 1/4 scale replica!"
  • Dem Bones: One clothing set is simply Barry's skeleton. Another set is based off of the King from Raskulls. Finally, there is Bone Dragon as a skin for Mr. Cuddles.
  • Difficulty by Acceleration: The power-up vehicles usually dial back the scroll speed to give the player a chance to adjust to the change in controls. Depending on how far the player's current run lasts, the speed may decrease or increase again on losing the vehicle.
  • Dissimile: The flavor text for the Golden Gravity Suit.
    "Just like a gold bar, except it's a gravity-manipulating cyber suit."
  • Distracted by the Sexy: During the Back to the Future trailer depicting Barry trying (and failing) to get cast as Marty McFly, a take of the scene in 1955 where Marty has to push teenage George away from Lorraine's father's car after the branch he was on while spying on an undressing Lorraine broke. The scene flops because Barry kept looking at Lorraine and George got hit.
  • Dracula: Count Jetpackula - one of the skins for Gravity Suit. It even has Barry turning into a bat when he flies up.
  • Endless Corridor: Given that the whole game is 2D and what genre it was made in, Legitimate Research ends up being one extremely long hallway. According to Level 2 it took Barry years to get through the entire building. Professor Brains' idea was that nobody could jetpack to the end.
  • Energy Weapon: Sometimes, laser grids will show up as an obstacle. Two of their projectors can be used as an aviation device with Laser Jetpack, which, true to its name, fires a laser beam.
  • Enigmatic Institute: Barry infiltrates Legitimate Research, a top-secret laboratoty created by Professor Brains as part of his evil plans. The scientists working in it are all clones of his late friend Peter Simpkins, who specialize in creating variety of Improvised Jet Packs and vehicles. On the outside, the lab is disguised as a generic house (though rather badly at that), and on the inside, it's an Endless Corridor filled with zappers and missiles.
  • Everything's Better with Rainbows: Some of the jetpacks use rainbow as a propulsion source. Those include Rainbow Jetpack (natch), its golden variant, Pot O' Gold Jetpack and Sir Einhorn Jetpack, a unicorn that farts rainbows. All of them are harmless and don't scare the scientists.
  • Faceless Mooks: The scientists' faces are covered with gas masks and hazmat suits.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Mr. Cuddles, the giant fire-breathing robot dragon.
  • Flying on a Cloud: Barry can ride one with the Cloud Nine skin for Mr. Cuddles.
  • Follow the Money: Coin formations are everywhere, with one of the possible shapes being an arrow. They may also spell out various phrases such as "BARRY", "COINS!!!", and "HB".
  • Funny Background Event: When the scientists run away from you, some will be unfortunate enough to run into a zapper and knock themselves out.
  • Fun with Acronyms:
    • The largest vehicle in the game is the Strong Arm Machine.
    • Achievements: Alpha Charlie Echo for flying over 2 kms, and Romeo Alpha Delta for flying over 5 kms.
  • Gravity Master: Gravity Suit vehicle allows to change the gravity for Barry (and Flash) in one tap. This allows you to stick to the floor and ceiling.
  • Headless Horseman: Barry becomes this when riding the Dullahan vehicle skin, which was directly based on the Trope Maker.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: See all those jetpacks, gadgets, and vehicles? They all were created by scientists of Legitimate Research for various purposes. Now they're being used against them.
  • Hover Bike: Hover Hog is a futuristic version of Bad As Hog that is kept afloat thanks to the time and space bending quantum engine it has.
  • Hoverboard: The vehicle of the same name appears in BTTF event, representing Back to the Future Part II. It's gameplay mechanic is based around Double Jumping and player's timing on the second one.
  • Humongous Mecha: The S.A.M. is of the variety with tank treads instead of legs, taking up the entire vertical space of the laboratory.
  • Improvised Jet Pack: There is a lot of custom jetpacks. Even the starting one qualifies, as it uses the recoil of the guns to propel you upwards. The other examples, such as the bubble gun jetpack, the snow machine jetpack and especially the DIY jetpack (which is just a balloon strapped to Barry's back) also count.
  • Instant Ice: Just Add Cold!: The Freeze-O-Matic gadget. It freezes Barry (albeit for few seconds) and nearby scientists. It's useful to get additional distance after game over. The Frost Wyvern's breath has the same effect.
  • The Internet Is for Cats: The original description for Missile Jammer used this as an explanation on how this gadget works: Missile's guidance program is replaced by the images of cats from the internet and would only work if the cat is particularly cute-looking.
  • Involuntary Dance: The light from Disco Ball Jetpack forces any scientist that it touches to stand still and "dance" uncontrollably. (Made possible through various recycled sprites for them)
  • Jetpack: ...we'll let you figure this one out.
  • Joke Item: The Nerd Repellent. It makes all the scientists disappear, leaving cobwebs and tumbleweeds in their place, and offers no direct gameplay benefits. However, it can come in handy if you have a mission that requires you to not harm scientists. There is also a mission that requires you to buy and use the Nerd Repellent.
  • Lampshaded Double Entendre: Magnetisation update for Profit Bird is called the "Bird Magnet", the description for which states that it's "Not what it sounds like".
  • Mechanical Seahorse: One of the skins for the Lil' Stomper from the Pirate event.
  • Mooks, but no Bosses: This game has only scientists and the obstacles they put across the whole lab. Big Bad of the series and Legitimate Research's CEO, Professor Brains, didn't appear in the game proper until 2023, and even then he only did in the Apple Arcade-exclusive version of Turbo Tidal Chase event. Barry himself lampshades Brains' absence in one of the dialogues in Jetpack Joyride 2, with Brains claiming that he was in the original game all along, the reason Barry never met him there is that his score wasn't high enough.
  • More Dakka:
    • The Machine Gun Jetpack is propelled by recoil alone.
    • The Shark Head Jetpack also, having been salvaged and modified from a classic warplane.
    • Of cource, there's also golden variants of both aforementioned jetpacks.
    • Metal Slug Crossover introduced the Heavy Machine Gun jetpack, which is, well, a "HEAVYYYY MACHINE GUN!" stuffed in a green backpack and used for aviation purposes.

    Tropes N-Z 
  • New Game Plus: After completing level 15 "Barry" in the ranks, a medal is awarded and the player start over with the same set of ranks and the same coin rewards for each rank, except the levels will start from 16 (and on subsequent cycles, 31, 46, 61, etc.) After getting to level 1875 and collecting all 125 medals, the player can start collecting more sets of medals.
  • Number of the Beast: The Devilish Horns's description mentions that it will "make you at least 66.6% more likely to be naughty while adorning them".
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Barry is one, as well as all of the vehicles except S.A.M., which takes three hits instead.
  • Play Every Day: Player can only get S.A.M. once per day by collecting three tokens (at least, without watching ads). To compensate, you are rewarded with revives, head starts or coins after the run. On day 5, the player is rewarded with a costume piece, which can only be obtained through In-App Purchase otherwise.
  • Recoil Boost: The default jetpack is actually two machine guns you wear and use like a jetpack.
  • Roaring Rapids: Wave Rider fills the lab with water and allows you to ride on the jetski over laser grids.
  • Rule of Cool: A jetpack with an impractical modification is being tested in a lab. It's then stolen by a bored door-to-door salesman.
  • Rule of Fun: You'd think that after stealing the jetpack, Barry would then walk out of the laboratory. Nah, he decides to still run through it.
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page.
  • Shows Damage: S.A.M. can take 3 hits total, emitting smoke and looking more damaged depending on what parts of it were hit by the missiles.
  • Sleeves Are for Wimps: Barry, as always. Averted with Barry's Stitched Up Suit, and double subverted in the official music video, where he asks the Tailor for some new shirt sleeves, but doesn't need them in the end, anyways. Watching the music video in the game rewards you with that suit. If you die while wearing it, the sleeves fly off.
  • Spelling Bonus: Collecting the letters for S-A-M activates the Strong Arm Machine.
  • Tank Goodness: The SV-001. Being a Lil' Stomper skin, it retains its amazing jumping abilities, but uses its vulcan miniguns for slow descending and goes down in one hit instead of three.
  • Teleportation: The Crazy Freaking Teleporter is a small teleportation vehicle that you can use to teleport a few meters forward.
  • Temporary Online Content: Downplayed, as some jetpacks, outfits and skins for vehicles are temporary rewards in the events and/or can only be obtained through In-App Purchases for a limited time bundles, but all of them return for specific events and for Christmas, when players can get every bundle from the respective year. Played straight with licensed Crossover items, however.
  • Tempting Fate: There's a sign by the selected jetpack that states quite clearly, "Do Not Steal." Guess how every single run starts.
  • Thanksgiving Episode: Can be invoked with the Thanksgiving bundle, which includes Roasted Turkey Jetpack, Turkey Head, Turkey Body, and Profit Turkey skin for Profit Bird. Jetpack Joyride+ release includes the ability to play the Thanksgiving Event, which is exclusive to this version of the game and made primarily as a way to unlock aforementioned items.
  • There Was a Door: You start each run by blowing up the wall and nicking the jetpack.
    • There is an achievement for subverting this, gotten by using the Free Ride gadget and having it give a Crazy Freaking Teleporter.
    • Averted in Ghostbusters and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles events, where the run starts with player character sliding down the fire pole and jumping out of the sewer pipe.
  • Terminator Impersonator: One of the "clothing sets" is a robot head and robot body for Barry, which look similar to the Terminator robots. Not only that, one of the vehicles is the "Bad As Hog", where he rides on a hog bike while wielding a shotgun a-la the T-800.
  • Universal Driver's License: Barry takes this to utterly ridiculous extremes. He can competently pilot a jetpack, a Cool Bike, a mechanical super stomper, a gravity-manipulating cyber suit, a flying, firebreathing, robotic hybrid dragon, a teleporter, a coin-eating robot bird, the DeLorean Time Machine, the Ecto-1, the Voyager Shuttlecraft and a Metal Slug.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Barry can become one of these when equipped with the Make Up and Purple Dress.
  • X-Ray Vision: X-Rays Specs. With this gadget equipped, you can see what's inside vehicle pickups. It also allows you to see the scientists' underwear.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: The descriptions for the Angelic Hair and Angelic Threads.
    Angelic Hair: "Thou doth haveth heavenly golden hair. Let it flow, thyne angelic one."
    Angelic Threads: "And thou doth haveth angelic gowns and an angelic harp. Blessed be the children."


Video Example(s):


Level 2

Scene from the first Jetpack Joyride Shorts episode ("Level 2").

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

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