Jetpack Jinx from the Australian-based Bubblegum Interactive is another casual iPhone and Android mobile game that seems simple, yet is deceptively addictive, pushing you to do that little bit better with each attempt.
Just one more go.
The free game has you ascending up the screen in a jetpack, collecting items to keep moving. If you stop collecting gems, you’ll fall and it’s game over.
The further you get and the more you collect, the higher your score. There’s even a previous best indicator which jingles a playful chime should you surpass it, and acts as a barrier of ridicule when you fall painfully short.
The challenge increases when you stumble upon areas with limited items or accidentally hit something designed to halt your progress.
Movement is controlled entirely by the iPhone and compatible Android mobile’s motion sensors. Jinx will move left and right as you tilt the screen.
The cheerful visuals are clearly marketed at younger children, and unlike so many iPhone and Android games, Jetpack Jinx has a basic control-scheme to match its youthful target audience – but that isn’t to say big kids won’t have fun.
Older gamers confined to tight-spaces on overcrowded public transport might despise motion controls, but kids thrive within its intuitive simplicity.
At first, it seems difficult to master, and won’t do anything to sway your opinion on tilt-controls if you aren’t already a believer, but it’s easy enough to offer a sense of self-satisfaction when you notice yourself improving.
Like most “freemium” games, Jetpack Jinx is free to download, but suggests in-app purchases if you’re in a hurry to make serious progress. Paid power-ups help you collect more gems and blast your way to success much faster.
You can earn coins to make the same purchases by playing, but it’s a matter of spending a few hours earning 10,000 coins or just paying $1 for them – parents can add a four-digit security code to stop kids racking up a huge bill.
Freemium has become the favoured business model of mobile developers, but the jury’s still out on whether it’s the preferred option for gamers over buying the entire experience outright.
Jetpack Jinx is an absolute blast and as a free game, there’s nothing to lose.