The original Jetpack Joyride released in 2011 and was a huge mobile hit for developer Halfbrick, who was already enjoying a great deal of success with 2010’s Fruit Ninja. The game was ported to many platforms, including PlayStation consoles, and was still receiving updates as recently as a month ago. Even for hits, sequels are not inevitable in the world of mobile games, as most of them are treated as ongoing platforms, but more than a year ago, Halfbrick surprise announced Jetpack Joyride 2… and then it disappeared.
Despite having an announcement trailer and official channels sharing details about the game, Jetpack Joyride 2 went dark shortly after announcement. It turns out the reason was Halfbrick was working out details with Apple to make it an Apple Arcade game. “We started creating this game a long time ago. I think it was in 2020. And we soft-launched the game in three or four countries just for initial testing purposes, but when we started the conversations with Apple Arcade we felt the better platform to develop this game was the Apple Arcade platform,” product manager and lead game designer Francisco Gonzalez told us shortly after Apple announced the game was coming to its subscription platform. “That way we could really make the game that we wanted to create. We focused on making the game fun and forgot for a while about the business model and IAPs [in-app purchases].”
You still move left to right while avoiding obstacles in Jetpack Joyride 2, but there are plenty of changes compared to the first game. Protagonist Barry Steakfries now automatically shoots while he flies and new power-ups and vehicles (as well as old favorites) mix up the action, but there is one major mix-up that changes the progress of the whole game. “It’s not an endless runner anymore. That’s a big change,” lead artist Toni Martin says.