In Jetpack Joyride 2, you get a gun.
Image: Apple

I have not played a mobile game in a while.

As the majority of mobile games have shifted to a time- and money-gobbling free-to-play, I have lost my obsession with staying on top of the best iOS games. Managing another free-to-play game just doesn't appeal to me.

I opened Jetpack Joyride 2 when I had a few minutes to burn. During my dedicated video game playing time, it happened as well. I had to collect coins, dodge missiles, upgrade my gear, and get as far as possible through each level over the course of a few days.

Levels can get chaotic, but that’s part of the fun.
Image: Apple

One of my favorite mobile games is Jetpack Joyride 2. It shouldn't surprise me that I like it. The core of Jetpack Joyride 2 is the same as the first: your character, equipped with a jetpack, will automatically rush down a hallway to collect items and avoid obstacles. You will be able to upgrade your gear as you complete missions and gather currency.

There are a few key ways in the sequel. The new game gives you a gun and special weapons to take the baddies out, but you have to dodge obstacles like missiles and electric lines. The original was an infinite runner, meaning that the primary goal was to survive for as long as possible to get as far as you could.

The switch to levels made me want to stay. At the end of each level, you can try a bonus challenge to get more coins or fight a boss. There is a warning alert before the bosses that makes me happy. If I knew I could play for a little while, I would often take on a bunch in a row. I told myself multiple times that I would work through three levels.

The bosses aren’t too tough, but I enjoyed taking them on all the same.
Image: Apple

The drive to just keep going is encouraged by the game's many upgrade options. There are a lot of things you can improve. Some of the in-game currency can be upgraded. I was able to boost at least a couple of things after each run, which helped me feel like I was progressing forward.

You can scale the economy naturally with your progression. It is different from other mobile games in that it is weighted in such a way that you don't have to grind for currency. Apple Arcade games don't have in-app purchases, which means developers have the chance to be more thoughtful about in-game economies.

I already want to play more levels

The most disappointing thing about Jetpack Joyride 2 is that it ended much earlier than I would have liked. Things ended when I beat the last level of the build after five hours of playtime. According to the in-game map, there will be more levels coming soon, but Apple doesn't have anything to say about when that might happen. Since I have already beaten the game, there isn't much reason to play through the final level or grind some of the smaller arcade challenges.

I liked Jetpack Joyride 2 more than any other mobile game in the last year. If you want to check it out, you need to pay $4.99 a month for Apple Arcade. Jetpack Joyride 2 might not offer much if Halfbrick adds new levels. You can be sure that I will be back in the game when new levels show up.

On August 19th, Apple Arcade subscribers will be able to get the second edition of Jetpack Joyride.