Jetpack Joyride Is Ruining My Gaming
I hate you, Halfbrick Studios.
I hate you with a fire that burns stronger and more fierce than the fires of Mount Doom.
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Why did you have to go and create this game?
Why did you have to go and do this to my life?
Earlier this year during a conversation with someone close to me, I expressed a certain indifference towards mobile games because it was my opinion that they held little interest to me in the face of games that had a purpose and a drive; games that were more mainstream and typically found on console. Now this might sound like a whole other level of silly from someone who wears his three thousand hours of DotA like a badge of shame, but for the most part I am over that part of my life and now I wish to play games of real substance, usually with a story driving the narrative.
Let’s be clear on one thing: that opinion hasn’t really changed; I still find myself more geared towards games with a story and a purpose over something that just exists for the purposes of entertainment.
However the thing that has changed this year is my ability to enjoy those types of games. The thing that has changed is the amount of time I have for gaming. I’m not the only writer whose words you read on this site, who has complained about the lack of time availability for gaming this year. You’ve read quite a few of these rants from various writers, have you not? I’ve had my own share of time on the soapbox as well. The thing about not having a lot of time for gaming is that it absolutely kills the appeal of games with a story-driven narrative.
The effect is that you tend to prefer games that are just fun over games that have a purpose, because that purpose is short-lived owing to your lack of time availability.
Thus, in the past few weeks I’ve been playing a lot of Guitar Hero, Mortal Kombat or Forza Horizon in favour of games the likes of Max Payne 3, which I’ve started but not finished. And after a recent upgrade of my phone’s Android software (I flashed a custom CyanogenMod firmware based on version 4.2.2.) which allowed me to get certain games on it that would function the way the developers intended even on non-supported phones (I’m getting a new one in December, geez) I was finally able to get in on the Jetpack Joyride fun that I had always wanted to try out but couldn’t.
The result? Well, as long as my phone is around and has charge, I’m entertained. I don’t use my Android for reading comics any more, nor do I read the books I usually would when I find myself with rare moments of free time at university or perhaps in a lecture theatre awaiting the lecturer. Now I just play Jetpack Joyride. And last weekend, the part when I wasn’t reading Deadpool comics, do you know what I did? I was playing Max Payne 3 but paused the game for a few hours and played Jetpack Joyride instead. That’s right, I played fucking Jetpack Joyride instead of a game that I was both enjoying and eager to play for months.
Am I addicted to Jetpack Joyride? No. It’s too casual for that. Do I try to get in as much play time as I can when I find myself with nothing else to do? Hell yes.
I’ve been recommending the game to friends for months now; ever since reading Jim Sterling’s review of the game over on Destructoid and trying it out on a Galaxy S2 a while ago. Now that I have it for myself, my mind is set on catching up to those close to me who also have it. Do I need to? No. Is there any pride or honour lost if I don’t? No. So why, then? Because the gamer in me is compelled to.
It gets really bad when, during a lecture in which I need to pay attention, I pull out my phone and play Jetpack Joyride instead. That’s when I know I’ve gone a bit far and need to stop. But I can’t, because it’s so fucking enjoyable getting to play something in a day rather than coming home each night entirely swamped with work, tired, unable to play a damn thing on that shiny console sitting neglected to my right.
That sounded sadder than I meant it to be. I should stop. Go into a corner and cry.
Damn you, Barry. Damn you to hell.