With Jetpack Fighter, Hi-Rez Studios is dipping its toe into the $25 billion mobile gaming market, hoping to make an impression that will set itself apart from the daily avalanche of copycat F2P titles on the app store.
Jetpack Fighter is sticking with a free-to-play format also found in the studio’s multiplayer first-person shooter Tribes: Ascend, MOBA SMITE, and the upcoming shooter/MOBA hybrid Paladins: Champions of the Realm to compete with Overwatch and Battleborn. The high speed platformer lets you slash and smash your way through evil robots and killer bosses as you make your way through dozens of levels, leaving a path of neon destruction in your wake.
Along the way, you’ll collect, upgrade, and craft weapons, items, and armor and unlock new fighters. If you link your SMITE account, that will also include the Greek goddess Nemesis from in the new game. After you’ve blazed your way through the mechanized screen-swiping chaos, you can always return for better loot, and compete for speed runs on the leadeboards.
Now for the bad news: In the tradition of “free” to play games, your heroes will be restricted by the infamous energy bars so prevalent in games of this type. If you want more energy, you’ll need to use more mundane powers to cleave funds from your bank account. While the “Pay once and play” model seems to be gaining ground in the iOS marketplace, Hi-Rez has no present plans to offer a microtransaction-free version of the game.
Nevertheless, the gameplay is fast and more polished than I’ve come to expect from a game I can play on a cell phone. It’s worth a try if you’re not deathly allergic to the artificial pacing inhibitors. If you’re interested, you can pick it up today, as the game as just launched on the first day of the SMITE World Championship.
Editor’s note: Hi-Rez Studios paid for travel and lodging accommodations in attending the SMITE World Championship 2016.
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