Long-time mobile developer Nitako has jumped into the “uber-challenging arcade game” genre with their latest game, Jetpack Impossible! Players tap and hold on either side of the screen to fire their jetpack off in either direction, trying to collect glowing green orbs that appear, while simultaneously avoiding asteroids. The game is free and ad-supported, with IAP to remove them. Check it out on Google Play.
Its main draw is its simplicity. The game developer does a good job of ensuring that it is accessible enough to almost not even need a tutorial.
The basic objective is to move colored, 2D circles to matching squares in the least number of moves. Every level starts out with a suggested number of moves, and not surpassing that is what is the key to earning the most stars.
The base format of a single color and three movable circles best explains the gameplay. The playing area is made up of squares in a 3×3 grid, and there are three light blue circles that can be maneuvered by gestures; touching one and swiping up/down or left/right moves that circle in that direction. The kicker is that when one circle is moved, all the circles move in that direction, as if connected by some virtual rope. They all move together unless there is an obstacle square (these are present on the playing grid) blocking one or more circles, it impeded by the borders of the playing area, or blocked by an immovable circle.
In this way, the obstacle squares are very helpful, as they allow a skilled player to use them to manipulate movement of secondary circles. With a bit of finagling, it is possible to work through and get the circles where they need to be. As already noted, each level has a proscribed number of moves, and a maximum allowed. Getting the puzzle solved with the maximum opens up the next level; the game also uses the 3-star reward system; three stars are given for perfect solutions, with less given for using more moves than the suggested number.
The game also offers gameplay in a few different flavors for free; there is the just described 100 leveles of 3 pawns/1 color gameplay, and another hundred that introduces 3 pawns/2 colors and then yet another hundred of 3 pawns /3 colors. The rest of the levels can be unlocked via in-app purchase, and culminate in a 5×5 board with 5 pawns and 5 colors.
At the end of the day, the simplicity that makes it easy to enjoy iy just might hold it back; monotony is a risk. But for a simple time-waster, it’s hard to beat. The clean graphics and smooth animations add to its allure, and it is well worth a look.