Machine Gun Jetpack Hands-On Preview

Barry Steakfries, the hero of developer Halfbrick’s popular game Monster Dash, is at it again in an upcoming endless running game called Machine Gun Jetpack. Just like in Monster Dash, Barry runs forward automatically, but this time he’s free of the shackles of gravity, thanks to a unique flying mechanism that you can probably guess from the title.

Like in all games in the endless running genre, the level you’ll attempt over and over again is an obstacle course that’s full of spinning electricity beams, scissoring lasers, and homing missiles that– if you’re quick enough to dodge them– come close enough to sniff.

To avoid the danger, you’re equipped first and foremost with a jetpack that lifts you up every time you touch the screen. Barry controls much like the helicopter in the helicopter flash games you might have played (except touching the ground is safe).

But you’ve got more firepower at your disposal than just your gun. Scattered around you’ll find power-ups that let you teleport, ride a motorcycle, strap on a mech suit, or turn into another iPhone hero, Gravity Guy.

Along the way you’ll collect coins that you can spend in the in-game store to buy new uniforms, jetpacks, and power-ups. This aspect of the game reminded us of Hook Champ, which is never a bad thing. You can also collect slot machine coins that allow you to spin for prizes at the end of your run. High scores and achievements will be tracked both by OpenFeint and Game Center.

We’ve always thought highly of Halfbrick’s games, which include the top-selling mainstay Fruit Ninja, and this one looks like it will match the others in terms of quality. We’re looking forward to seeing the final build of Machine Gun Jetpack when it comes out in a couple of months.

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