PAX Prime 2011: HalfBrick Rocks the Quirkiness
Sitting the far corner behind the booths of glamour and production of the biggest names in the gaming industry was possibly the coolest little booth of the entire convention. Nestled comfortably into a modest setup of a black curtain backdrop and a black and white sign was Halfbrick Studios, who were quietly drawing lines of gamers away from the cinematics with pure enjoyment and fun.
Halfbrick brought two games out that I was lucky enough to get my hands on: Jetpack Joyride and Fruit Ninja Kinect‘s new DLC, Storm Season. Both games have such a charm to them and are genuinely fun that you cannot help but smile while you play them. Even the developers that worked on the game seem to have fun while playing.
Jetpack Joyride is coming out on the iOS and will be compatible with the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. Gamers young and old will be able to jump right in and play as the jetpack-equipped Barry Steakfries and fly through the halls of a laboratory that is scattered with obstacles, power-ups, traps, and frightened scientists. Almost every single attempt will unlock new goals and challenges that, when completed, lead to more gear and power-ups to choose from. The combinations that are available seem to be near unlimited and players will be able to pick their favorite options and set every high score that they possibly can. If I make a suggestion, give the rainbow jetpack a chance. The game has a plethora of achievements to accomplish and items to unlock, and there’s always the inherit competition for score that will keep people smudging he screens of their favorite iOS platform. Somehow Halfbrick took a game style in a flooded market and created something that floats above all the rest. Probably on a jetpack.
As far as the new Fruit Ninja Kinect DLC, it’s a pretty simple addition of a blot of lightning to the actual gameplay. The obvious question, of course, “is it really worth my money to add lightning to a game where I cut fruit?” I’ll give you as genuine an answer as I possibly can: F*** YES. I can’t tell you what it is exactly, but something about striking down fruit with a bolt of lightning is empowering. You’ll feel like a god amongst…well, amongst fruit but being a god in any is an awesome feeling. You’ll also have three new unlockable achievements and a new background and character silhouette. Frankly, there has never been a better way to spend $2. I challenge you to prove me wrong, and if you think that you can I will strike you down with a bolt of lightning. Assuming you are fruit, of course.
There is something in the water in Australia. Whatever it may be, it’s the cause of some amazingly fun game. Halfbrick brings the full party to the iOS with Jetpack Joyride on September 1, and on the Kinect with the Storm Season DLC available now.