40 Best iOS Games Of All Time

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12. Jetpack Joyride

Release date: September 1, 2011

Developer: Halfbrick Studios

Publisher: Halfbrick Studios

Admit it, you all expected the hero of Monster Dash, Barry Steakfries, to come back in an even better game.

Okay, probably not. Yet Barry did indeed return to show us all how much fun we could have with a jetpack. This is one of the first iOS games to really master the art of one-touch controls, as tapping the screen simply controlled how far off the ground our hero was at any given time. It sounds limiting, but Halfbrick managed to figure out how to turn it into simple but compelling gameplay before a lot of other developers realized the same thing.

It’s also one of the earliest games to use a slot machine mechanic for post-level rewards, something that’s become a mobile gaming staple over the last few years. In fact, Jetpack Joyride has a surprisingly deep leveling and customization system for such a straightforward affair, evidence that the people behind it gave those aspects some serious consideration.

Fruit Ninja is the most famous Halfbrick game on iOS, but a strong argument could be made that Jetpack Joyride is the best. The A.V. Club called it “exhaustingly fun” in their review, and if it can wear out those guys, it’s definitely done something right.

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