‘Jetpack Joyride’ Goes ‘Back to the Future’

In case you weren’t aware, October 2015 is Back to the Future Month. October 21, 2015, is the date–in the future!–that Marty McFly travels to in the second film, so there are all sorts of fun things happening this month as a tribute to the classic time-travel trilogy. Halfbrick is celebrating with a BttF-themed update to Jetpack Joyride.

Jetpack Joyride is a game (available on a bunch of platforms, including iOS, Android, Amazon, and Windows) featuring Barry Steakfries and a stolen jetpack. It’s a one-tap game, where you tap to fly up, let go to drop back down, and try to last as long as you can without hitting any of the many hazards and obstacles that appear in your path.

The game has always had a focus on customization–you collect coins and trade them in for other fun jetpacks, wacky costumes, and useful gadgets. There are also vehicles that can be picked up during the game, each with its own abilities.

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Marty McFly cruises through town on his hoverboard.

For the month of October, Jetpack Joyride lets you play as Marty McFly (with a guitar jetpack), and the game plays slightly differently. Instead of the usual one-crash-game-over, you start the game with a 30-second timer. As you grab little floating flux capacitors, you’ll get five more seconds added to the clock; but each crash subtracts 10 seconds. If you collect enough flux capacitors, you can unlock two more costumes for Barry: Doc Brown and Biff Tannen.

Of course the Delorean makes an appearance.

The two vehicles that appear in this version are the hoverboard (which then changes Marty into his “future” outfit with jacket and colorful hat) and, of course, the Delorean. The hoverboard just jumps instead of flies, but there is a double-jump ability. The Delorean just flies the same way you do in the jetpack, but there’s also a little speedometer that appears at the bottom. If you can avoid crashing until the speedometer reads “88” …

To infinity and beyond! Er, wait.

… you get to blast into the future. Or at least 1,000m ahead, anyway.

There are some nice little touches throughout: the home screen now plays the Back to the Future theme song, and the coins throughout the levels will occasionally spell out things like “1985” or “Marty.” Parts of the level put you in town, and you’ll drive by the theater showing Jaws 19.

For those not interested in time travel pop culture, you can switch back to Classic Mode at any time from the home screen. And if you really love playing as Marty, you can permanently purchase the Back to the Future update for $9.99.

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Jonathan H. Liu

Jonathan H. Liu is a stay-at-home dad in Portland, Oregon, who loves to read, is always up for a board game, and has a bit of a Kickstarter habit. I can be reached at jonathan at geekdad dot com.

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  • I deleted Jetpack Joyride ages ago, but this might lure me back, as might the Ghostbusters content in one of their other games (Monster Dash, I think it is).

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