Collect Coins and Avoid Obstacles in Jetpack Joyride, a Real-Time Polyomino Game | Casual Game Revolution

Collect Coins and Avoid Obstacles in Jetpack Joyride, a Real-Time Polyomino Game

Jetpack Joyride

Compete in real time to create paths across multiple sectors while collecting coins and avoiding obstacles in this board game interpretation of the popular mobile game.


Jetpack Joyride is a two to four player game in which players are working to collect the most coins, circumnavigate obstacles, and meet shared objectives over the course of three rounds.

The first round begins with each player being dealt four lab cards, which will be combined in a straight line. Three Mission cards will be turned over that will provide shared goals each player will try to achieve during the course of the round, each offering a different point value. In the center of the table will sit a community pile of yellow polyominoes which will be used to create paths through each of the sectors. 

When players are ready, the youngest player will say “Run!” and players will begin placing their polyominoes on their sector cards, trying to cover up as many coins as possible while avoiding obstacles along the way. Players must place their first and last polyomino so that at least one square is off the card. Once players have finished placing their polyominoes, points are tallied and the round ends. 

During the setup of the second and third rounds, players will switch cards with another player (in a two player game, players may flip over their cards to unveil new sectors to navigate) and prepare to run through the next sector. This time, not only are three new Mission cards turned over for scoring (the others from the previous round are discarded) but Gadget cards are turned over equal to the number of players. Starting with the player with the fewest points, players select a Gadget card that will help them gain additional bonus scoring opportunities for the rest of the game. Unlike Mission cards, Gadget cards are kept from round to round.

At the end of the third round, point totals from each round are calculated and the player with the highest point total wins!

Jetpack Joyride components


Jetpack Joyride expertly captures the feel of a real-time race through a video gaming world. The addition of Mission challenges, such as not touching the roof or floor with a polyomino path, adds depth to a game built on a simple concept. 

And this is the whole point: to turn a game with an easy-to-play base into one that is riddled with choices, sacrifices, and spatial disasters. Racing to grab the polyominoes best suited for you to navigate across the constructed sector may mean neglecting to complete missions or collect the most coins. Concentrating on missions and coins will definitely hinder the choices of polyominoes a player can draw. 

Even as the game guides players to finding the middle ground of being quick to build out their paths and collect coins and achieve missions, it’s unlikely that players will be able to accomplish this over the course of three fast-paced rounds. 

However, there are some minor faults to the game’s components. The polyomino pieces are great and sturdy, but the lab cards are a bit flimsy and will not stand up to a gaming group or family who plays Jetpack Joyride often. And despite being double-sided, there are not many lab cards to choose from. There are harder lab cards for more advanced play that is encouraging to the future of the game. Also, it has been reported that an expansion that offers vehicles, more lab cards, and bigger challenges is in the works. 

Overall, Jetpack Joyride is a great real-time game that offers a challenge to gamers of all stripes. Adding a time element to any puzzle creates tension, but Jetpack Joyride’s theme and ample scoring opportunities keep it light and fun for everyone. 

Pros: Fun real-time puzzle game, great replayability with variety of Mission and Gadget cards

Cons: Lab cards lack variety and substance