Jetpacks are awesome.
This is one of the universal laws of gaming. We love taking to the virtual skies by strapping obscenely unsafe solid fuel rockets to our fragile bodies, and Manhattan 2020 attempts to provide a fun retro homage to the classic jetpack games of old on the Windows 7 platform. For free, no less.
As a one-button game, players will simply need to hit the boost icon to make their intrepid rocketeer careen over the scrolling skies of a futuristic Manhattan. Distance equals score, but as well as instant death resulting from collisions with buildings and architecture, you'll also have to contend with flocks of "angry-looking birds," low-flying helicopters and evil fellow jetpackers.
Never mind all that, though, because the eyecatching presentation is the first thing you'll notice. Manhattan 2020 looks absolutely fantastic thanks to a beautiful, slick retro vibe and attractive sprites. The music isn't much to write home about, mind.
However, Manhattan 2020's jetpack mechanics themselves are far too pernickety for my liking, and actually provide a more frustrating challenge than the birds, choppers and rival rocketeers. Fuel runs out within a second or two, though recharges quickly to promote small hops rather than long satisfying burns. Unfortunately this gives players little in the way of manoeuvrability - and creates a steep learning curve that frequently becomes aggravating rather than becoming second nature.
Remember: short hops.
As a free app, you won't be surprised to learn that an on-screen add banner makes an appearance. However, you will be pleasantly surprised to see that it sits in an unused corner of the play field and doesn't obscure the action in any way.
- Eyecatching presentation
- Capable and free
- In-app banner doesn't get in the way of the action
- Frustrating lack of manoeuvrability
- Ultimately shallow, no leaderboards
Summary: Manhattan 2020 is free - and thus, probably well worth a download. However, the attractive presentation will only stave off eventual frustration for so long.
Developer: Ludibrium Inc.
Price: Free - Zune (opens new window)