Joe Danger takes another for the team!
After building the Joe Danger series from the group up through the perilous tunnels and tubes of Microsoft’s lack-lustre Xbox Live Arcade sub-platform and Sony’s PSN, Hello Games made a smart choice in transitioning over to the ever-growing space of mobile gaming. And it paid off. Shifting more units then the entire series had managed on consoles Hello Games struck gold through Joe Danger’s journey to the other side; and fans only clamored for more. So here’s a late christmas present!
Despite the group’s shock reveal of the show-stealing No Man’s Sky at GameTrailer’s VGX award ceremony toward the end of the year, Hello Game’s preserved through the flooding of their offices on Christmas Eve long enough to finish up work on Joe Danger Infinity to appease their mobile fans.
Joe Danger Infinity landed right on schedule roughly 1-year after the release of Joe Danger Touch ready to ease the qualms of the mobile market’s yearning for more ridiculous leaps of Evel Knievel style daredevil antics; but when is too much of a good thing a bad thing? Apparently not now.
The mobile variants of Joe Danger’s escapades do not necessarily mirror those of his console counterpart. Presumably hitting it big-time during Joe Danger 2: The Movie, the adrenaline junkie leapt head-first into merchandising his work creating a line of action figure characters and props for a sort of “Do it yourself” series of toys — with each new “Tour” taking place in a scaled representation of a household bedroom, bathroom or fancy game room for you rich types reminiscent of the Chibi Robo or Micro Machines franchises.
If you were one of the many who pressured the guys over at Hello Games to deliver more stages to your mobile stunt mayhem, rest assured your year of wait did not go to waste; Joe Danger Infinity throws up a staggering 17 tours of varying lengths with a “Coming Soon” splash at the very end of the selection menu indicated more to come. Without loading up the calculator or doing any kind of mental multiplication, that’s well over 60+ brand new stages for you to fall flat on your cheeks throughout.
Those new to the world of Joe Danger (like me) will probably be coming into this with absolutely no idea as to what to expect. Well, if the “Danger” tag and mention of “Stunt mayhem” didn’t tip you off — it’s a stylised take on daredevil jumps with each stage bringing together a gauntlet of increasing entertainment value and promise of failure; a godsend for those who took pride in ditching school work in favor of slamming a biker’s head into a loop-de-loop on a famous Miniclip game that made it big.
Control schemes are usually the be-all and end-all point of hostility toward a mobile game — especially when the series in question first spawned through the use of a controller. And while the transition isn’t usually a smooth one, Joe’s already had the time to reflect upon life’s little gear grinds and thought ahead to the matter, spun his wheel on its face and drove off into the sunset.
Those with the natural reaction to fear covering the action with their sweaty palms need not worry as Joe Danger’s methods revolve around quick and timely reactions rather than precise control; a sequence of quick jabs, swipes or holds tends to be the only input required by the player to have their character of choice traverse the death-defying chain of events exploding in the foreground while you mop up after them in the background.
And what exactly do I mean by that? Easy! You’ll be tapping all over the screen collecting the coins blasting from cannons or falling into a spike pit after switching attention to a UFO darting across the screen or a Gumball token that just didn’t want to come along for the ride — there’s plenty of moments that’ll have you wiping your brow after a job well done only to have you voluntarily hit the retry button because your score was dismally below that of Bill from accounting and his score boosting Golden Joe Danger and his Duckbike Platypus.
Though the scoring system tends to make little sense at the start of the game, you’ll begin to climb higher and higher up the boards once you start unlocking the winning combinations of characters and vehicles while paying attention to the dozens of collectibles flying past the screen.
Sure, charging through the oil slicks and spikes on your rocket propelled projectile may be useful in theory — but getting the King to ride a tank and perform reverse somersaults in the air while blasting down a unidentified flying object is certainly something a crowd of a 7-year old boy’s school chums would appreciate more in the long run. Make that happen and you’ll soon see your name up in lights on that non-illuminated score board before Sean Murray knocks you back down to where you belong.
Despite Joe Danger Infinity and its tendency to hold your hand whether you like it or not, the sheer amount of content and dedication put into the game’s overall feel screams that of a group who, despite being in the wake of sky-rocketing popularity and being literally washed away, Hello Games certainly split their incredibly limited resources well enough to forge both a game of stellar charm and personality alongside a show-stealing surprise at the same time. And I guess the success of one will quite possibly rub off on the other in due time.
+ A lot of bang for your buck (quite literally)
+ A kind of light, giggle-inducing charm that hasn’t really been observed since the rise of Angry Birds
+ Enough tapping and swiping to give your limbs a decent workout on the tube
+ The blended remnants of my childhood’s treasured flash game mechanics seem to be rolled into one here
- A tad too much in the way of hand holding with boost ads, input prompts and excuses to force certain character/vehicle combos
- A clearer scoring system wouldn’t go amiss
- Any and all extreme sports need appropriatly extreme mishaps. A low gravity/ragdoll mix is practically law