“The perfect balance of speed, agility and charm, beautifully honed for the touchscreen like few other iOS titles.”£1.99
The 2.5D platformer is well suited to iOS and we’ve enjoyed stunt titles such as Bike Baron in the past. But the benchmark has changed, and Joe Danger is a masterful touchscreen version of an indie console title that will, quite simply, own this sub-genre for a long time. It’s far more than a console port however; Hello Games has made Joe’s jump to iOS feel like it was built for the platform in the first place – and that’s the real crowd pleaser here.
Right from the first tap to release Joe from his starting block, you’ll embark on a series of taps and swipes to perform jumps, ducks, dodges and wheelies, collecting the required coins or level-specific collectables along the way. It’s classic platform action in many ways and, as always, it’s the timing that ultimately decides whether your run was a real showstopper or ended in a trip to A&E.
It might be a one-finger game and yet another auto-runner, but Joe Danger feels like few other games on iOS, despite its familiar arcade look. You can swipe backwards to make Joe pop a wheelie, tap to jump, hold to crouch, flick barriers out of the way of his path and a waggle lets you fight with sharks. Joe Danger uses almost the full set of gestures that we’re used to making on our devices, and success will lie in your ability to quickly and seamlessly go from one gesture to another. As the difficulty ramps ups, you’ll encounter saw blades, spikes and shark-infested pools that only multiple playthroughs will see you reach the end of the run in one piece. And even then, you’ll have to do a lot more to get that perfect score, earning enough stars to open a new world of events.
Events aren’t as varied as the level designs, but you will get to race against the other kooky characters of the stunt circuit and test your skills in a bonus level that you can only run once as each character – so the pressure’s really on. The trial and error nature doesn’t tire quickly though, thanks the multitude of achievements to aim for – including finding hidden Hello Games icon on each level and the sought-after Pro medals for reaching the level’s main targets and 100% completion of each level, which lands you a Game Center achievement. There are also Game Center challenges, which are perfect for this kind of game. Pick a level and try to do as many tricks in between the required jumps and collectables to really go for that super score against your friends.
As a result of the generous amount of collectibles, there’s a lot of unlockable content to uncover, in the form of characters that vary from Joe’s alter ego’s to his arch rivals. These aren’t just for show however; each character gives you a different multiplier ability to boost scores on each level. Yes, there’s IAP, but it really isn’t needed – you won’t be left struggling unfairly without it at all. That is, unless you want to be on the global leaderboards – to reach this hallowed ground, you’ll need to obtain ‘Golden Joe’ to get the biggest multipliers, but happily, it is possible to earn enough in-game coins to buy him, too.
There’s no denying that the game looks gorgeous and the cartoony style of the arenas sit well with the playful nature of this fantasy showbiz world. The game’s not short on humour either; if you have time when on the ground, swipe downwards to pull off one of Joe’s more amusing stunts, such as sitting on the handlebars or his amusing star jump routine. Naturally, the more moves you pull off between obstacles the more cash you earn.
Joe Danger is the kind of casual game that will live on your device for a long time and with the promise of more levels to come in an update, it’s one of 2013’s essential purchases that won’t let you go until you’ve escaped death with all the achievements under your belt.