Joe Danger Review: This Stuntman Was Meant for iOS
If you’ve been around iOS gaming for any length of time, you know developers of console games often put in varying degrees of effort when porting their titles over to Apple’s mobile platform. We’ll never turn down a pocket version of a game like GTA: Vice City, but we also wouldn’t call something like that a great example of the potential held by touch screens and gesture controls… That kind of reputation is reserved for games like Joe Danger. Hello Games leaves no doubt in your mind about how much work they put into making a touch-friendly Joe Danger, and boy does it pay off… The game features fluid controls as well as fantastic visuals, and from top to bottom feels absolutely made for iOS.
So, you don’t know Joe? His saga first began on the PlayStation Network back in 2010, after which we also saw an Xbox Live Arcade version in 2011… But after playing Joe Danger on iPhone/iPad, we think you’ll agree he’s finally come “home.” As the story goes, Joe was originally a lowly newspaper boy before he got the motorbike, put on that cape, and became the “World’s Most Determined Stuntman.” That’s about all the background we get, because the rest is all zany action, quirky characters, and spectacular crashes.
Characterizing the gameplay of Joe Danger isn’t easy, as it borrows elements from side-scrollers, platformers, and racing games. Your goals in each stage are similarly varied, as you’ll want to collect all the coins, spells words by grabbing letters, and beat the clock or an opponent… It’s a lot to take in, especially as the gestures multiply. At first, you’ll only be asked to make Joe do basic things like jump over barriers and duck under tunnels, but eventually you’ll be changing lanes, floating through the air, performing tricks, pulling wheelies, and tapping various targets that pop up on the screen with little warning… Before you go thinking it’s all chaos, keep in mind that Hello Games does an excellent job of unwrapping the complete package quite slowly. In fact, I was beginning to think the game was rather slow and over-simplified before I got deeper into the “medium” difficulty stages and it all began to add up.
Beyond the ridiculously fun single-player mode (seriously, how many iOS games have made me do a literal fist pump?) Joe Danger has quite a bit to offer in the form of multiplayer and achievements. Once you feel ready, head to Game Center, where challenges can be sent to your friends or you can see how you stack up on the leaderboards established for each “tour.”
It’s hard to find fault with a game as purely casual and fun as Joe Danger, so we’re not going to try too hard. Aside from a slowly-paced beginning, it’s perfectly suited for those getting their feet wet with iOS gaming, as well as veterans who have done the joystick thing but want something that feels more natural on iPhone/iPad… If you can get over the higher-than-usual $2.99 price tag for a game this laid back, you’ll find many hours of enjoyment in Joe Danger, so I recommend taking this little stuntman for a spin as soon as possible.
Our Score: 4.5 Out of 5 Stars