Joe Danger Touch, a side-scrolling action racer from Hello Games, is now available from the app store. Featuring gesture-based controls, multiple objectives, and a polished presentation, Joe Danger Touch is a terrific example of mobile gaming done right.
Joe Danger Touch Pros:
- Beautiful cartoon presentation and challenging course level design
- Soundtrack is upbeat and whimsical
- Gesture controls are responsive and easy to use
- Lengthy campaign, lots of elements, and fast-paced action
- GameCenter integration for global leaderboards, achievements, and friendly challenges
Joe Danger Touch Cons:
- Some taps on environmental objects register as jump commands
- Hard to tell which coins were missed
Joe Danger Touch presents you with 50+ levels where Joe auto-rides his motorbike through increasingly complex arrays of ramps, tubes, loop-the-loops, mud slicks, hay bales, spikes, high-powered fans, and more. Each level tasks you with completing three objectives, of which one is simply to finish the level. Other tasks include collecting all coins in the level, timing your jumps to earn perfect ratings, collecting all letters in the word “DANGER,” etc. Knocking out all three on the same run will earn you a Pro designation for the level. Tons of coins are spread throughout each course. They are used to purchase new characters, which are required to access some of the levels. These characters often come into play during bonus levels or in head-to-head races to the finish. New elements are introduced slowly, tossing new wrenchs into the works until your focus is in so many different directions you don’t know which way is up. It’s an exhilarating experience that promises to keep gamers of all ages engaged for hours on end.
Graphically, Joe Danger looks terrific, utilizing a cartoony style that packs plenty of happenings on-screen at any given time to give you a sense of the manic craziness that abounds. The animations are super-smooth and the environmental interactions are fun. Bursting through hay bales will send yellow cubes tumbling away, double-jumping over shark tanks will keep your feet attached to your body, and rows of industrial fans will allow you to hover through lengthy sections of the course. You’ll need quick fingers to tap bubbles, background letters, golden stars, blue Hello Games orbs, and obstacles that jut out of the ground before you pass by or slam into them. There are no on-screen buttons to muck up the interface, and controlling the action is as easy as tapping key points on the screen or swiping your finger in specific directions. A screen tap is used to start each attempt or cause Joe to jump, while holding your finger on-screen will cause him to duck/crouch before you leap into the air upon release. If you hold the screen while in mid-air, you’ll also dive toward the ground.
Tapping while airborne allows you to double-jump, and tapping environmental objects will cause them to disappear (bubbles, stars, fences, etc.). There were occasional issues where attempting to tap a background object would cause Joe to jump, perhaps because we missed the fast-scrolling target or because of an input misinterpretation, we’re just not sure. A leftward swipe while on the ground allows you to pop a wheelie, great for speeding through mud slicks without getting bogged down. Directional swipes when airborne allow you to perform flips and spins that keep your point multiplier high while delighting the crowd. Ground-based vertical swipes are used for lane changes when the option presents itself. If at any point you crash, you will fail the attempt and restart the course from the beginning, though you will bank any coins collected in your failed run. The soundtrack has a great upbeat vibe, and the voiceover telling you when to jump and the various silly sound effects fit nicely within the colorful and whimsical motif.
Replay value is good, as you’ll typically require multiple attempts to nail down everything there is to get out of a course, especially once you get past the easier initial groupings. Trophies are awarded for reaching high score plateaus, though you’ll need to pull off a bunch of impressive tricks to snag those. GameCenter integration offers global leaderboards, a bunch of achievements to earn, and even challenges to send to friends. Our biggest gripe was that there didn’t appear to be any way to tell which coins you may have missed, as the action moves very quickly. It’s frustrating to run a level over and over again, coming up short by a coin or two without knowing where you missed it. That very minor annoyance aside, this is a spectacular game. A universal app for $2.99, Joe Danger Touch is a 5-Dimple stud.
Joe Danger Touch Review,