Joe Danger Infinity, the sequel to Hello Games’ hit stunt auto-racer, is now available from the app store. With much of the same fantastic gameplay elements returning for another go, it is the addition of new vehicles and a quirky character collection mechanic via a magic gumball machine that provides much of the fresh flavor this time around.
Joe Danger Infinity Pros:
- Same fantastic side-scrolling action as the original with new characters and vehicles to enjoy
- Environments are colorful and polished, with nice variety of locales to keep things fresh
- Tap- and gesture-based controls feel even more responsive this time around
- Sugary pop arcade soundtrack fits the fun atmosphere
- Leaderboards and Pro Medals provide incentive to perfect your runs
Joe Danger Infinity Cons:
- Perks can give a leaderboard advantage for gamers willing to pay for it
- Announcer voice can be a little grating
- Name suggests there might be an endless mode, though there isn’t one
It is this magic gumball machine that drives the game’s backstory, offering up cute children’s toys or batches of coins whenever you toss a token into its coin slot. Joe Danger, as it happens, is one of these toys, the very first you’ll acquire. As a miniature toy, your environments take the form of larger, everyday locations like bedroom floors and pool tables. Your task is to reach each course’s end line, with bonuses for perfect jumps, defeated bosses, and collected coins, stars, letters, bubbles, cakes, etc. along the way. A Pro Medal is awarded for completing all three course objectives in a single run. Collected coins are used to purchase new vehicles, many of which are quite costly and will require some grinding. Characters can also be purchased or you can wait to earn them through the gumball machine and save your coins for something else. Both vehicles and characters offer small bonuses, which usually consist of an additional percentage of your total score or coin total added on at the end of the level. The vehicles (which include new bikes, a jeep, a plane, a tank, and even a firework) also have unique gameplay-based perks that make some more desirable than others depending on a course’s obstacles. As you auto-drive through each course, you’ll need to jump over objects, duck through tunnels, change lanes to avoid obstacles, pop wheelies to skirt through mud pits, and perform spins and flips to earn bonus points and drive up your level score. All of these tasks are accomplished via simple gestures, and it’s the management of all of these in rapid succession that makes Joe Danger Infinity such an addictive and frantic challenge. While we hoped that the Infinity in the title referred to an endless mode with randomly-generated course segments, it appears that’s not the case. Instead, the levels have a new auto-advance ability that sends you right to the next course after racking up your point totals. This gives the game a bit of a contiguous feel.
The game’s visuals remain as colorful and polished as ever, despite the miniaturization of our hero. The variety of environments is appealing, while most of the course elements (ramps, tunnels, loops, fans, mud slicks, etc.) are recognizable from the original. If anything, there’s almost too much happening at once, requiring you to split your focus between the foreground and background so that you’ll notice coins being fired out of cannons, floating blue bubbles, and even enemy helicopters and UFOs coming into the picture. You’ll still need to manage collecting coins, hitting jumps, changing lanes, and all of the other driving tasks required to reach the checkered line safely. Many courses will have to be run over and over before you can earn that elusive Pro Medal. The arcade soundtrack has a sugary pop feel that keeps things light and upbeat, and the announcer’s voice reminds you when to jump and duck as you progress through a course. It gets a little irritating after a while, but there is a certain helpfulness that can’t be denied. Controls are tap-based, causing Joe (or whatever character you are using) to crouch/duck when you hold the screen and jump when you release. Bubbles, gumball tokens, and other background objects must be tapped to collect, and you switch lanes, drop out of the sky, and perform spins/flips depending on which direction you swipe across the screen. It all works surprisingly well and it’s rare that the game doesn’t respond to our inputs or misinterprets our background taps for foreground jumps and the like.
Replay value is fantastic, as the difficulty ramps up nicely as you go along, and earning Pro Medals becomes decidedly less easy. Additionally, cramming more and more tricks into each run and swapping out characters/vehicles can really boost your score, while actually collecting all of the characters/vehicles should take some time, too. Each of the levels has global leaderboards upon which you can challenge other gamers, though the inclusion of perks that can be purchased for real money kind of skews these a bit. For instance, a magnet perk pulls all coins and items to you and eliminates the need to do anything other than drive and perform tricks, which gives the gamer who bought this perk a significant advantage over gamers who cannot afford to buy their way to the top. Otherwise, Joe Danger Infinity provides a good deal more of the awesome gaming that we loved the first time around. A universal app for $2.99, Joe Danger Infinity is a 4.5-Dimple stud.
Joe Danger Infinity Review,