If I were lazy, I could review Joe Danger by simply plagiarising my own assessment of last year's fab platformer Rayman Jungle Run, and changing a few of the words.
I doubt I'd get away with it. But I'm not just shirking work - there is a point here. You see, Hello Games realised, like Ubisoft, that simply porting its PlayStation Network hit to mobile wouldn't really work.
You'd have to use a nasty virtual joystick and there would be a sea of dodgy touchscreen buttons and it would be a big horrible compromise. So, instead, the developer started afresh. It rebuilt its game from the ground up, and made it just for iOS.Wheelie good
In this version, then, Joe automatically drives his little motorbike through the stage. A tap or a double-tap performs a jump or a double-jump, holding your thumb on the screen makes Joe duck, and you can perform tricks - like wheelies and backflips - by swiping.
That may sound easy, but Joe Danger throws you into a veritable gauntlet of different obstacles and challenges. You might need to duck under a tunnel, hop over a saw blade, wheelie through a puddle of mud, and then leap over a shark in a paddling pool.
The only obstacle that sucks is the fan. Ironically. You don't have much control, and it brings the level's freight train pace to a grating halt. I'm not a fan of Joe Danger's fans.
But other than that, you'll need perfect timing, ninja-like reflexes and - for some of the later levels - a good few practice runs to nail the course layout. And that's just to reach the finish line.Flipping great
It says nothing of the three bonus missions on every level. You might need to collect every coin, or race another biker, or tap on objects in the backdrop. And you need to finish all three - on the same run - to get a Pro medal. Good luck scoring all 59 of them any time soon.
It gets very hard. It can even get frustrating. But - again - like Rayman's mobile offering, that just boosts the satisfaction when you finally pull off that perfect run. And it makes every attempt before that a tense, unblinking, white-knuckle thrill.
Good job that the controls really work, then. You never feel cheated or let down when you inevitably crash into a wall or get launched into a bit of spikes. It's always your fault. You big clumsy oaf.Endo the line
Oh, and it has awesome social stuff, too. It integrates the nifty new Game Center features, so you can challenge your pals to best your score on any level in the game.
All in all, Joe Danger is the new gold standard for iOS conversions.
To crib from my Rayman review, it is "quite simply, the perfect way of bringing" Joe Danger "to mobile - there's no dodgy virtual joypad, and it's perfectly suited to short, social dabbling."