Joe Danger

BY Joseph G. Powell  //  June 28, 2010

Can you land that crazy stunt?


e doesn't drive a Ranger. To peril, he's no stranger. He's not a bird, he's not a plane, he's JOOOOOOE DANGER! Stuntman extraordinaire Joe Danger lives for the thrills. He breaks world records, pleases the crowds with eye-popping moves that will take your breath away, and gets home in time for dinner.

Joe Danger was developed by Hello Games, a small game studio founded in 2009 by a group of colleagues who have been a part of the gaming industry for some time and have worked on various projects. As we all know, a huge budget and big team do not always make a great game. Dedication, determination, and a penchant for fun can roll out a triumphant treasure from the smallest of studios.

At first run, the career mode can seem a little daunting. I only scored a meager 120,000 points on the first stage when you need quite a lot more to earn a gold trophy. After playing a few more stages and learning the tricks of the trade through on-screen tutorials, I returned to the first stage and easily scored over 9 million.

Once you learn to perform stunts you can do everything from a wheelie to a backflip-cowboy-no-hands-superman.
The leaderboards are a tough crowd, however. Once you learn to perform stunts you can do everything from a simple wheelie to a backflip-cowboy-no-hands-superman easily. Getting a high combo multiplier will greatly increase your score at the end of a stage.

Different stages in the career mode have different goals to accomplish in order to complete them. Some are score-based. Others have you landing targets, jumping and ducking through obstacles, or navigating your way through oddball tracks. Once in a while you'll have to race for the gold against your arch-enemies, Team Nasty.

Joe Danger also features a multiplayer mode where you can race against your friends (although it's local-only) and a sandbox mode where you can create and share your own tracks (something like the old Excitebike track editor on NES).

The graphic design is fun and colorful. I like all of the wacky advertisements, the cacti, and the mole. The music is great, the announcer's quips are perfectly executed, and the overall sound design is very well-done. I only have one small gripe with the controls because you have to use the trigger buttons for accelerating and braking, which for me are harder to focus on holding down while simultaneously trying to perform intricate stunts and land them properly. There is no way to change the control scheme, sadly.

Joe Danger is a blast and is sure to put a smile on your face each time you land a crazy stunt and have the crowd cheering wildly for you. I'm excited to see what Hello Games comes up with next.

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