Review

Joe Danger Infinity

More Of An Expansion Than A Sequel
by Bryan Vore on Jan 13, 2014 at 12:01 PM
Publisher: Hello Games
Developer: Hello Games
Release:
Rating: 9+
Reviewed on: iOS

Last year, Joe Danger Touch proved that the titular stuntman could handily survive the jump from technical controller input to auto-run touch controls. For Joe Danger Infinity, Hello Games swaps out life-size characters and environments with a miniature world in which sentient toys ride around on Hot Wheels-style vehicles, ramping over bowls of cereal instead of shark tanks. 

The change of pace is welcome, and visually sets it apart as unique from previous console entries. Most of the core mechanics are nearly identical to the previous mobile release, however. The tight tap-and-swipe controls are virtually unchanged. Obstacles and lane-changers look and function the same as before, while some elements like ramps have at least changed into cute little cheese wedges. While Infinity feels familiar, it provides more quality track designs from a team that knows what it’s doing.

Bite-sized levels take these mini-racers all throughout the house. Getting to the finish line is the base goal, but if you want to unlock later stages you’ll want to earn medals for side goals along the way. Collecting all coins, performing jumps and tricks at the right time, or tapping on stars provides an extra layer of challenge and reward, and kept me coming back for more. Most stages also include a hidden chip you can redeem between stages at the toy machine. Here you pull the crank and receive either a new toy character or some coins. You can also buy characters with a huge pile of in-game currency, so lucking out and getting one for free is cause for celebration.

A wide range of vehicles add a fresh feeling to each new level pack. Every six levels or so you can purchase a new car, bike, or four-wheeler with different speed stats and unique traits. One vehicle can bust through barriers, others have more airtime, and one is even immune to mechanical crushers. Along with new obstacles and challenges, the desire to try that next vehicle keeps you sucked into career progression. It also doesn’t hurt that the next stage automatically fires up unless you purposely opt out. The spell of “just one more level” is potent here.

Hello Games’ use of in-app purchases is mixed; some are completely acceptable and others are highly annoying. Buying in-game coins allows you to load up on characters and vehicles right away instead of unlocking them naturally. While this breaks the progression system, it’s totally avoidable. The real money cheats, on the other hand, disappoint on several fronts. First of all, the game prompts you to buy these $1 items every time you wipe out (invincibility, coin magnet, and score boost) instead of instantly revving you up at the starting line. Once you get to the more challenging later levels, you see this tiring sales pitch constantly. Second, these cheats completely invalidate the leaderboard system, since they don’t disqualify you from posting a high score. Players willing to throw down the cash are nearly guaranteed to beat out all of their friends automatically.

Despite these issues, Joe Danger Infinity remains in the auto-running elite with quirky characters and backgrounds, responsive touch controls, and enticing progression rewards. While the old stuntman hasn’t learned many new tricks, Joe’s still got it where it counts.

8
i
Game Informer's Review System
Concept Shrink Joe and friends down to action figure size to race around the house
Graphics The crisp and cartoony look is made even better by the smooth framerate
Sound The meager selection of songs will have you digging into the settings to disable music
Playability Joe does what you command, for the most part. However, tapping background collectibles can cause unintended jumps
Entertainment If you never tried the previous Joe Danger iOS game, this is impressive. Otherwise, it feels like more of the same
Replay Moderately High