There aren’t many games that we can honestly say that we love despite frustraing us greatly, but that group finds Joe Danger joining Trials HD. If you haven’t seen Joe Danger before, we can only describe it as 3D Excitebike mixed with LittleBigPlanet. While that may seem like a bit of a weird combination, let us explain: As Joe Danger, the player must make it to the end of a track while avoiding obstacles. This is done partly by navigating the Z-plane, which is where the LittleBigPlanet comparison comes from.
According to the level designer at Hello Games, all of the levels in the single player mode were made using the in-game level editor. Levels are unlocked using stars that can be earned a variety of ways, including collecting all of the letters to spell DANGER in a specific level or by beating the level in a certain amount of time. While at first we found it slightly frustrating that there were no mid-level checkpoints and that we had to start at the very beginning every time, we soon understood the reasoning behind it and came to appreciate it greatly in some of the later levels that we had the chance to play.
Perhaps one of Joe Danger: The Movie’s strongest points is the simple and genuine humor that comes just from playing through the game. At one point, Joe is dressed as a cop and must chase down criminals who are also riding motorcycles; the nonchalant way that he rides up and punches them off their bike is humorous and shows the perspective that the team has taken toward development: make something that’s humorous and fun to play. They have done just that, which is something that is often hard to convey in the short amount of time that the showfloor provides.
While not shown at PAX, Joe will take to more vehicles than just his bike including skiis, jetpacks, snowmobiles, BMX bikes, and more. Hello Games has really pushed the envelope of what an indie developer can do, crafting a game that in it’s unfinished state is more fun than many of the recently released downloadable titles. Keep an eye on Joe Danger: The Movie as 2012 approaches.