After plenty of acclaim in console-land, this British-made tale of a motorbike-riding cartoon daredevil now makes the all-too-logical move to iPhone and iPad. 

Joe Danger Touch is a remarkably close reproduction of its two console forerunners visually-speaking, doing a bang-up job of capturing the Xbox 360 version's big, chunky, colourful, anachronistically Nintendo-like characters, parade of bloodless pratfalls and Looney Tunes backdrops.

Like its predecessors, it's a side-on '2.5d' game, which here moves closer to the 'auto-runner' genre made famous by the likes of Canabalt and Temple Run. The titular lantern-jawed hero rides a motorbike which relentlessly charges forward at top speed from the get-go, requiring you to execute a flurry of taps and swipes in order to avoid obstacles and collect goodies.

Get it right, and a level will be a graceful, dynamic spectacle of jumps, loops and ducks. Get it wrong and it's a cavalcade of crunchy collisions and dirt-eating. Somehow, Joe looks cheerful throughout - and it's that intrinsic good nature of the game which generally ensures you'll be compelled to have another crack even at the more brutally exacting levels.

A combination of intuitive learning and good reflexes will get you most of the way most of the time, but bagging all the coins and bonuses en route is a far taller order. This is a game which will be equally magnetic to both casual players and the more experienced, highscore-crazed types.

While it absolutely looks the part, a certain tactility is lost in Joe Danger's move to touchscreens, so there is a mildly distracting disconnect between player and rider. There is little-to-no sense that you're controlling or responding to the bike's roaring engine as you tap away at the screen and the thing near-magically hunches and leaps as a result, but at the same time this seems a smarter way of making the game work than an on-screen virtual gamepad would have been.

Joe Danger Touch

There isn't a perfect solution for this sort of thing - yet, at least - but Joe Danger seems smartly aware of touchscreens' shortcomings even if it does have to compromise as a result.

Perhaps more problematic is that the game is partly (and optionally) focused on leaderboards and high-scores, but it's a tall order to achieve an even faintly meaningful placing here. To do that, you'll either need to grind away at unlocking the game's last, score-multiplaying playable character, or indulge in the incongruously cynical in-app payments to insta-buy a load of coins to shortcut your way to him.

Thus, those who pay most will wind up on the leaderboards that much more easily - even if that score-boosting character can be unlocked from perseverance alone, there's a creepy sense that it isn't a level playing field.

Indeed, Joe Danger seems awkwardly undecided about whether it's a 'premium' game or an IAP-bolstered free-to-play one, and the £1.99 middleground it's picked seems somewhat at odds with both its high quality and its ever-smiling nature. Our advice would be to try and put the leaderboard stuff out of your mind and just enjoy what's otherwise plenty of superbly polished, console-quality game for a minor price.

Joe Danger Touch: Specs

  • Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 5.0 or later.
  • Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 5.0 or later.


Looks lovely and has a fantastic immediacy. The in-app payments sour the otherwise gleeful tone a little, but that aside Joe Danger Touch is one of the best console to iPhone transitions to date.