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Review: Joe Danger Infinity defies death

Despite debuting on game consoles a couple of years prior to its iOS debut, the original Joe Danger was a bit of a surprise hit on the App Store. Now its sequel, Joe Danger Infinity, has landed as well, and it's just as insane -- and fun -- as its predecessor.

Like the first title, Joe Danger Infinity tests your skills on various obstacle courses, where your character runs (or drives, or flies) forward automatically and it's up to you to correctly maneuver him. You play as any of a variety of pint-sized action figures, and the courses are comprised of household debris.

Each track is filled with barriers, jumps, tunnels and other hazards that will both slow you down and make it harder for you to gather items like coins. Completing a course with a 100 percent rating almost always requires perfection, so memorizing the path is usually a good strategy.

The app is called Joe Danger, but you can play several different characters and try out many vehicles. You can unlock these options by purchasing them using in-game currency, but oftentimes you'll find your coin count doesn't even come close to covering the bill. At this point, you can choose to either move forward with your current characters and vehicles -- which will usually mean replaying old tracks to farm more coinage -- or buy more coins using your real-life wallet.

Collecting bonus items like Gumball tokens can give you a bit of a progression boost, either by providing a one-time coin reward or unlocking characters outright, but I still found several instances where I didn't have the character or vehicle needed to take on a race, despite having bested nearly all the previous challenges.

The tracks are varied enough that you're not likely to get bored, unless you end up having to generate coins by replaying them ad nauseam. This won't happen often, and it'll never happen if you're willing to bow to the in-app purchase system, but for a game that costs US$2.99 out of the gate, it would have been nice to be able to play through the first dozen levels (there are more than 100 in total) without being prompted to consider shelling out even more cash.

In the end, Joe Danger Infinity is a ton of fun, and that's the most important thing. Balancing in-app purchases with in-game progression is a delicate affair, and developer Hello Games seems to have leaned a bit too far in one direction, but it's nothing that should keep you from at least giving the game a spin.

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