Ragdoll driving mayhem
Happy Wheels is a ragdoll physics-based level platformer that tasks players with traversing dangerous obstacles with a wide range of characters and vehicles. Players will have to jump, climb, ram and eject their way to the finish line as these obstacles try to kill them in gruesome ways.
Happy Wheel is truly unique and has continued to thrive despite originally being released in 2010. Many developers have tried to replicate the style of gameplay to limited success. However, players will find the Trials series and People Playground to offer similar gameplay as an alternative.
Gruesome deaths & scenarios
The main appeal of developer Jim Bonacci's 2010 success is the gruesome deaths and scenarios in Happy Wheels. Players will find themselves encountering a variety of challenging scenarios designed to kill the player over and over again.
Players control a singular character (or a parent and child) and are tasked with completing the trial. During these scenarios, they can be hit by arrows, ran over by larger vehicles, fall in pits, and much more. These elements, accompanied by ragdoll mechanics, make for gruesome yet often hilarious deaths involving limbs flying, bodies being launched, or completely crushed.
Each character has two controllable parts - their vehicle while attached and their body when separated. Players control the vehicles with the arrow keys, moving them forward and tilting the vehicle to get over obstacles, line up jumps, and duck under danger. If separated or ejected, players can control their character's limbs providing the opportunity to make one last-ditch effort to crawl to victory.
While Happy Wheels is a pick-up and play gameplay with a variety of scenarios, players may quickly exhaust these or find them too basic to enjoy. These scenarios are designed to scale in difficulty and teach the player how to overcome the various challenges of the game. One of these challenges includes learning how to control the characters, which can be rather difficult if you're unfamiliar with ragdoll-type games.
The full version of the game is available through the browsing option, where players can search for other players' levels. In addition, the gameplay in the browser deviates from the pre-built scenarios by being more challenging, completely random, or minigames such as using the grab key to try and throw an ax at a target. These levels are stored internally, giving players an unlimited source of levels to play. What's even better is that there is a rating system in place, where you can search by top levels to guarantee a good time or go surfing for new, unexplored levels to try and find a hidden gem.
Create your own levels
As we mentioned, Happy Wheels has a level editor that is simple to use and allows players to swap the masochistic scenario traversal hat with the hat of a creative. The game provides you with all the tools you'll need to create an engaging level filled with challenges and obstacles.
Alternatively, you can create a game that offers a new, unseen challenge for other players. The level creator can be difficult to use on your first few tries, especially if you haven't worked with a level editor before. It's also crucial to know that designing at an engaging level will take significant time.
Where can you play Happy Wheels?
Happy Wheels is available to play on Windows through a browser and on IOS and Android. Players can take the mayhem with them on their travels as they enjoy the game on mobile. Given the simple mechanics and controls of Happy Wheels, you'll find that it translates well to the mobile version.
There are other versions of Happy Wheels available on the web - some being downloadable. The official Happy Wheels game is the browser version; others are simply clones of the game, so caution is advised if you choose to play these alternatives.
Happy Wheels cemented the quirky ragdoll death genre in 2010 and has continued to provide millions of players a fun game to play. You'll find unlimited replayability, great core mechanics, and a simple control system, not to mention the level creator to satisfy the creativity within you. However, the game is not recommended for younger audiences given the blood and gore.
Should you download it?
If you're looking for a gory, light-hearted but challenging experience, then Happy Wheels is right up your alley. The browser version has recently been updated with Java providing a more stable way to play the game.
- Fluid & fun mechanics
- Light-hearted blood and gore
- Unlimited replayability
- Level creator
- Windows is limited to browser