Happy Wheels is proof that casual flash gaming could hold its own in the gore genre – at least, that is what some gamers think. Not only does this cross genre flash game offer awesome, black comedy; it also offers excellent replayability. That is probably why IGN hailed it as one of the best free games out there. Happy Wheels is an action game designed with the help of ragdoll physics, and also features racing and puzzle-solving themes. You 'win' if your character gets through the levels in one piece – literally. Game Design Character selection in Happy Wheels shows just how quirky the game developers were. You get to choose between the Irresponsible Dad, the grumpy Wheelchair Guy, the Lawnmower Man, the unbelievably laidback Segway guy, the Moped couple and the effective shopper. Jim Bonnaci, the creator, even added Santa Claus as a playable character, in the spirit of Christmas – and splendid, irreverent humor. Yes, you choose the character that you would like to see all messed up in a thousand ways and one. In terms of graphics, you won't see anything mind-blowing. It's fairly basic. However, a lot of people who have played this game also say that the levels have their own brand of fun and randomness. Levels feature various themes, one of which is the crazy zombie attack theme. Game Controls The controls are not at all complicated. The Up/Down arrow keys are for speed control; the Down key is also for reverse. Press the Left and Right Arrow keys to lean towards the direction you'd like. The Shift key is for straightening up the legs and Ctrl is for bending down the legs. The space bar is for jumping and Z is your 'eject button'. Some players also use the arrow keys to come up with silly character stances. Gameplay Happy Wheels' gameplay is quite addictive. There is only one goal – to get to the finish line. It is not actually a race though; it is an action game that might need some puzzle solving skills – and some appreciation for good old gore. Initially, you would probably assume that this is a game for kids, seeing that the graphics could be quite simple. Just wait until you actually start controlling the character to complete a level though. Bonacci actually made use of ragdoll physics to show what would happen to a character, given the environment and other factors .This ensures that the game will never get old. Replayability The game is not that easy; it could be quite difficult to complete some levels. But the point of this game, at least for gore fans, is not exactly game completion. Some players just want to witness the various, wacky ways that a character could die. Every time you "fail" to get those characters on wheels going the right way, you won't be getting boring and generic "Try Again" graphics; you get a dose of splattered virtual blood and torn limbs – all meant to be accurate depictions of what was supposed to happen, thanks to ragdoll physics. The Verdict Happy Wheels appeals to a lot of people – from physics geeks who like the ragdoll physics aspect, to casual gamers who like the action game scene, and of course, those who like gore. This is why it has gotten quite a reception. It appeals to indie reviewers as well as the mainstream crowd. Bonnacci has also made a demo version is also available, which is why there are plenty of user-modified versions. If you like little puzzle-solving, fun and quirky action and gore, Happy Wheels is one game you should try.
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