No Man's Sky developers Hello Games took a break from updating their massive (and massively popular) space adventure to fix their first title Joe Danger for an autistic child who couldn't play his favorite game anymore.
Jack, an eight-year-old diagnosed with autism, would play the game to help him through stressful situations and his father bonded with him through it, fostering their shared love of video games.
After receiving an email from Jack's father that the iOS 15 update had removed the 12-year-old game from his phone, Hello Games set about not just updating Joe Danger to work on modern devices, but remastering the entire game.
A secret shame of ours is that the success of No Man’s Sky left our first game Joe Danger unloved. Sadly since iOS culled older games it no longer worked on latest Apple devices— Sean Murray (@NoMansSky) January 27, 2022
This mail broke our hearts and made us want to set things right pic.twitter.com/Oz2yTjMUK5
Joe Danger's 2022 remaster now supports 64-bit architectures, meaning it should work on most Apple devices for the foreseeable future, with a fresh graphical overhaul including new shaders, textures, resolutions and crisp 60fps action. And, of course, as it is just an update to an existing App Store game, it is available for free to the million-plus owners of the $2 time-killer.
Before today's 1.3 update, the motorcycle challenge runner was last updated seven years ago for iOS 8 support, adding Japanese, Chinese and Korean language support.
In a tweet today Hello Games chief Sean Murray said it had been a hobby project to resurrect Joe Danger with eight years of technology changes to implement, but one worth doing for Jack's sake and the thousands of others who love the little daredevil.
"Joe Danger was our first game, when we were still four guys in a shed trying to get noticed," Murray tweeted. "As game devs it's so easy to underestimate the impact even your smallest games can have. It blows my mind that something you make can be someone's first game they played, hit at an important time or even be their favorite thing for a while."
Joe Danger is available on iOS with updated graphics and in a bundle with its tabletop racing spinoff, Joe Danger Infinity.