Happy Wheels was originally designed to be a browser based racing game in which the user could select from a number of unconventional racers ranging from a hobo in a wheelchair, to the irresponsible father on a bicycle with his child. The game concept was first developed in 2006 by Jim Bonacci.
However, since the release of the game in 2010, the goals of Happy Wheels have evolved to include collecting tokens and other alternative or undefined tasks depending on the level being played. Because it is a web based game, Bonacci has allowed users the ability to create their own levels. Currently, users of Happy Wheels have created more than six billion new levels for the game.
The main calling card of Happy Wheels is the exorbitant level of violence that saturates the game. Decapitations, removal of limbs, and animated blood are just a few examples of violent aspects found throughout the game. When interviewed and asked about the substantial level of violence in Happy Wheels, Bonacci replied that he was unhappy with the way that other browser based games handled the consequences of actions taken by the user. Therefore in Happy Wheels, Bonacci attempted to display the physical injuries that befall the user's characters as realistically as possible.