It doesn’t take a die-hard Sonic know-it-all to see that Sonic has had a few rough patches the past couple of years. From the major impact Sonic ‘06 left on the series, it’s no mystery that Sonic fans worldwide would be hoping that SEGA could pull the blue blur from the dark ages, but their newest game in the Sonic franchise, Sonic Runners, has seemed to please many fans and gamers alike in this new Sonic game for smartphones (iOS and Android!)
There’s not a ton to say about Sonic Runners, being a freemium mobile game and all, but the game is very fun, and will have you sucked in before you can say “Sonic’s back”. If you couldn’t have told from the title, Sonic Runners is a game where Sonic and friends just…run, that’s literally all you do in the game. It may sound a little boring, but think of it as a 2D version of Sonic Dash with a few elements from Sonic Jump and Sonic Jump Fever.
The gameplay’s solid, with a smooth 60 fps in-game, and I haven’t seen a glitch to this day. The controls are simple as running and jumping, because that’s literally all you do. Sonic runs by himself, and you tap the screen to jump and use items. Occasionally, you’ll run into Dr. Eggman for a short boss battle, but afterwards, Sonic’s speed will increase, and the game will become a little harder. You’ll also find small power-ups while running, like invincibility and a shield. SEGA has again recycled Wisps from Sonic Colors as limited powers Sonic can use on his run.
As far as the story goes, it’s everything you could expect from a free mobile game. It’s not the best writing and can sometimes seem pretty cliche, but again, it is a free mobile game. At times, the characters will have conversations that purposely point out how to use certain features in the game. I should probably point out that parts of the story tie in with Sonic Colors, so I would recommend playing the game or watching someone play through before getting Sonic Runners, unless you care little for the story, then go ahead and download it. Also, the strangest part of the story is how Omochao is apart of it, it’s almost like SEGA is trying to make me hate the game, because we haven’t seen enough of him before.
As you progress through the story, you’ll be able to unlock Tails and Knuckles to play as, and there have been rumors floating about more of Sonic’s friends being available in future updates. You’ll also be able to get “companions” such as Sonic and the Black Knight’s Caliburn, or Sonic Unleashed’s Chip to play by your selected character for boosted points at the end of your play, Chao have also returned and can be used for the same thing!
Every game has its ups and downs. While Sonic Runners can have both good and bad sides, it also shows that as far as gameplay goes, Sonic Team is giving a little more effort than previously. It’s a great way to kill some time if you’re waiting for your stop on a bus, or waiting for Metal Gear Solid 4 to download. I would highly recommend this game to any and all of my friends!