Let’s be honest, there hasn’t been a really good Sonic title since probably Sonic Adventure on the OG Dreamcast. While the blue-haired hedgehog has seen quite a few changes since then, today he’s back in a classic platformer called, what else, but Sonic Runners.
As the name suggests, Sonic Runners is yet another one of those endless runner titles and has a sort of “retro” cell-shaded look to it. It initially launched in some regions as a first test run, but today it’s finally available globally. There are plenty of rings to collect and familiar enemies and bosses to spin attack. Simply put, this is the Sonic we remember. Well, if the original Sonic was free-to-play.
Taking control of sonic is easy, with gameplay involving tapping the screen to cause Sonic to jump (up to 3 times) while avoiding the usual obstacles and enemies along the way. This is traditional side-scrolling action if you had someone else moving forward for you the entire time. Tails and Knuckles both make appearances in the game, each with their own unique abilities to help you power through stages. If you connect to Facebook and successfully invite 10 friends, you will unlock a 4th character, Amy, who you can also play with. Each character in the game can be “leveled” up using standard gold rings and equip various buddies that add special enhancements (like boosting scores by 30% when equipped, etc.).
The game comes to an end when you die, either by getting hit after losing all your rings, running into a wall, or falling down a pit. After that, you’ll need red star rings to continue where you left off. We also saw an option to watch a video ad, but we’re not sure if that option is present every time. Make no mistake. Sonic Runners is freemium title in the best/worst sense of the word, offering up in-game items you can purchase using real money. Of course, you can take that as a challenge and grind the old fashioned way, but that could have you pulling out all of your hair in the end.
Sonic Runners is available right now in the Google Play Store for most Android devices. Oh, and not to kill the fantasy, but let’s never forget what the echidna looks like in real life. (Sorry, Knuckles fans).