TSS Review: Sonic Runners (v.1.1.0)

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Hey, didn’t you guys already review this game? Why yes we did, and we’ve been talking about if we should take another look at it since with every update it seems to change. Well, following the worldwide release, we feel that Runners has changed enough that our previous review really doesn’t apply or match up with the experience you’ll get with this game.

sonic runners

So here is my review on Sonic Runners, based on the worldwide release build. This will focus more on the changes between the original review and the technical performance of the game since the plot is the same and the premise of the game is the same. That said however, a lot has changed… sadly a lot has changed for the worst.

So I’m not sure how some will react with my next line but here goes… On a technical level, this is probably one of the worst Sonic game made. Yes, I am including Sonic 06 and Sonic Boom in that, it is awful, it really is. The worldwide release is plagued with issues ranging from freezing, stuttering, lag, game breaking/ruining bugs, as well as overheating issues which can potentially put the device you’re using at risk.

… You were expecting me to praise this game given how I loved the initial release? Well on a gameplay level, it’s a really fun and charming game… Which Sega have ruined by adding in the very worst of free to play features and a near broken DRM/always online requirement which by the way is doing nothing to prevent cheaters,

For full disclosure, I have used a range of different Android devices to try and play the game. Primarily I have used a Samsung Galaxy S5, however I have also tested a Nexus 7 and a Sony Xperia Z3, all of which suffer from the same and in some cases more serious problems. All of these devices could previously run Sonic Runners during the soft launch period with virtually no problems.

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So lets start with the basics, though odds are you already know this. Sonic Runners is a side scrolling endless runner in which you start off as Sonic before unlocking Tails and Knuckles.

The premise of every stage is to run as far as you can and collect as many rings and gems as possible in order to get a huge score which progresses you further along the map before you reach the end of the episode/level.

Before I should go any further, I should mention that Sonic Runners uses multiple forms of currency. There are normal gold rings which are in plentiful supply. Then there are red rings which are much rarer. We’ll cover both of these later.

At the end of each stage you are given a small reward: normally gold rings or red rings, though sometimes you get an item. The rings you can use to level up characters which improve their stats. Stats are for things like score bonus increases or item effect durations increase. You’ll find you’ll need to level up characters if you want higher scores and find it easier to progress in later stages.

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This is the single most coolest image you’ll ever see in Sonic Runners.

However, the worldwide release differs from the initial release with the inclusion of an experience bar. This bar will fill based on how many rings you pick up in the game, which means you can save on spending those rings if you regularly use a character. By level 20 however, you’ll find it’s not worth waiting and will just spend those rings on your power level. Which again, do you do this from rings collected, or once more, there is that micro-transaction system hint hint wink wink.

Whilst the level cap is 100, the gains from level 50 onwards are so poor there is absolutely no point in waiting to level up, so spend those rings.

What else can you spend rings on? Nothing. Just levelling up characters. I will talk about red rings near the end of the review. Needless to say, I am not happy.

Levels are split into three types: Speed, Flight and Power. Each is designed to be played by a specific character type, though you’ll quickly find that you’ll only ever want to play as either speed or flight since Power characters are so useless compared to the other two. They’re only useful for their own stages, whereas the other types are great on every stage, with flight characters taking the top of the character tier list.

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As you progress through the game, you start very simple stories involving Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and various other characters. Normally it’s “Eggman is doing a thing! Lets go stop him.” “Help! This character is missing, lets go find them!” Whilst the climax does build up into something more dramatic, this type of story is rare and a one off.

Some may find it nice that we’ve gone back to a simple story in which it’s just “Sonic goes after Eggman because Eggman did something bad.” though others may find these stories far too basic to enjoy. Personally I began to skip some of the stories since they were so repetitive and dull.

The stage layout is the same as the soft launch version. No changes. It’s a decent layout combining challenge, flow and multiple paths, however I’m not sure that in some places the higher path is the most rewarding. In some stages, the lower path is clearly more viable in terms of score.

It should be really enjoyable, and in the pre worldwide version it is. It’s a great example as to how you can adapt a classic Sonic game for a modern mobile market place, slap a small price tag on it and you have a great experience for the daily commute or for killing a spare half hour.

It’s fun and addictive. If the game had a price tag of say £2.99, I would buy this in a heartbeat. It’s a really nice charming game which is bloody good.

So what’s the problem?

Pretty much everything underpinning that which turns Runners into a near unplayable mess which is designed to rob the player of their time and money, turning runners into a gambling machine.

The game has very poor optimisation. It’s so poor in fact that after only 5 minutes it starts to stutter, lag and in some cases completely freezes. How bad is it? Well remember how I said I tested this game on three different devices? Here is how Runners used to perform.

  • Galaxy S5: Flawless, phone was slightly warm, but otherwise flawless.
  • Sony Xperia Z3: Near Flawless, phone got hotter than the S5, but otherwise fine, however battery drained quicker than the S5.
  • Nexus 7 (2013): Wasn’t tested, but is compatible with the game.

Here is how those devices performed with the worldwide release.

  • Galaxy S5: Initially, the game runs fine… but after 5 min of play time the phone gets very hot, gameplay begins to stutter, lag, some occasional freezing in areas with lots of objects. Game eventually becomes near unplayable.
  • Xperia Z3: Same as the S5, however after 5 min the temperature of the phone increases by 16-20°C (value taken from built in battery monitoring app) the game will then completely crash. Battery life is drained by 20% after only 5 min.
  • Nexus 7 (2013): This was a fresh install so we only played the tutorial. We couldn’t accurately test the lag effects with lots of objects on the screen… But after 5 minutes of play, the device became too hot to comfortably hold and we had to turn it off to cool the device down. We were afraid it would cause lasting damage to the device and the owner then requested we immediately delete Runners and never install it on again.

You want to know something even more head scratching? These were running in streamlined mode, which is designed to take pressure of the processor and make the game perform better…. however our soft launch versions did not have streamlined mode turned on! Yet it’s performing this badly with streamlined mode on!?

Sega… What the hell happened!? How do two of the most advanced phones on the market go from playing the game flawlessly to struggling and in one case failing after 5 min of gameplay time?

The Nexus 7 can probably be explained by the fact it’s older hardware and Runners does demand a lot. But still, the heat generated was worrying to the owner of the device so if you have a Nexus 7 2013, avoid runners like the Black Death.

This is just bad optimisation, pure and simple. There is no way a game like Runners should be causing this many problems on these devices. Whilst I personally haven’t been able to test an iOS build, I’ve been told it’s a lot better, which suggests to me the Android version is a port which got little development or tooling. I would say that this claim is further supported by the fact that the Android version on launch crashed during start up due to a major problem the always online DRM, questioning how this got past the Q&A if the game had been optimised for this platform.

So technically, the game is bad. It’s really bad. In fact I’d go as far as to say it’s there with Sonic 06 and Rise of Lyric, because for as buggy as those games are, at least they allow you to play for more than 5 min and do not melt your system.

Other noticeable bugs: Buddies no longer pick up animals, the asteroid wisp will sometimes spiral to the top of the screen out of control, totally ruining a run.

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I’m not touching the screen, the wisp just refuses to come down.

Then there is this odd thing…

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Charmy the Knuckles

Yes it’s funny, but you add this will the other technical problems and you really do question if any optimisation or QA took place.

Aside from it’s technical performance, are there any other problems. Yes… dear lord yes.

Lets get onto the Red Rings. Red Rings are the second form of currency that this game uses, they are much harder to come by and when you get some, it’s in very limited stock. Red Rings are used to by normal rings or extra lives, but their primary use is to use on the roulette wheel and gain buddies.

What are buddies? They’re small characters that accompany you in stages which add a bunch of effects ranging from score boosters to ring recovery and other positive effects. The vast majority of them are pointless, but some of the rarer ones are highly valuable and the key to doing well on the leader boards.

The catch is that the only way to get them is from either a special event, or from spending 50 red rings on the roulette wheel, at which point you are granted a random buddy. If you get the same buddy, it levels up before capping at level 5. The problem now is that following the worldwide release, Sega has drastically slashed the number of red star rings you can get.

How bad is it? Well under the soft launch version, completing all parts of the final scenario rewarded you with 90 red rings. 10 for each episode, 50 for the final boss. To complete the final scenario, you need a total score of 50 million, so 50 million = 90 red rings.

But in the worldwide launch, you only get 5 per episode and only 10 for the final boss! So now you only get 30 for completing the 5 hardest levels in the game. A total point requirement of 50 million, so 50 million = 30 red rings!

What about other red ring methods? You can randomly find one in a stage, Eggman may drop one if you’re lucky, and if you spam your friends Facebook accounts you can get 10 if they sign up to Runners and use your referral… oh wait hang on… that feature is currently broken.

You are therefore forced to use real world money to buy red rings. And how have Sega welcomed new users to this? By ripping them off.

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Prior to the worldwide launch, the highest red ring price was £24.99 for 700 red rings. In the new worldwide version it’s £30 for 481, yet they still have the gall to claim that this is a sale price! But wait? What’s that bonus +1019 red ring amount, that apparently gets removed if you are actually silly enough to buy rings from the store? They call it a ‘first time buyers bonus.’ After you make your first purchase, it returns to 481.

For new players who have just picked up the game, sorry to say this but you are totally screwed. You won’t ever be able to touch those who have been playing this game for months. Their buddies are too well levelled up and they have the special limited edition characters which boost score. Don’t even try, it’s over.

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See this? This is why you will NEVER be able to touch those higher level players.

…Unless you spend several hundred pounds in red rings. Then you ‘might’ have a chance, but you won’t. You won’t because you won’t have the limited edition characters who have better bonuses, so why even bother?

And now we get to a major problem with Sonic Runners in terms of it’s design and ethical issues.

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Is anyone ok with the fact that Runners is essentially a gambling machine aimed at children?

The game has now forced you to use the micro-transaction system. The only thing worth spending that on is the roulette wheel, which is no different than playing real roulette in a casino. You pay money, then take a chance at the wheel to get a reward.

Sonic Runners essentially becomes a miniature gambling machine, you are enticed to put real money in, then spend that money in the form of red rings, you gamble those rings for prizes, this is gambling, there is no other way to describe it. Then we get into the very murky waters of the fact that the game is aimed at children. This is a miniature gambling game aimed at kids. Surely this should have a higher ESRB rating than it currently does given that it has gambling in it?

 Before you say ‘well it’s not really gambling’ explain how? It’s no different from any other form of gambling. In fact it’s just a virtual form of casino chips, if you spend money on this game, then use those rings on the wheel, you are gambling, think about that for a moment. Some of you will be ok with it, but I know a few won’t be.

Were red rings common in the original? No, you still had to work to earn them, but you could get them for playing and doing well if you were dedicated and were generally good at the game. Now, they’re virtually non existent. So few are available that you’ll be crying out for special events or bite the bullet and spend real money to gamble with.

Your chances to get rings are further restricted due to the life/revive change. Whilst this change came during the soft launch, it was done so close to the worldwide launch it’s worth mentioning; you are now only given 3 lives. 1 life will recharge every 30 min. After which you’re told to buy more or wait until they recharge.

Even more pathetic an insult, Sega have been releasing new characters. The only way to get them is by using the roulette wheel. There’s a mere 6% chance at getting said characters. The catch is that their bonuses are much better than the default characters, so if you want to compete, gotta get these characters.

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Facebook support suddenly disabled

Even Amy is dangled in front of your face like some kind of bait. Spam your Facebook friends who might have no interest in the game, hope they’ll use your referral and you might get Amy… except Facebook links are currently broken so this is impossible.

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To read the rest of this review, please take a moment to just stare at this picture of Aspirin for 30 seconds.

You want more examples of how the free to play nature ruins what is a decent game? Adverts… everywhere, even for completing a stage, you now get an advert, say goodbye to your mobile data limits as these are video files, the majority of which are 30 seconds long. So far I’ve not seen one which relates to Sonic or Sega, and some have nothing to do with gaming.

This brings me onto another change. When you die in a stage, you can continue if you watch a video advert (there is a limited number per day). This sounds like a great idea… but like most other parts of the game, there are problems. Sometimes the adverts don’t play, sometimes the adverts crash or freeze your game, forcing you to quit, taking with it your life and doesn’t compensate you in any way, and sometimes the adverts are for things not available in your region. I got one advert for medication which isn’t available in the UK!

The always online requirement is still here, and once again it’s proved how pointless it is, players are already cheating and have been cheating for months, asking the question, why the hell is this even a thing? The game would be so much better if this wasn’t even here, it’s just pointless and restrictive to how and where you can play.

So I’ve complained for a while, might as well offer some solutions to these problems.

  • Scrap the online only requirement, it doesn’t do anything and isn’t preventing cheating.
  • Optimise the game. For the love of god optimise the game for Android.
  • Return the red ring rewards for completing the final episode to the soft launch levels.
  • Stop putting characters on the roulette wheel and give us a store to buy them from for a limited period of time.

Overall, Sonic Runners was once a really great little game. It was really fun to play and I got lots of enjoyment from it. Then something happened called the Worldwide launch and Sonic runners was turned into a broken mess littered with adverts and the very worst of  methods to try and extract money from you.

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That’s not a browser advert, I just felt you all needed to see a Game of War advert, since Runners wants you to see them all the time, maybe it’s viral marketing for Eggman’s army having a cross over in Game of War?

Don’t do it, do not waste your time with this, there was a great game here, it’s gone now, it died with the worldwide release. Unless they fix the blatantly broken android version, radically overhaul the red ring system and cut down the adverts avoid this game.

You’ll Love:
+ When it works, the simple gameplay which is fun.
+ The moment you manage to unlock a new character.
+ Knuckles threatening to kill Eggman.

 You’ll hate:

–  In terms of its technical performance, it’s easily one of the worst Sonic games of all time.
–  Stuttering, lag, freezes after a short period of play.
–  Adverts.
–  Always online.
–  It’s a gambling machine aimed at children.
–  Designed to take money from you, not reward your ability to play.
–  Overheating of your device.
–  Trying to explain to your partner why their expensive phone has melted/no longer performs well due to overheating.
*Review based on the Android version of the game, running on Galaxy S5, Nexus 7 (2013) & Sony Xperia Z3.*

Second Opinion by Bradd039243d0917679ed9762e415af2f9e8

Played on the iPhone 5C, using the latest version of iOS.

When I reviewed the initial build of the game, I had nothing but praise for it. In fact, I called it the best Sonic title we’ve seen since Sonic Generations. While I hold to what I said regarding that soft launch version… there’s no way I can continue to hold that opinion with this new worldwide release.

First, I want to go over the positives – the game is still simple and fun in terms of its gameplay. It inherits some of the classic design philosophies but modernised for a new platform and it’s fun to experience. Furthermore, the production values haven’t gone anywhere either. The music from Ohtani is still top notch (if not slightly repetitive by the game’s nature) and the visuals are still great.

Something I highlighted as a positive in my initial look was how it was fair with its freemium nature. This has, unfortunately, become quite the opposite. Runners’ worldwide build finally is using in game advertisements to a mixed approach. I don’t mind having the ability to use a free revive by viewing an ad, but I don’t appreciate them appearing when I try to see my results or return to the main menu.

Daily Challenges are at least more easily completed in the worldwide release.
Daily Challenges are at least more easily completed in the worldwide release.

Red Rings have also become a true premium currency with a questionable approach. The soft launch version not only was more generous in terms of how it rewarded players with them, but I also never felt pressured to spend them. This version has cut rewarded Red Rings in half for defeating most boss encounters in game and upped prices in the store – this, alongside the awful luck based system to earns new characters and buddies, only discourages me from playing the game or purchasing premium currency.

My other negatives still stand also. The game does lack variety (don’t expect to be playing Runners for long periods of time without becoming bored), the story is still abysmally uninteresting/poorly written, and some obstacles in the game feel very cheap. But aside from what I’ve mentioned above, there’s still one more gigantic negative the worldwide version has brought – which is performance issues.

Never during the game’s soft launch builds did I ever experience issues with how the game performed. It ran smoothly and meant that generally, players at fault would be punished fairly. The worldwide version has brought very noticeable stuttering and lag to the gameplay. And this wouldn’t be much of an issue… if it didn’t cause your runs to mess up completely. Lag will make your jump go a little too high, or for you to miss an enemy, or to hit that obstacle you had dodged a thousand times before suddenly smack you in the face. This issue affects the experience immensely.

A few other things I should mention about this worldwide version of the game, as it stands:

  • A great fix the game made was showing players what level they would be facing before they entered regardless of the progress you made. This allows you to be much more prepared, and not feel cheated when you enter a level with Tails and fail immensely in a power based stage.
  • Revive tokens have been completely nerfed. Not only have they been cut to three, the recovery time for them has been increased. This could be to encourage players to connect with their Facebook friends so they can send revive tokens to one another.
  • A new experience system has been introduced. A great idea in concept and would encourage you to perform better in your runs – however the experience system feels limited and not generous on any level, even at just level 10. It makes you think it may just be another nudge to spend more rings, which in turn may make you want to use premium currency to attain…?

I’d quite frankly call the worldwide launch of Sonic Runners a bit of a failure – not only have they made a fun little mobile game a money hungry monster, they’ve introduced new problems to soft launch players that never existed before. This version of Runners is not the same experience anymore, and that truly saddens me.

44 Comments

  1. I have a Chinese octa core, a Lenovo A806. The pphone itself runs Lewa OS V6 custom ROM. unlike your Galaxy S5, Sony Xperia Z3 and Nexus 7, the phone doesn’t overheat and lag! Its very smooth, but due to my internet being instable, it keeps showing connection errors. This just proves that Chinese smartphone manufacturers (Xiaomi, Lenovo, Oppo, Leagoo and even OnePlus) can lead the market, for high spec phones, especially for people who wants to play Sonic Runners!

    1. its funny when Chinese smartphone maker didn’t install the Google Service are suppose be the MUST HAVE APPLICATION, instead their they plant lots of crappy third party apps. FYI this game’s upgrade are only can applied on Play Store, good luck on those Googleless smartphones

      1. Most Chinese smartphones that sells outside China already have Google Apps. If they don’t you can easily flash Gapps using a zip. Its very easy.

  2. This review I didn’t even bother reading as it basically felt like it was take from
    http://www.thejimquisition.com/2015/06/sonic-runners-review/
    Where u talked about the same thing, even used the same screens in some sections.

    Players don’t have to buy red rings, I played the game and got 400 red rings saved up for the birthday event and even got classic sonic, I got my red rings by hitting egg man and him having a chance of dropping them.

    So there are ways not to spend money, but if u want to go on a roll and keep playing you have the option to spend money.

    1. The game of war image is from a random Google search. The other image is from official press assets which all media outlets are free to use.

      Also you say you didnt read it… yet comment on huge chunks of it… lol.

  3. I got the Japenese soft launch version months ago. Wouldn’t let me update, and I had to delete the app along with all of that progress and work.

    Even with the immense lag and advertisements, I will still try to unlock Classic Sonic in a LUCK BASED mini game. If I don’t get Classic Sonic by the end of the event, it is over for the endless runner.

    No copyright law in the universe can stop me, but lag, overheating, ads, and a massive amount of lost progress sure can.

    1. What would be the point? Even if they fix it, it’ll still be riddled with adverts and restrict rewards over their paid for micro transactions.

      1. Not saying this WILL happen, but what if they restored the red star ring locations from before, redid the events for the new players, and greatly reduced the amount of ads shown? Would you do another review then?

        1. Absolutely no point unless the game is upgraded to a different version. E.g. 2.0.

          And then it would depend on the content of said upgrade.

  4. ugh this is why i wasn’t as hype for it as everyone else was, i know what phone games are like, just free to play and lure you in with that, but oh wait you gotta spend money if you want something good!

    i never understood the interest in mobile games, they are just as bad for you and addicting as those online games that make you pay and gamble for a random chance at getting a good item.

    1. The problem is the softlaunch version did give you reason to be hyped. It was amazing.

      The worldwide one turned to the game to trash overnight.

  5. Well, when the worldwide release came out I deleted my Canadian version of the game to actually have a ‘Murcin version of the game. After hearing all the bullshit that’s going on, haven’t touched it.

  6. Sonic Runners looks great and when it does play, it plays well – i have fun.
    But im scared to go for a second run in the same session or to use a free continue because the advert might crash the game. when its a second run, the game might crash mid-run or after the results screen.
    Its quite sad that i will never get to play as Amy, i like her but i dont have 10 friends who would download Sonic Runners and i know Metal Sonic is going to be a roulette prize eventually which hurts because hes my favourite character and a 6% chance of getting your favourite is heartbreaking. (I’m happy he’s in the story and the Heroes see him as a threat again).

    If they could fix the crashes, that would be great and for awhile the ADs did disappear completely… I dont know what was up with that… They are back though and are a 50% chance of causing a crash other than the long loading times themselves…
    The story situations are kinda meh but some are actually good and anytime Metal Sonic is involved, i smile.

  7. Hogfather,

    I love your opinions on things haha. I appreciate them because like me, you’re a true Sonic The Hedgehog fan, but you know when a game sucks. You don’t make excuses for the game or for SEGA, you just tell it like it is. You’re not a blinded fan like some are, even though you’re a write for a Sonic The Hedgehog fan site. Let the haters hate haha. After playing this since the worldwide release, I have to agree with everything you said. It only makes me wish I could’ve played it during the soft launch. Great review, man.

    1. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Sega game or a Sonic game, regardless as to what the product is, I’ll judge it based on whatever they offer up.

  8. Well, this is annoying. Just when we thought it was defying freemium conventions, it regains them all and lags like heck to boot. Maybe they should advertise it as a hand warming app… hm…

    But I think this can actually be used as a learning opportunity for children. Teach them proper money management and how to avoid impulsive spending, as well as resisting corporate pressure to spend. As for the gambling aspect, well, all mobile games do this to some extent, targeted to children or not. I think another developer got in trouble for something like this a while back for their Smurfs-themed Farmville clone, and nothing came of it besides a Captain Obvious statement from said developer reminding you not to give your children access to your bank account. So even if it were ethically unsound, if the previous incident is any indication, Sega won’t face any legal consequences for it. At the end of the day, this Runners thing is just symptomatic of a larger issue within the mobile games industry.

    1. Actually, as a user on the forums brought up, this is kind of like the blind bags which have been marketed to children uncontested for years. Buy a bag, see if you get the character or not, and if not you simply gotta buy another bag. This has not resulted in a spike of gamblers nor has it created a gambling culture amongst children. So really, Runners isn’t using an illegal system or advocating gambling to children any more than a blind bag company.

      Do I like this system? No. Do I think Sega should get into legal trouble for it or get accused of advocating child gambling? Also no.

      1. It could be a lot worse and be a Gacha Based system. Lord knows those are more broken and worse than what Runners is offering. At least you have some control over it (Or do you? Is it randomly generated or input based? because if former, then it’s just Gacha. ;/ )

        The biggest insult was the major nerf to Revives; 5mins (5) > 1hr (3) > whatever it is now? Games like Brave Frontier decreased their insane amount of recovery from 30mins to 5mins. Sega are going full f*****g backwards and just obviously forcing new people to spend their mortgages on getting up to scratch with the soft players.

        I’ll enjoy the game now and then (as I don’t get too many issues aside from 10kM+ run it lags like hell), but they can forget receiving another penny. :/

        1. What is Gatcha? Regardless, I think it is input based given some of the techniques you can use to get what you want on the roulette.

          Other than that, yeah, its annoying how this game has regressed.

  9. I’ve tried it just now and I can’t do a thing. I seriously dislike the whole forced to click things instead of enjoying the game. Also every time it tries to play an ad it crashes the game and starts it up again.

    Also Always Online stinks, serious are you EA? Have you seen what happened to EA’s Always Online? It was/is/will be a huge dumb disaster.

  10. I always felt like they changed the red rings costs. I thankfully have the bonus of having played the game for a full month already before hand and one of maybe 50 android users who are having no problems with the game running. I don’t really mind the ads as much cause I could always choose to not click them, but the thing I hate the most is how they jipped the red rings you earn in episodes. Prior to the worldwide release you earned 10 red rings for finishing an episode or beating Eggman. And if you beat episode 50 (the last episode) you got 50 red rings. Now you get 5 for finishing an episode and 10 for beating the game. SEGA, why did you have to realize how much money this was costing you?

    1. Actually Knuckles is much better written in this game than in previous ones, everyone is actually, there is a citscene when Sonic says something like “We need to rescue the animals before we get our revenge”.

  11. The iPhone version seems to work fine, but the new problems caused by the worldwide release are still there.

  12. A follow-up on my previous comment.
    As you said : –
    Galaxy S5: Initially, the game runs fine… but after 5 min of play time the phone gets very hot, gameplay begins to stutter, lag, some occasional freezing in areas with lots of objects. Game eventually becomes near unplayable.
    Xperia Z3: Same as the S5, however after 5 min the temperature of the phone increases by 16-20°C (value taken from built in battery monitoring app) the game will then completely crash. Battery life is drained by 20% after only 5 min.
    Nexus 7 (2013): This was a fresh install so we only played the tutorial. We couldn’t accurately test the lag effects with lots of objects on the screen… But after 5 minutes of play, the device became too hot to comfortably hold and we had to turn it off to cool the device down. We were afraid it would cause lasting damage to the device and the owner then requested we immediately delete Runners and never install it on again.

    I am going to do a short review of Sonic Runnners, I am not going to explain the game features, but the compatibility itself on my own device.
    I am using a Lenovo A806, yes, it never sold in the US or UK, it’s only in China atm. It has a MediaTek MT6592 SoC octa-core, that’s quite high! It also has Mali graphics, 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage (13GB usable by user). I bought it for only £ 93 GBP. That’s quite cheap isn’t it?

    Now for the Sonic Runners part.

    I don’t use the stock ROM for the device, I am actually using Lewa OS v6, instead of the Lenovo’s VIBE UI. Google Play Store says the device is not compatible for this version, but I managed to get it with QooApp. So I have Sonic Runners 1.1.1 on my phone.
    The game runs perfect, so far, no lags or choppy screens and so far only no crashes. Everything is perfect. My Lenovo didn’t overheat and not even warm. It’s cool most of the time. So far, I only experienced very, very long time to load the game, it stuck at the Sonic Runners logo (before SEGA logo) for approximately 30 seconds. But the game should run fine.

    Now the question is, why did your three devices doesn’t run Sonic Runners very well?

    In my opinion, since I mentioned I am using a custom ROM, I was actually able to run Sonic Runners, the Lewa OS ROM itself is very smooth and stable, the most amazing thing about Lewa OS is, that it actually has a built-in RAM management. If you go to the recent apps, there would be a small section showing you the total available RAM of your device. So far, my device haven’t reached 600MB or less free memory left, even if I don’t close unused apps.
    Now, your Samsung Galaxy S5 has its own ROM called TouchWiz, Sony Xperia Z3 ROM is basically, Xperia and the 2013 Nexus 7 is Google’s Nexus stock ROM. I experienced using these three ROMS and devices before, they don’t have any RAM management, except Samsung. They don’t have the Optimize button that basically close all the background apps, which is one problem. Secondly, I am afraid that the ROM itself (the launcher, system apps, widgets) uses a lot of RAM, which makes only a little RAM available. Thirdly, I also saw that your Xperia and Nexus overheated while playing Sonic Runners, let me ask you, did you close all background apps? Did you turned off unnecessary connectivity functions? (Bluetooth, NFC, WiFi Direct, 4G). I always play games with apps closed and only my cellular and WiFi turned on.

    I would like to share you tip.
    Never ever charge your device while playing games especially Sonic Runners. Even today’s smartphones has a battery protection, but I recommend you not to charge your device while playing, it will heat up your device real fast!

    Welp, I guess that’s it, feel free to reply if you don’t understand anything or questions.

  13. I always joked about games running like they were on a poor Windows PC that was from the 90s…………….It really seems like it was running on a PC from 1991 that used a 286 CPU, CGA Graphics and PC Speaker, that’s struggling to run a 2015 iOS/Android game for good reason.

    Now I don’t want to buy this god-awful piece of fucking shit that makes Rise of Lyric, Sonic Generations, & Sonic 06 combined looked like Sonic 3 in comparison

    1. I have a 80486 working system from my dad’s old office, and an 8086 very old machine somewhere still at the office.

        1. The Sound card is an ESS AudioDrive ISA and a S3 Virge 2MB graphics card.
          I also have the same sound card and graphics on my Pentium MMX machine, also trashpicked from my dad’s old office.

  14. I pretty much share feelings with Brad, yet again.

    The thing that pisses me off most is how ridiculously stupid character management is. Not only are some characters clearly better than others (Team Sonic entirely is just inferior to everyone else, Power types kinda suck, etc.), but then you have only a 6% chance to score just ONE! And with this game’s amazing currency system, you’re not gonna do that. And the one character that ISN’T up to chance is achieved through Facebook invites, which is so… so… frustrating. My friends don’t care about it, and the ones who DO want to help me out can’t even play the game, meaning I get no Amy, and no Red Rings.

    I think the game itself is fine, and I love the charm it brings and the justice it does Knuckles as a character… but I don’t like how characters are handled much, I’m furious that they halved our Red Rings, and the stuttering + lag which has lead to SO many deaths seriously makes me want to drop my phone on the carpet. ._.

  15. Coming from someone who used to play Sonic Dash every day and got all the characters and spent $3 on it, I haven’t even been able to play Runners since launch day. It got pretty repetitive pretty fast, which to be fair dash did too. It is impossible to get red rings, which in dash there was ways to get a steady stream of red rings (the daily one in levels, the rank up, play every day for escalating rewards thing, after a week with that I got like 30 red rings on one day and it got better from there.) and dash got better with updates, this is just unfair, I feel no motivation to try and save up red rings to get other characters in this game because unlike dash there is no way to know for sure I will get that character, In Dash when I wanted Blaze I saved up till I could get her, with Runners its all up to chance. The only praise I can give runners is the character’s personalities, Knuckles most notably but also Sonic and Tails, are much better than they have been in recent games

  16. This game can be fun but yes, it’s a pain in the ass that it has to be online all the time and like a lot of the free to play games now, operate on a casino system which is an all time low for Sonic (see South Park episode “Freemium isn’t free”) but when you’re running and collecing stuff and unlocking stuff that you don’t have to pay for it can be fun but honestly Sega, you used to be better than this. Also like Sonic Dash before it, I figure future updates will improve and I’ll gladly pay $2.99 to remove ads.
    What’s really sad is Sonic Dash and Runners are still more fun than any console Sonic game I’ve played in the last 4 years. At least these remembered that Sonic runs fast. (looks at Sonic Boom RoL)

    1. On a side note, I have an Iphone 5 and it runs really well on that. Sorry that other smart device users are getting such a technical mess.

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