Today is August 15, which will be obvious to anyone who happens to be able to tell the time. But what might not be so obvious – unless you’re keen on checking calendars – is that Sonic’s fantastic 2D adventure, Sonic Mania, was released on this day in 2017. That was three whole years ago! Where has the time gone!?
The story of Sonic Mania is a true fans-to-riches tale, starting all the way back in 2011 with Christian ‘Taxman’ Whitehead’s incredible mobile port of Sonic CD. The game developer, who made his name in the Sonic community with a number of fan game projects and engine work, quickly grabbed SEGA’s attention and was promptly asked to work on mobile ports of Sonic 1 and 2, before being allowed free reign to develop a brand new Sonic 2D adventure with an independent team.
Sonic Mania was released on console digital stores to great critical and community acclaim; you can read our review of the game which was published during release week (and during our extensive ‘Sonic Mania Week’ special coverage). Here’s what we said;
“Sonic Mania hits the mark; it’s classic retro perfection in the gameplay department, the soundtrack is aural pornography that gets better the more you listen to it, and the presentation is absolutely stunning with eye-watering and heart-clenchingly vibrant scenery and animation… It’s packed to the brim of Sonic’s – and SEGA’s – greatest hits, lovingly remastered and remixed.”
A year later, Whitehead and his team (which recently formed its own independent studio) developed DLC for Sonic Mania called ‘Sonic Mania Plus’ which added a bunch of new gameplay features as well as the formal return of two long lost characters in the Sonic canon; Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Squirrel.
What are your memories of Sonic Mania? Do you still play it regularly, like we do? Let us know in the comments section below! And happy birthday, Sonic Mania!