With SEGA’s ever-growing presence in the mobile gaming industry comes more and more Sonic the Hedgehog-themed affairs to drop a few bucks on. Sonic has been jumping, golfing, and karting on the go for a few years now, but which of these outings are worth your spare time and money?
Since I’ve been playing all of them lately on the bus, in-between classes and, uh, in classes, I can let you know what’s legit. If you haven’t caught the pattern by now, SEGA is of the belief that people who love Sonic will follow him into any game genre. Not all are winners, so if you like killing short amounts of time on your phone, like I do, then pay attention to which games have actual effort put behind them.
I will only be touching base with the original titles. The ports of Sonic 1 and Sonic 2 have been discussed on The Sonic Stadium before and are guaranteed winners.
Sonic Jump/Sonic Jump 2
Eggman’s out to destroy the world and the only way to go is up.
While most assholes will complain about the game lacking “that trademark Sonic speed,” both Sonic Jump games are accessible, mildly amusing mobile games that happen to feature Sonic the Hedgehog. Both games play exactly the same and involve moving Sonic left and right, bouncing on platforms to reach the top of the stage. You are always bouncing upwards and the wrong move could send you crashing to the ground, costing you a life.
The controls are as straightforward as the game looks. Move left and right, with the center button initiating a “super jump” that allows Sonic to extend the vertical distance of his regular jump. The controls are not an issue, but the game’s difficulty can get on your nerves in the later levels. You are going to die… a lot. Later levels, especially, require many replays to memorize where platforms are going to appear as you ascend. The blue booster rings (as seen in the picture above) allow you to skip chunks of the levels, but when their boost runs out, it can be tricky to get your bearings and find the next platform.
If you only have enough money for one, go with the sequel. The graphics are much better. Those of you with high-end phones will especially enjoy the level art and catchy-as-all-hell music. In North America, however, I’ve noticed that we only are able to download Sonic Jump, but in reality, it’s Sonic Jump 2. Be aware of that confusion.
At first glance, this looks like a game where SEGA’s “slap Sonic on everything” strategy gets a little crazy. Get your eyes checked, because this game is the shit.
Easily being the Sonic mobile game that I’ve played the most, given that it can be played with one hand, Sonic Golf takes you through the oh-so-whored-out stages of the Genesis games as you try to whack your balls (+10 if you giggled) to the signpost. For a golf game, it is rather unique in its side-scrolling presentation, as most revert to a top down view to illustrate where the ball is heading. Adding Sonic’s trademark monitor power-ups and hazards and you have a golf game like no other.
There is little to no learning curve on the controls, as it’s your standard golf affair of adjusting your spin, aim, and power. Plus, there are many difficulty settings to keep you coming back for more outings. Sonic Golf is a fantastic golf game that keeps true to the Sonic spirit.
Sonic Unleashed Mobile
Hooollllyyyyy shiiiiiit. The only, original, traditional Sonic game for mobile phones is the mobile version of Sonic Unleashed. I enjoyed it more than the console version. The Werehog, in spite of this praise, still chugs dongs.
When people discuss this game, the graphics is usually brought up first, and for good reason. The graphics are original throughout and are gorgeous. I’m surprised that this game hasn’t been considered for ports to a console download service or DSiWare yet, because it looks the part.
Gameloft, the game’s publisher, nailed the breakneck gameplay of the daytime stages of Sonic Unleashed, even if there are a few hiccups when you tear through the levels. There are alternate routes, secret areas, and excellent level designs to be found here! Gameloft also managed to perfectly translate the Werehog’s gameplay to the second-dimension. By “perfect,” I mean that they captured that essence of suck and button-mashing boredom from the console version and replicated it for mobile phones. Button-mashing does not work for mobile games, as it will destroy the buttons. I have to use that “5” key to dial Jenny, damnit! The spin dash during the daytime stages did away with button-mashing when powering it up for that reason, so that’s a few more days that I’ll have my “5” key in-tact.
In short, Sonic Unleashed Mobile is one-half incredible, one-half “Sorry you had to follow SEGA’s game design, Gameloft.” It’s still worth your money, though, for the the former half.
Competent Games With “Sonic” In the Title
This category is for the half-dozen or so games that are just like every other mobile version of some activity, but this time, Sonic is on the title screen. These aren’t bad games, but they lack the creativity that Sonic Golf showcases. Take, for instance, Sonic Darts:
Not very Sonic-y, right? Still, the game isn’t horrible for this reason alone. It just feels like a lack of initiative on the developer’s part to take advantage of the Sonic license. Though, I don’t know what direction you could take a game like darts or billiards, but that doesn’t excuse the developers from not trying at all.
Above average representations of everyday games with “Sonic” in the title include: Sonic Darts, Sonic Billiards, Sonic Hearts, Sonic Bowling, and Sonic Casino Poker.
Well, that’s it. If you know of a mobile Sonic game that wasn’t mentioned above, it’s because I could not play it on my phone or that I did play it and thought it sucked. I’m looking at you Sonic At the Olympic Games, you boring tap-fest you.
If you’re angry, because I took another verbal dump on the werehog, I divert your attention to Daniel. Your comments will be deleted if you want to be a tool and complain about how I don’t like Unleashed. If you haven’t noticed, since the commenters here are so intelligent, I do not care for your opinions as much as you care about mine.