Race at lightning speeds across seven classic zones as Sonic the Hedgehog. Run and spin through loop-de-loops as you collect rings and defeat enemies on your mission to save the world from the evil Dr. Eggman.
Sonic The Hedgehog is the first game in the series released for the Sega Genesis/MegaDrive in 1991 now available for your mobile device. It’s a 2D sidescroller platformer where a blue hedgehog with red running shoes must free the animals in his island that were kidnapped by an evil egg-shaped scientist.
The objective of each level is just to go right until you reach the goal, while avoiding enemies, enviroment hazards and collecting golden rings. To eliminate baddies, just jump on them, as most classic mascot platformers worked in the early 90s. When you start moving, you’ll begin by just walking, but soon Sonic will start running and he can go quite fast, even being able to run on walls and on the ceiling if he’s able to get enough wind up first. Sonic can also roll on his place and build up speed before launching himself like a fast wheel and can destroy the enemies he hits in this state.
Sonic’s health works different than your average game that has one-hit deaths or heart containers to determine life. Here, when you get hit, you will lose all the rings you’ve collected, and they will get splattered all across the screen. You can get them back or get new ones, and if you have at least one ring collectd, you won’t die when hit. But, if you get hit by an enemy or touch spikes in the level and have zero rings, you lose your life. Sonic also loses a life if he falls into a pit or drowns in the water levels.
At the end of a level, if you have at least 50 rings with you, a Bonus Level will be activated, where you roll Sonic in a sort of pinball style place where you collect lots of rings, and if you manage to reach the middle of the level, you’ll find a special jewel called “Chaos Gem”
Every 3 stages, you’ll face off Dr. Robotnik who will be on a ship trying to hit you with a metal ball or some other device. You defeat him by landing on his head 3 times, a common feature in 16-Bit platformer bosses.
In this mobile version, you can also play as the yellow fox Tails, who’s able to fly like a helicopter by spinning his two tails; plus Knuckles the Echidna, who can glide in the air like a flying squirrel, and also grab on walls and jump from that position.
Sonic The Hedgehog features colorful 2D graphics with a family friendly look, like most mascot games for consoles. The game still holds up by today’s standard, but some people may feel like the resolution is too low, since you can make out the pixels in the game’s elements and some objects in the background look kind of blocky.
The Sega Genesis could only display 256 colors on screen at the same time, but the visual design is truly remarkable, since everything looks vibrant, the characters stand out and no stage looks dull or with washed out colors.
The animation is well done, characters seem to be truly alive, and while they don’t have many different motions to perform, if you stop moving around you can see Sonic and friends idle animations. When you’re going fast, the scrolling looks awesome, and it really shows what “Blast Processing” was back in the day.
Production Quality 60%
Sonic The Hedgehog was a great game with the highest quality possible at the time of its release, but this new mobile port, does not feature much besides the addition of Tails and Knuckles, and if you have it in some other form, it is not worth owning.
Sega Forever is a great idea, being able to play the company classic on your phone or tablet, and it’s a good way to get the new generation of players to get to know it. However, for those who have already played it before on Genesis, PC, or included in a modern console release, they can let this version pass, as they probably prefer to play with an actual controller and not with a touch screen.
Value for your Money 96%
Sonic the Hedgehog is free on Google Play and the Apple App Store. You will see some advertising, and there are in-app transactions, but considering that this game is on Steam at $4.99, being able to download it for free is a sweet deal.
Sonic The Hedgehog is still worth playing after 25 years, and it’s free, so new players can get to know one of the best mascot platformers of the 16-Bits Era. For veteran users, there’s absolutely nothing new to see in this port, but they may get it just for the nostalgia factor.
The original game for free on your phone or tablet
Easy controls, challenging gameplay
Two extra characters with different abilities to explore Sonic’s first adventure
Graphics look dated by today’s standard
Not much was added for those that already finished back in the day