Sonic finally got an opportunity to really put his feet to the concrete with Sonic Dash for mobile. The hedgehog was born to run, so it’s kind of surprising it took him so long to wind up in his own endless running game. Unfortunately, the final product is a bit dull and not entirely worth the long wait. Sonic ought to fit into mobile gaming’s most popular genre as neatly as a hedgepig fits in a British garden, but Sonic dash is an average endless runner in a market that’s already overrun with mediocre offerings.
Run, Hedgehog, Run
Sonic’s mission in Sonic Dash is pretty clear: Run. He dashes through the length of a single classic level, Seaside Hill from Sonic Heroes. On his way, he needs to collect as many rings as possible, because that’s what a sonic hedgehog does.
Sonic Dash does include some gameplay tricks native to the Sonic universe. If you swipe down, Sonic becomes a spiky ball of doom that can run over badniks and slide under tight fits. If he gets hit by an enemy, coins spill with a golden jangle, but he can keep running as long as he’s carrying at least one ring. If Sonic loses everything, or if he falls down a pit, he must start his run over again – unless he wants to cough up some red rings, elusive items that serve as the game’s hard currency.
Unsurprisingly, Sonic Dash peddles the purchase of red rings at every opportune moment. Red rings are not easy to come by when Sonic’s on the road, but they’re necessary if you want to unlock the game’s coolest content, including characters like Amy Rose, Knuckles, Blaze the Cat, and Tails. You might be able to grind for the red rings required to purchase Sonic’s friends (starting from 30 rings and up), but Sonic Dash is more interested in having you open your wallet.
Frown for the Camera
The question is whether or not you’ll enjoy Sonic Dash on a level that’ll make you want to spend money on it. Sure, we have rings, Sonic-centric moves, and the occasional boss from the Sonic universe (the Deadly Six from the recently-released Sonic Lost World are currently making an appearance), but it’s still not enough to make for a really distinct endless runner. It’s the same breed of twitch gaming you engaged in when Temple Run became a hit back in 2011.
Sonic Dash’s camera doesn’t do it any favors, either. Sonic moves too quickly for his own good. The sense of speed is exhilarating for a time, or at least until all the twists and turns in the road make it difficult to see what’s up ahead. Even worse are the jumps over gaps that have objects on the other side. More often than not, enemies are hiding out here, and you don’t have enough time to react before you lose all your rings and / or get chucked back to the starting line.
Hardcore Sonic fans may enjoy Sonic Dash simply for the thrill of running with the wind in their quills. Anyone looking for something truly different out of an endless runner need not bother, however.