As kart races go, there’s one yet to match the brilliance of Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing. Although the game was released for consoles way back in 2010 the long wait for an Android mobile version has finally come to an end. Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing doesn’t feature pretty pit babes, but there are plenty of happy-go-lucky characters from many of Sonic and SEGA’s older franchises, trendy race tracks, whacky powerups, fun filled competitions and play-modes that brings a lively carnival-like atmosphere to the game.
Before you rush off to the tracks, there are a few mundane paperwork stuff you’ll need to fill up. Input your name, nationality and portrait photo; optionally link to your Google Plus or Facebook account to share your stats with the world. Done? Cool. Now its time for some warm ups.
Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing doesn’t redefine kart racing as such, so although you get to sit in the hot seat as your favorite character, you don’t exactly get to drive your mean machine the way you’d want to. That happens on auto mode, so what you get to do is position and guide your vehicle as it veers across the track, using the tilt controls. As with all racing games, you can warm up with a practice session before you get started, do some drifting and braking and check out a few power ups too. When you’re ready for some real action hit pause, pick your track, and zoom away!
All-Stars Racing can be played straightaway in single player or multiplayer mode. In single player mode, you can go for a single race, a time trial or a four race Grand Prix. But the one where you’re likely to earn a lot of SEGA miles is Missions. Missions range from collecting as many coins as you can(Crazy Coin Grab) to driving through green gates (Crazy Like a Fox), and reaching the finish line while dodging crabs (Seafood Danger).
The character cast is wide ranging from Sonic the Hedgehog to Tails, Dr. Eggman, AiAi, Billy Hatcher and plenty more that you can unlock as you save up your SEGA Miles points. You have some really cool courses to race around as well, ranging from the Samba De Amigo that feels like you’re driving through some exotic Mexican village to the Whale Lagoon that feels like a spin around a water based theme park. Each track is unique, colorful, and lively and you’ll just want to try out all the courses right away. If it wasn’t for the fact that you have to earn SEGA points to unlock more characters and courses, you’ll have run through the entire game without a break!
Get Set Go!
The best part of All Stars Racing is still the racing. The controls are well honed, making it easy for you to wind your way past the tricky turns, insane jumps and crazy traffic. Another exhilarating factor in the race is drifting. Pressing the big yellow button on the screen (at the turns) will build up your boost powers and if you hold it sufficiently long enough, you’ll get an extra burst of speed that can turn the race in your favor (if you can handle it!) Powerups also play a fun role in the game. It helps you cheat your way to the top if you can throw some rocket bombs at front runners or some rainbow goo to block their path. There’s also an All-Star Move that every character can make use of when lagging behind. For instance Sonic can transform into Super Sonic while AiAi can go for a speedy ride on his monkey ball. Anything to win!
The Hits and the Misses
Simply put, All Stars Racing is a game that’s got tons of content waiting to be enjoyed. The game’s controls are perfect, with the race tracks complementing the controls just as well. The powerups and drifting elements are fun and give you a massive edge to win. The visuals are a treat, with lots of detail and color. The soundtracks vary for each course and theme keeping it fresh and interesting. There are options to go multiplayer (if you have a good internet connection) and compete with friends on leaderboards.
Many players have complained about lag issues, but I’ve had no such trouble on my HTC Desire. But, at the time of my review, I couldn’t access a local multiplayer server, couldn’t sign in to Google Services and therefore could not play online. These are issues which can obviously be fixed soon enough, but I’d like to see integration with Google Play Services and controller support as well. That for me would make the playing experience truly awesome. If you love SEGA games, you cannot walk away from this one. If you’re not, you’ll love this one anyway! For just $1.99, Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing is a steal.