You all know Sonic, the blue hedgehog who can run faster than even the Appys team upon hearing words ‘free bar’. Well he’s back in a new 2D series dashing across a 12 acts to retrieve some precious Choas Emeralds. Naturally, Dr Eggman is involved.
Let’s make no bones about this, Sonic has had a checkered history since the Sega Mega Drive went out of fashion. His 3D Adventure series did him no favours and despite the success of Sonic Advance, the critter who was once Mario’s greatest rival is no longer a major league video games contender. To stem this tide of diminishing returns, Sonic 4 is a deliberate attempt to hark back the hedgehog’s glory days.
Instead of creating one full game for download, Sonic 4 is split into episodes of which there are two so far. We weren’t so keen on Episode II but Episode I looked awfully tempting when we picked up our BlackBerry PlayBook today. Much to our surprise, it proved quite a tasty download and that has a lot to do with the form factor of RIM’s tablet. With its dinky 7-inch screen you don’t have to strain to reach any touchscreen buttons but there’s plenty of real estate to see what you’re playing.
The app itself contains 4 zones each offering 3 proper levels and a boss battle. They’re well-designed with the emphasis on speedy gameplay which is just as well since this is a Sonic app after all. Most of the levels are re-runs of classic zones like Casino Street [Carnival Night] and Splash Hill [Green Hill]. Still, that’s exactly what we expected from an app that’s designed to stoke our retro fire.
While Sonic 4: Episode I isn’t packed to the brim with surprises, it does delivers a decent experience. In fact, the main stumbling block to you giving it a download will be its £7 price tag which is ludicrous. Especially, when you can download the app for £2.49 if you own an iPhone or iPad.
Sonic 4: Episode I lives up to the standards of Sonic Advance and feels right at home on the BlackBerry PlayBook. Problem is whether you’re willing to meet its £7 asking price.