It’s hard to believe that the mobile title Sonic Dash is almost five years old. With over 100 million downloads and two sequels under its belt, the endless runner certainly shows no signs of stopping. To celebrate its anniversary, the official SEGA HARDlight Twitter account made a brief teaser video as to what they’d be doing to celebrate the occasion. Dialing up a certain spherical gaming icon, Bandai Namco tweeted a follow-up where none other than Pac-Man picked up the phone. Though they had previously tangled in the world of Super Smash Bros., the two titans have teamed up for a crossover that conveniently fits in your pocket.
Updating the app on your device of choice, players can now unlock Pac-Man for a limited time. Your vintage badniks have been replaced with the classic ghosts, and using the dash move even turns them blue! Sadly, we don’t get to see Pac-Man’s smiling face tackle Dr. Eggman, the evil genius being replaced with a giant ghost named Bash. Wearing a crown, the only guess is that maybe he’s a supercharged Inky? Though he doesn’t seem very bashful anymore if that’s the case.
Instead of being content with just one mascot hopping into another’s game, the two companies have gone that extra mile and done their own video game exchange program. Not only is Pac-Man running about Seaside Hill chompin’ on ghosts, Sonic the Hedgehog has jumped into the mobile version of Pac-Man. Running about a maze version of Green Hill Zone, the classic Motobug rolls about trying to stop Sonic from getting those rings and his animal friends. In Pac-fashion, the red badnik rolls about with pink, blue, and yellow variants, and turn that dark shade of blue if Sonic grabs an invincibility item box. Heck, one of the mazes even has the word “run” in it, so you know what’s up.
As with Sonic Dash, the Sonic maze in Pac-Man is only available for a limited time, so be sure to download both as soon as possible. Though with this new development, there’s one thing to consider…since both these games have had cross-promotions with HelloKitty, how long until we get the ultimate crossover with all three having wacky adventures and solving mysteries? You know you want it to happen.
Multiplayer Showcase is the review show where you get to see me and some friends of mine play multiplayer games that have been long forgotten and give it a proper analysis by sharing our opinions on the game in a roundtable discussion to see how things have held up for gaming’s past brightest stars and lowest points.
This episode compares the boxing gloves to the green shells with the Mario Kart-inspired Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing. I never got to play this game much with friends locally. I’ve certainly played it online some time ago, but as you might recall, there are limitations added when playing online, so playing with a group of people with everything unlocked lets everyone dig in for some four player action coupled with SEGA nostalgia.
Originally, I was just going to throw up a clip of The Critics’ Jay Sherman just saying his trademark line of “It stinks!” but that would be simply broadside-ing with an elephant gun what at its core is a good game wrapped up in layers of garbage, like one of those Babushka figurines.
So, let’s talk Sonic Runners. Even though Sonic Dash is still very much a thing and is celebrating 100 million downloads by shoe-horning in a brand it has no business even associating with in Angry Birds, Sonic Team decided it wanted to take a stab at this crazy bizarre world known as mobile freemium development.
Enter Runners. Simple enough premise: Sonic and friends run to the right and collect gems and rings through an obstacle gauntlet of spikes, enemies, dash rings, pits, loops–you name it. At the end of each segment, Sonic encounters Eggman hauling a stash of goodies and is tasked with smacking that old greedy capitalist of all his money for your own purposes. Then the level speeds up and repeats with a more difficult layout. Rinse and repeat two more times to max speed until you eventually die.
Throughout this, you’re treated to very simple stories of Team Sonic helping out Animal friends, lost Chao, and even scared groups of Wisps in their battle to stop Dr. Eggman from whatever anti-environmental/furry critter plot he’s hatching for that chapter. It may sound like I’m complaining or ready to just eviscerate the game, but this isn’t the case.
SEGA announced at the Sonic birthday event that’s taking place at Tokyo Joypolis that Sonic Runners will launch worldwide on June 25th. Despite only launching in Japan and Canada, the game has had a decent success up to now with more than 500,000 people having played it already. As of right now there’s little information about the worldwide release, but it’s safe to assume that it will launch on both iOS and Android.
Okay, so it turns out that this is an in-game event that’ll go on for three weeks, in which you can unlock a different Angry Birds Epic character each week by collecting tokens. That, or you can just buy them. These includes Red ‘Knight’, Chuck ‘Mage’ and Bomb ‘Pirate’. You’ll still be able to use keep using these characters even after unlocking them. This event will be on all three platforms: iOS, Android and Windows Phone.
So uh, yeah, medieval Angry Birds characters in a Sonic game. Just in case for if you weren’t weirded out already by the Sonic Twitter suddenly becoming a lot more meta.
Sonic Retro forum member woun has been uncovering a plethora of data contained in the recently soft launched Sonic Runners. The new assets reveal upcoming characters and events that will take place in future episodes of the game. While several characters were shown off in the game’s latest trailer, new surprises include Metal Sonic and Big the Cat! Sorry, had to include an exclamation point, because c’mon… it’s Big the Cat!
Also revealed are upcoming events featuring characters and locations from Sonic and the Secret Rings, Shadow and Omega with creepy glowing purple eyes, and what appears to be Metal Espio and Metal Eggman. You can see woun’s findings as they come over at the Sonic Retro forums.
[UPDATE: Read below for a lovely write up by forum member Roybertito about the game and some of its nuances.]
As seems to be the case with mobile games and their oblong release dates, Sonic Runners bursts out of the warp zone and onto your friendly local digital shop. There are some caveats, however.
As of this time of writing, I am unable to download the title on any of my three Android devices (a Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 2013 running on the latest version of Licorice, and an Xperia X10 running on Gingerbread) on the Google Play Store but those on the Apple side of the digital world have already gotten the game running. Interestingly, the version released is marked as 1.0.0t, representing it’s a test build. Of course, the humor isn’t lost in the event that another Sonic related thing was leaked early, as has seemingly become a trend in some capacity.
Regardless, early reports show the game plays like an auto runner ala Rayman Jungle Run with you in control of Sonic and friends’ movements as they zip through the grassy knolls of Sonic Lost World’sGreen Hill Recolor #29 Windy Hill Zone. And if that isn’t enough to tickle your free-to-play mobile game fancy, plenty of microtransactions are included! One such, as posted over on Sonic Stadium’s Twitter via H Hog, invites players to invite their friends to play the game for a bounty of red star rings and the chance to play as series fan girl and general annoyance, Amy Rose. But only if you get 10 friends to join the game!
Remember, we’re dealing with normal Amy here, not arguably better Boom Amy.
Regardless, with the game now on the shops and playable on the iOS side of things, it’ll only be a matter of time before Android users can join in on the fun and advertising.
SEGA gives us our first glimpse at what Sonic Runners actually looks like with this new gameplay trailer showcasing Sonic, Knuckles and Tails running through worlds from Sonic Lost World.
It also teases that a bunch of other characters will be in the game, including Shadow, Amy and Vector. Aside from that, there appears to be some sort of story mode that includes boss battles with Eggman, and Chao return as support characters that seemingly affect the way you’ll play the game.