The endless running genre of games has been done several times and became extremely popular with the release of Temple Run. With the release of Sonic Dash! we see developer Hardlight’s attempt at the endless running genre with everyone’s favourite hedgehog… Sonic The Hedgehog.
So what’s the aim of Sonic Dash!? Well there isn’t an aim of sorts. You have to run as far as you can and gain the highest score possible. This type of game genre is excellent as it leads to quick pick up and play enjoyment and very addictive gameplay, making players come back over and over to gain the highest score they can and beat their mates.
Controls for Sonic Dash! are different to that of Temple Run. Instead of tilting your iOS device to move Sonic left and right the player simply swipes left and right to move Sonic away from danger and this works much better than the controls of Temple Run. The controls are extremely responsive and I never had any issues with the game not picking up which direction I was trying to move Sonic.
Gameplay is enjoyable with Sonic being able to Spin Dash to attack enemies and avoiding obstacles to survive as long as possible. Whilst running players can collect rings which, when hit by an enemy, allow the player to continue a little longer (whilst losing their rings) such as in every Sonic game. The issue I did find with ring collecting is that to save the amount of rings you have collected you must “bank” them. Essentially this is a part of the run where you jump into the air and it stores your current rings and adds this to your collection at the end of the run. Why is this a problem? Well the problem is you can go a long way without a ring bank appearing meaning that if you happen to lose you will not have any of the rings just collected.
Visually Sonic Dash! is beautiful. This game was played on the new retina devices (which may have lead to the game looking even more stunning). The two zones used; the Green Hill Zone and the Seaside Hill Zone look great but sadly you don’t get much time to truly enjoy the beauty and effort that has been put it as you are more occupied with avoiding obstacles! Talking of the two zones, this was one massive problem I had with the game. We’ve all seen Sonic travel through various zones but the developers decided to only include two zones which in all honestly do get boring after some time. I’m hoping that there will be the potential of adding more zones as you progress on so that there are more areas to enjoy as you try to beat the high score your mate left on your device.
So how much does Sonic Dash! cost you? Well I’m happy to say it’s completely free… to download at least. The game uses the ever growing ‘In-App purchases’ addition which is all good but the game can be extremely pushy on purchasing items. An example I had of this was as I had got fairly far on a run. When you die you get given ‘Tips’ and one of these was to “Purchase more rings now to purchase powerups!”. It’s all well and good to try to push this features (as it is their main method of making money on the game) though most of the In-App purchases are easily accomplished by playing the game for a fairly reasonable amount of time. One of the purchases which players may feel is worthwhile is the purchase of extra characters. Tails, Kunckles and Amy can all be purchased in game for a reasonable price (around £10 for all 3 if you decide to go ahead and use money to purchase them).
So let’s look at the Positives and Negatives!
- + Addictive Gameplay, making you come back for more and more
- + Quick pick up and play enjoyment
- + Responsive Controls
- + The endless runner genre fits Sonic perfectly
- + Looks stunning on Retina Display (Current iPad’s/iPhone 4S/iPhone 5)
- – Only two stages; Green Hill Zone and Seaside Hill Zone
- – In-App Purchases are pushy and aren’t really needed to enjoy the game, though it can save you having to play the game to unlock the items
- – On iPod Touch and iPhone you cannot see easily what is coming up ahead, though on the iPad you are easily able to see what is coming up. This causes issues meaning you can die due to not being able to see what’s coming up when running down hill.
Sonic Dash! is an extremely enjoyable title and is one I am happy to have sitting on my iPhone for when I’m travelling to and from places. The main problem I could really find with this game is the fact that there are only two zones included but hey that may be because I was hoping I’d get to see some of my favourite zones appear if I kept playing! If you are a fan of Temple Run and want to try a new endless running genre app I would highly recommend Sonic Dash! especially if you are a huge Sonic fan! To be honest it’s a bundle of fun, but if you don’t take my word for it go ahead and download it for free on the Apple App Store and give it a try yourself.
Make sure to check out the video review on 27th May 2013 (a link will be placed here on the day)
Note: This review was conducted on an iPhone 4S and an iPad.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.