Sonic Dash – Maybe a Run too far for Sonic?

It’s fair to say that the Temple Run games and their clones such as Survival Run with Bear Grylls have proven that the endless running games are not only popular but perfect for playing on smartphones and tablets. Whether it’s swiping your finger on the screen or tilting the device to interact with the character it’s easy to play and strangely addictive. On the negative side they also work well with microtransaction systems pushing the player to make payments to gain extra chances in the game and power ups. It was only a matter of time before known game characters started to appear.

Sonic the Hedgehog is the type of character that has fans who are obsessed, they’ve collected his merchandise and played his games almost all of their lives. This is why it’s no surprise whether good or bad that he’d turn up in a game like Sonic Dash. He’s the mascot for Sega so has turned up in many games that fans would rather forget about, so even if this is bad they’ll probably just accept it. With a character like Sonic who is all about running and speed you would think that he would be perfect for this type of game, in many ways he is.

Story
As with most endless running games the story is pretty much non-existent, the object here is just to run and keep on running. As with previous games it’s a case of collecting rings and using Sonic’s speed to make progress through the levels. Fitting in with game model you also need to swipe the screen to jump and duck, also to move left and right on the road. Strangely though there is no tilting the device in this one it’s all on screen interaction.

Features
As with a lot of his games there are quite a few characters now. When you start the game you’ll get a choice of players, though not that many. The choice between Sonic, Tails, knuckles and Amy does give a little variety, but you’ll have to unlock the characters (other than Sonic) to be able to play as them. Now for the downside, the unlocking comes at a price. This is where microtransactions come in.

Sonic Dash, although not free is a game that pushes you to make microtransactions in quite a big way. It wants you to buy rings so that you can make quicker progress, which to be fair is something the other endless running games do too but at least the Temple Run games are free. As with Temple Run though you don’t have to make payments you’ll just have to take your time in collecting normal and red rings to make progress.

Gameplay
As mentioned the interface to the game is all touch screen based. To move left and right it’s just a case of swiping in the direction that Sonic needs to go. When required to jump an upwards swipe makes him jump while downwards makes him duck under obstacles. As you can tell this is the typical controls of games like Temple Run so won’t be anything unusual for people who’ve already played them. Even Sonic fans who’ve not experienced it before will easily pick it up.

Verdict
For a Sonic game this feels quite lazy, but it will kill a few hours. I’m not sure if it’s got the staying power for fans to keep with it though and it’s obvious that pushing people into microtransactions when they’ve already paid for the game may put some off. I’m sure there are plenty of Sonic fans out there though that will buy this just for his name, and will probably enjoy the way that it replicates the 3D feel of some of the games he’s been in. I’m also sure though that Sonic fans expect more of their favourite characters and may give this one a pass.

Sonic Dash is available for iOS devices with Android coming soon.