What is that round spiky object with red shoes? Sonic of course.
Sonic is most known for his horizontal speed across a number of zones, and environments. Now his world has been turned, and instead of running across plains he gets to bounce upwards on platforms. He has always been a good jumper, but somehow he misses the usage of his red turbo boots. Nevertheless a hedgehog hero has to do what a hedgehog hero has to.
Sonic Jump is a remake of a 2007 game released for a number of mobile phones. I write that first to take the edge of anyone directly thinking it is a copycat Doodle Jump game. Sonic Jump is an original Sega product, and it differs greatly from most vertical jumping games found on iOS. For one it comes with a level structure based on the zones found in Sonic games. You start in the Green Zone, and work your way through 12 levels, or acts, to reach the Mountain Zone. Then you have to pass 12 acts in the Mountain Zone to reach the Jungle Zone. In total there are 36 acts, and the final act in each zone is a boss battle.
The gameplay is all about jumping upwards to reach the act exit. Sonic auto jumps, and you control his movement by tilting your device. Tapping the screen while in the air makes a double jump capable of killing enemies, and reaching far off ledges. I really miss touch controls, especially for the iPad. I have never been a huge fan of tilting in jumping games, and especially when Sonic moves out of the screen on the left, and emerges on the right I get in trouble. Still the tilt controls are quite precise, and Sonic responds well to small motions.
Score is based on coins collected, stars found and speed to reach the top. The rings you collect can be used to purchase powerups. You can also use IAP to purchase more rings. Personally I avoid using the powerups completely to not fall into that IAP trap. You can still enjoy the game fully without spending more than the price of the game.
All acts are challenging, and I really like that there is no randomization to the story acts. Learning how to take the quickest route is quite fun. The boss battles on the other hand are less fun, as you have to keep jumping until you manage to hit Dr. Eggman three times.
Sonic Jump is a real stunner to look at, and especially on the iPhone 5 with longer screen estate it is awesome. Everything about the presentation is polished, and this is by no means a rush job to cash in on the Sonic brand.
With challenging levels in story mode, an even harder arcade mode and promise of a new zone soon Sonic Jump is a true contender to Doodle Jump for the crown. The addition of Jetpack Joyride like missions to complete makes it even harder to put down. I am truly surprised, and actually really glad that Sega has made Sonic Jump a proper standalone game well worth it for both fans, and non-fans of Sonic the Hedgehog.
Sonic Jump $1.99 Universal for iPhone/iPad/iPod
Seller: Sega America