Sonic CD, a fantastic port of one of SEGA’s most beloved franchises lovingly developed with Christian Whitehead, is now available from the app store. Featuring your favorite characters, retro visuals, and lightning fast speeds, Sonic CD is a particularly well-developed port that easily exceeds our expectations.
Sonic CD Pros:
- Sharp retro graphics and super smooth framerate
- US and Japanese soundtracks with classic sound effects
- Simple control scheme that works fairly well, even on the touchscreen
- GameCenter integration for global leaderboards and achievements
Sonic CD Cons:
- Controls can take a bit of adjustment
Sonic’s adventure takes him to Little Planet, a land mass that appears annually and possesses strange space-time properties via Time Stones contained within. Dr. Eggman returns as your archenemy and mastermind behind the twisted plot to steal the Time Stones and wield the power of time at his fingertips. Meanwhile, he’s creating evil robots to assist in his plans. It’s up to our blue hedgehog hero to save the day! Sonic must traverse loops to build speed, inclines to grab major air, and boost pads to propel him through tunnels while collecting rings as he blazes a trail through environments wrought with enemies whose touch will send collected rings up in a golden geyser. Without rings, he is vulnerable to dying at the hands of an enemy, so its imperative to keep as many as possible. Grabbing 100 will earn an extra life, as you’d expect. There are also a number of special powers to obtain by completing levels, and checkpoints will keep you from having to replay entire boards if you skid headlong into a baddie without protection. Sonic CD also includes an interesting time-travel element that allows you to play portions of levels in the past or future, with the state of the world dependent upon your previous actions. You may find yourself in an idyllic and pleasant environment by destroying Eggman’s robofactories in the past, while a cold and industrial future awaits Sonic if he fails in this mission.
Graphically, the original look and feel of the game is intact and nostalgically spectacular. It’s availability on today’s mobile devices gives us the added bonus of sharp graphics and imagery that pops. The animations run as smooth as ever and the gameplay will be familiar to anyone who was alive and playing videogames a couple of decades ago. To have provided gamers with a soundtrack that deviated significantly from the original would have been a major mark against this iteration, so we were delighted to hear the familiar tones and effects. The Japanese version has also been included for those who would like to change the flavor a bit. A virtual d-pad on the left controls Sonic’s movements, and its use in conjunction with the jump button on the right allows you to build up speed in order to make it through the loops and up the inclines. They do take a bit of getting used to, as muscle memory tends to kick in a bit, but it’s nothing that a short time with the game won’t mitigate.
Replay value is terrific, providing a much-appreciated blast from the past with a timeless character and solid gameplay that can make us skip even the most polished and cutting-edge new releases. An included Time Attack mode also provides incentive for gamers to perfect speedruns, and you can unlock Tails for some added fun. GameCenter provides global leaderboards and an achievement system, as well. A universal app on sale for $1.99 (regularly $4.99), Sonic CD is a 4.5-Dimple title that’s worth its weight in gold(en rings).
Sonic CD Review,