Sonic the Hedgehog is known for his running, but this is one speedster who deserves credit for his jumping abilities. Those skills get showcased in Sonic Jump, which follows the anthropomorphic adventurer as he once again takes on his old foe, Dr. Eggman (aka Dr. Robotnik). With light speed leaps and launches, Sonic climbs to the top of climate-themed zones in his quest to free captured critters.
Are you ready to spring into action? Learn more about Sonic’s latest escapade after the jump.
Reaching New Heights
Sonic Jump is a reboot of a mid-2000s game with the same name. Now, just like then, Sonic moves skyward, collecting rings and bouncing off baddies to save the day. Along the way he’ll collect stars, try to avoid spikes and battle bosses.
In the Story mode, Sonic’s vertical challenge is to reach the top of each of the 12 stages within the three zones (Green Hill, Mountain and Jungle, and it’s been promised that more are coming soon). Sonic practically floats as he hops from one hovering platform to the next, careful to not double-bounce on rocky formations that crumble after they are first touched.
Another big challenge is that once Sonic has progressed higher up through a stage, he can’t go back down. So if a platform has already moved down and off the screen, it’s no longer in play — and Sonic will meet an unfortunate demise if he tries to step on it!
Scenes in Sonic Jump circle around from left to right. So, if Sonic jumps out of frame on the left side of the screen, he will end up landing on the right, and vice versa.
For Sonic, the only way to go is up, but who said that jaunt would be easy? Be prepared to dodge downward-pointing spikes and flying fiends.
Robo-monsters will definitely be in the way, too, but there are plenty of helpful tools that can make the journey easier, including temporary shields that block attacks and magnets that attract rings. Want to make sure those rings aren’t lost if you get attacked by a villain? There are a few safes along the way where Sonic can deposit his earnings. (Speaking of rings, use them to buy power-ups, such as a bounce-back net, or to unlock characters, including Sonic’s pals Tails and Knuckles.)
Moving Sonic Sky High
On top of avoiding pitfalls and bad guys, players will have to maneuver Sonic, who is always in a state of motion. In this game, Sonic constantly jumps. It’s up to you to make sure he lands where you want him to go.
A tilt of your iOS-enabled device will move Sonic aggressively toward the left or the right and still platform to moving platform, getting him into position for his next big jump.
Speaking of big leaps, note that a double tap on the screen will enable the blue speedster to spring himself much higher into the air, making seemingly unreachable spots that much easier to get to.
Go Airborne in Arcade Mode
Arcade levels are infinite — they will continue for as long as you can keep Sonic in the sky. Here, your goal is to keep climbing to the top and master the tricky jumps that come your way in these ever-changing environments.
Players can also try to complete missions, such as jumping on a platform 10 times or collecting a certain number of rings, to earn rewards. These and other missions can also be accomplished in Story mode.
Though the Arcade mode is playable upon purchase, completing stages in Story mode will unlock more levels and scenery. Beyond that, Arcade mode is an effective way to build up your skills in Sonic Jump, so don’t be afraid to put in some practice.
More On the Way
A number of features are not immediately available within Sonic Jump. As mentioned before, add-on characters can only be unlocked later in the game and require a certain number of rings to gain access. Though Tails and Knuckles are known to be playable in this version, there will apparently be more friends from the Sonic Universe added in future updates. Additionally, some levels have not yet been included in the game. According to Sega, those same future updates will also feature new levels that can be downloaded for free.
Other tools that will make the game easier must also be unlocked. That’s not too surprising, but there’s also a mysterious Coming Soon box that appears within the shopping cart. It will be interesting to see what further additions might be included in future upgrades.
There’s another feature that might improve the game’s ease. Sonic Jump is optimized for the iPhone 5, so taller screens could provide a better scope of the upward environments, though the iPad version also offers helpful vantage points.
Falls Flat or Rises To the Top?
The thing about game franchises such as Super Mario Bros., Legend of Zelda and Mega Man is that they may churn out a mediocre title every now and then, but overall, the series are still pretty good. Sonic the Hedgehog is a member of that elite club and Sonic Jump manages to be a worthy addition to his catalog. Despite being a rehash of an older game, this Sonic adventure has a crisp feel and looks great. It’s also features Sonic’s abilities in a way that’s different from his other games, but in a natural progression that won’t alienate fans.
Sonic Jump is challenging and an enjoyable deviation of the Sonic franchise that fans — both casual and die-hard — will love.