App of the Week: 'Sonic Dash'

If you ask me, Sonic the Hedgehog has never been the same since he left the Genesis, but that hasn't stopped Sega from tossing the character in all sorts of games across the major platforms. The latest is "Sonic Dash" for iOS, which sees the Blue Blur doing what he does best, running.

At first glance, "Sonic Dash" may look to be just another "Temple Run," this time with a Sonic the Hedgehog skin, but the game seems to have more in common with "Subway Surfers" than anything else. The reason I say this is because "Sonic Dash" won't have you doing any sideways swiping to make ridiculous 90 degree turns – an aspect of "Temple Run" that's always bothered me for some reason.

The simplicity of the game makes it easy to pick up and enjoy, but it's the familiar setting and characters that really drew me in. The world is undeniably Sonic's, with all of the classic enemies and obstacles you'd expect. Choose the right path and you may even find yourself sending Sonic through one of those classic loops. Best of all, players can unlock Tails, Knuckles and Amy as playable characters by earning red coins.

Gameplay is pretty straightforward – Sonic starts running and we have to swipe between three lanes to help the chili-dog aficionado make his way under, over and around various obstacles and baddies. Along the way, in similar fashion to many Sonic games, you'll be collecting coins, which can be used to unlock power-ups and other bonuses. There is a catch however – at certain points during the run players will come to a checkpoint where they can decide to either “bank” their coins, or choose a different route that could lead to a loop or another area of the world. If you had recently lost your coins by slamming into an enemy, the choice is simple. But, those times when you have to chose whether or not you want to risk taking your coins further down the path will be a little tense.

Overall the game is a great time killer, especially considering how well the world of Sonic the Hedgehog fits in the endless runner genre. That's not to say I'm without complaints. My biggest gripe with Sonic Dash is the price tag, which is set at $1.99. Sure, two bucks really isn't a big deal, but I feel that at least one of the other characters should be unlocked right off the bat with that entry fee. Then again, that could just be me whining because I really want to play as Knuckles.

Sonic Dash is available now for iPhone and iPad via iTunes. According to SonicStadium.org, the Sega website recently had Android listed as a platform, but it looks like that has unfortunately been removed.

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