Published on January 14th, 2013 | by Duke0915
Review: Sonic Jump
Developer: Hardlight Studio
System(s): iOS, Android Release Date(s): October 18, 2012 (iOS), December 21, 2012 (Android )
Sonic Jump was originally released back in 2006 for mobile phones as part of the Sonic Cafe service offered by Sega; as well as the Sega Mobile service in the USA and Europe. I remember playing the game when it first came out and it was, well…yeah. Fast-forward to the year 2012, the game gets a remake for iOS and Android devices with a few new additions. The game is very simplistic, and packs a lot of content for a mobile game, but is it any good?
Games in the Sonic the Hedgehog series generally revolve around a mix of platforming and speed, but the latter is completely nonexistent. You take control of Sonic by tilting your mobile device, while Sonic himself jumps automatically. You can also tap the screen to double jump after jumping from the ground, or being launched from a spring. The levels have a vertical structure with the start of the level being at the bottom, and the goal post being located at the top. Along the way there are obstacles such as buzz saws, badniks, and false platforms to try to slow down your progress. Rings are collected in each level, and whatever you have at the end of a level is added to your total. There are also banks in levels, where you can deposit your rings into your overall total, which means that even if you die or fall off screen, any rings deposited in the bank are kept.
Your accumulated rings can be used in the in-game shop. You can buy more characters, such as Tails, Knuckles, and Amy, who each have their own unique attributes. There are also purchasable power-ups including the shield, which protects you from damage. Some of the things that are in the shop require you to be a certain level though, and you’ll need to complete missions in order to do so.
Missions in the game range from completing a level without double jumping, to defeating a certain number of badniks. Each time you complete a mission you’re awarded emblems that are seen as experience. Once you reach a certain criteria, you level up, and gain more access to items and characters. There are some missions that seem near impossible; and in a rare case such as that you can use rings to skip the mission. One issue I have with this system though is that you’ll generally need thousands of rings for one thing, and though I don’t mind playing through levels again it can take quite a bit of time to get the rings you need. However, you can opt to purchase rings with your own money, or even unlock everything, but honestly, what’s the fun in that?
The game contains two play modes; Story Mode and Arcade Mode. The latter has you run through randomly created levels that continue endlessly, and end when you fall or get hit without any rings. Story mode has you play through four different zones with twelve acts each; 10 action zones and two boss battles with Dr. Eggman. Once you reach the end of an act you’re given a rank based on how quickly you reach the top; D being the lowest rank, and S being the highest. Both modes play smoothly, however, their is the issue of lapping around the screen. You can lap around by moving your character off the screen to the left or right, and they’ll appear on the opposite side. I found myself lapping around by accident trying to land on platforms near the edge of the level, and has led to several accidental deaths, which is quite annoying.
Sonic Jump, while not a traditional Sonic game, is an enjoyable mobile game with the feeling of a Sonic game. There’s loads of content for you to mess around with, and the game will continue to grow. More characters, including Vector the Crocodile, Shadow the Hedgehog, and Cream the Rabbit are planned to be playable in a future update, along with an extra zone and bonus missions. I can’t say that everyone will enjoy unlocking everything though, as you’ll need to hold on to thousands of rings for just one item or character. Aside from that and the occasional lapping issues, this is definitely a game for Sonic fans, and I highly recommend this one for anyone who enjoys gaming on their mobile device.
+ Variety of characters
+ Loads of content
+ More content on the way
+ Neat power-ups
– Lapping around the screen is disorienting at times
– Some missions are cryptic
– Amount of rings for purchases is a bit much at times
Final score: 4.25 out of 5