Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed iOS Review

Gaming

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Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed
Developer:Sumo Digital
Publisher: Sega
Platforms: iPhone (Reviewed), iPad, Android
Release Date: Jan 2nd, 2014
Price: $0.99 – Available on iTunes and Google Play

Overview

Kart Racers are some of the most fun, party-oriented racing games that people can play. For an inconceivable amount of time the title of the best kart racer was undisputedly defended by Mario Kart. That was until Sonic joined the fray with his own racing series – Sonic & Sega All-Stars. Last year’s instalment proved to be a massive hit with console owners and now that fun has been ported over to the mobile platform. Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed is underlined by bright colours, a loveable yet nostalgic cast and awesome level design which all combine together to make the first major kart racer to hit the mobile platform to be by and large a success.

sonic-all-stars-ios-screenshot-03Gameplay

While Sonic & All-Stars doesn’t bring too much new to the world of kart racers, what it does bring is a lot of fun. It all boils down to the standard formula of racing a bunch of colourful characters around a track, while picking up items to impede your opponent’s progress. The game’s single player experience is split into either Grand Prix or World Tour Mode. Grand Prix is the same as you would come to expect from a racing game – pitting you against a bunch of AI-Controlled racers through a series of tracks. World Tour is where the game really gets interesting.

World Tour has you playing against the AI but with slight twists and deviations. Each stage typically has a set challenge or theme to race through. These challenges can range from standard racers to drift challenges or even races that take place entirely in the air. There are five different World Tour campaigns with 8 events in each for a total of 40 events for players to race through.

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While single-player is a big part of the game, this is a racer and that means we need some sweet multiplayer. Luckily Sonic & All-Stars brings it in spades. Players can race alongside their friends through local cross-platform play, or also against strangers across the net using Game Center.

The controls for the game itself can be a little difficult to pick up and play. While most mobile racers have you controlling the direction by tilting the device left or right, All-Stars goes back to the old virtual thumbstick. The thumbstick can be a little unresponsive at times, forcing you to oversteer in order to maneuver your kart properly. Many players will adapt to this rather quickly but it is still a little jarring when you first start playing.

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Visuals & Audio
Sonic & All-Stars is actually a really nice game to look at. While it isn’t pushing the boundaries of the the iPhone’s hardware it features a bright colour pallet and a set of wild and varied race tracks that just look great.

The game features a slew of different racers that showcase not only the sonic family, but also a bunch of Sega heavy hitters. Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph also joins the ensemble with his signature look. Seeing all of these different characters racing against one another is a dream come true for anyone who grew up with the infamous hedgehog and his crew.

The race tracks all look amazing and are completely different from one another. The game keeps you on your toes with level design that changes rapidly (making use of boat and plane transformation mechanics similar to recent Mario Kart titles) leaving you wondering if it was even the same stage to begin with.

The game sounds just as good as it looks. The soundtrack is composed of a bunch of songs that franchise fans will immediately remember and that all manage to fit perfectly with the theme and tone of the game as well as the individual levels. The sound effects of lobbing a firework bomb at your friends are satisfying and reall capture the spirit of the game perfectly.

sonic-all-stars-ios-screenshot-02Overall

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed is an enjoyable kart racer for mobile devices. While I doesn’t bring anything overly new or exciting to the table, what it does present is a lot of fun. Some awkward controls may hinder players initially but you will quickly adapt. The games biggest draw is without a doubt the ability to play online, no matter where you are. Sonic & his friends have definitely made the successful jump from console to mobile.

8-0-capsules-out-of-10

Capsule Computers review guidelines can be found here.

  • Largo Potter

    There are actually 60 world tour events…most of the chapters have more than 8 events. You can also choose to steer with tilt if you like.

    • Andrew Day

      You are absolutely correct on both parts, I put the wrong number in there. Thanks for the pick up! You can also switch to the tilt controls but I wanted to talk about the default control scheme. Still you are correct, thanks for the feedback!

  • Steve Manson

    I hear alot of people saying that this version looks as good (or close to) the Vita’s version.

    Well… They are dead wrong. While it does look good, it lacks much of the small details that you’d find in the Vita version. Don’t get me wrong, it probly runs at a higher resolution on a iPad than the it does on the Vita’s version but there are plenty of comparison videos on youtubr already showing that the Vita’s version runs smoother (better framerate) and so much more detail it’s not even funny…

    Still it’s a great addition to the Android/iOS market and at least it runs and looks much better.than the dreaded 3DS version.

    The thing is that the Vita version of the game uses the same engine as the console versions, the 3DS does not. I am curious (just for the heck of it) if the iOS/Android uses a different engine like the 3DS had to. From the looks of it, it does. I’m sure I’ll find out eventually.

    • Thanks for the feedback! We can certainly find out and get back to you on this one. ~MA

  • VBY

    You forgot to comment about the IAP thingies in the review.

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