There are two reasons that Sonic Jump will feel familiar to you. Reason one is because it’s a Sonic game; you collect rings, defeat Dr Eggman and rescue cute animals. Reason two is that chances are you’ll have played one of the games that Sonic Jump is essentially a clone of, such as Doodle Jump. Now here’s the interesting thing. Reason one cancels out reason two and makes Sonic Jump one of the better additions to the franchise.
The story of Sonic Jump is simple; Dr Eggman has again kidnapped some cute furry creatures to turn into his evil robots. Sonic must battle through three (initial) levels to rescue them – Green Hill, Mountain Zone and Jungle Zone. You’ll play through 12 rounds in each of the first three levels, with the twelfth round being a battle with Eggman. There are more levels to come at a later date and there is also the arcade mode which is a never ending climb to see how far you can get.
Sonic moves through each round automatically and vertically. You control the direction of his jumps by tilting the device left or right and you’re able to do a double jump by tapping on the screen. The constant climb upwards has created one of the simplest Sonic games for a while.
Most fans of the Little Blue Blur will tell you that want only two things from Sonic, speed and rings, and while the first level isn’t the most taxing (Green Hill Zones never are!), once you reach Mountain Zone the game moves from being a simple jumping game to a more precise dance around a host of dangers. Disappearing ledges, platforms that rotate and drop you, rock falls, enemies and a multitude of those game ending spikes means that by the time you reach Jungle Zone you may have invented a few new swear words.
Graphically the game is beautiful. New Sega studio Hardlight has done a fantastic job of bringing Sonic to life with a simple design that harkens back to Sonic’s earlier days. The soundtrack also brings back some nostalgic Sonic memories as everything from the background music, the ring collecting sound effect and the enemy popping sounds are just perfect for the game.
As you make your way through the game you’ll collect the gold rings that the franchise is known for. The difference is now you can spend them in the games store where you can exchange them for items to help you, such as bounce back nets if you fall, magnets to attract more rings, shields to protect you from harm and bombs to destroy enemies.
You’ll unlock the items as you increase your level by completing in game missions such as defeating a certain amount of enemies, double jumping a number of times or finishing a round in a set amount of time.
Sonic Jump may not be the greatest game available for your mobile device, but it is one of the best Sonic games to come around in a while. Sonic is best when he’s stripped down to the bare bones, no convoluted plot fines, Werehog transformations and no endless cast of annoying secondary characters. Just a blue hedgehog and the open road, or in this case, skies.
+ Beautifully done
+ Exactly what a Sonic game should sound like
+ Simple with great “pick up and play” style
- Some people may find it repetitive
Sonic Jump is out now on the App Store for iOS devices.