Sonic CD iPad Review

These days, Sonic the Hedgehog games are hit and miss. You just cross your fingers and hope Sega doesn't trip over its feet, as it has the past ten years.

The 90s were a different story. No offense to Nintendo's Mario, but Sonic was king. Nearly everything bearing his name provided a quality experience. Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Sonic & Knuckles. Heck, even Sonic Spinball was fun.

Sonic CD, though, was the cream of the proverbial crop. Here was a phenomenal game featuring CD quality audio and a fun time switching mechanic, appearing on the company's ill-fated Sega CD.

It was a shame, because once that platform died, Sonic CD fell into obscurity. In fact, Sega didn't re-release this 1993 gem to the masses until 2005 (there was a more obscure 1996 PC release) in Sonic Gems Collection for PlayStation 2 and GameCube.

On that note, we're proud to announce the company has finally delivered the definitive version of Sonic CD across multiple platforms, including iOS in one of the best iPhone and iPad (yes, it's universal) games of 2011, which you can download for a mere $1.99.

If you played Sonic's older titles, there's little about Sonic CD that'll surprise you. It follows the Sonic conventions, where you blast through a variety of stages destroying robots, collecting gold rings, flying off jump pads and spinning through loops.

That said, it's pure retro goodness. The aforementioned time feature lets you visit the past to fix the future, thereby preventing grim stages full of enemies. You simply run run through one of the signs that say "Past" or "Future."

In addition, Sega implanted pseudo 3D bonus stages that clearly laid the groundwork for Sonic Adventure on Dreamcast, along with animated cut scenes. It's also worth noting this game marked the debuts of both the evil Metal Sonic and Amy Rose, Sonic's crazed stalker; she means well, of course.

Thing is, calling this a port would be a great injustice. Sega didn't shoehorn the game onto iOS without much thought. Instead, it partnered with a talented programmer named Christian Whitehead to implement a whole new emulator.

The result is a perfect translation with extras, like the ability to play as Tails, and switch to both the Japanese and U.S. soundtracks.

In fact, the only thing that bugs us is the inability to move the d-pad and A buttons around the screen. It's too easy to lose track of thumb placement. As for the controls, by the way, they're about as good as you'll find in a 2D platformer.

All told, Sonic CD was a masterpiece long before it appeared on the App Store. This wonderful mobile version only helps solidify its standing as one of the greatest video games of all time.

Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.1.3 or later.

Download Sonic CD

What's Hot: The sharpest and most colorful 2D iOS graphics we've seen on, excellent controls, playing as Tails, switching between soundtracks, time traveling ups the value, universal, achievements, $1.99.

What's Not: Cannot drag buttons around the screen, bothersome pinball flippers.

5/5