Sonic And Sega All-Stars Racing review
It would be a gross exaggeration to call Sumo Digital the new Sega. Yet its devoted curatorship of Sega's icons and history has captured some of the stardust: these days, Sonic And Sega All-Stars Racing is the closest thing we'll get to old Sega.
And that's no faint praise: anyone who looks sniffily at this because of its obvious inspiration is missing a gem. Players of the console versions will find little new in terms of content (indeed, there are notable omissions like Ulala), but, squeezed-down, the racing doesn't miss a beat.
The karts accelerate automatically, steering is handled by tilting, and two on-screen buttons take care of braking and drifting. The tilt controls are polished to a shine (after steering assist is turned off), responding quickly and with just the right force to subtle movements. And making a drifting system work well with touch controls surely deserves some sort of medal.
If it handles well, what really makes Sega Racing is the amount of content – a daunting lineup of challenges that change up the rules for one-off sessions, nine singleplayer grand prix events, ten characters time trials, local multiplayer, a Sega licence tracking your progress across every game type and doling out rewards, and a shop where you purchase in-game items for in-game money.
There's online multiplayer, too – and Sega Racing's one black mark. It works fine with Game Center friends, but trying to Quick Match against random players saw us spending ages looking at connection screens and error messages. When it works, there's no lag and everything zips along in a chaotic ball, the wonderful colour and charm of Sega's past giving it an irrepresible edge over more generic competition. Sonic And Sega All-Stars Racing is the most fun karting game on iOS, and an update taking care of those online hiccups can only make it more essential.