Sonic The Hedgehog is known for two things: endless running and hoovering up gold rings. Sonic Dash is about two things: endless running and hoovering up your pound coins. Sega should be commended for belatedly entering the genre that is an obvious, perfect fit for its mascot, with a polished riff on Temple Run. It’s unfortunate, however, that the team behind Sonic Dash hasn’t done a better job of balancing the experience for players uninterested in paying more than the £1.49 entry fee.
Whether on the menu screen or in-game, you’re rarely more than a couple of taps away from a prompt to make an in-app purchase for everything from new characters (you begin only with Sonic and need to amass some serious red coin currency to earn the next character in line, Tails) to the ability to continue after hitting a brick wall. It would be more excusable where it not for the frequency with which you’ll need to resort to a Continue in Sonic Dash as you hop, slide and boost around a three-lane track which frequently looks spectacular on current-gen Apple devices.
Gorgeous and silky smooth it may be, but the level design feels like it was made with in-app Continue purchases specifically in mind, hiding enemies cruelly – and punishingly – behind obstacles, preventing the game from flowing and dazzling as it clearly has the potential to. Accomplished and beautiful, then, but Sonic Dash shows that, for Sega, learning from the competition comes at a price – one it’s passed onto its fans.
Sonic Dash is available on the App Store for £1.49 / $1.99.