Sonic CD is an updated version of the classic game that was originally developed in 1993 for the Sonic the Hedgehog series on the Sega CD. It’s been brought to iOS with gameplay optimized for the iPhone and the iPad, Retina Display support, and the inclusion of both the U.S. and Japanese soundtracks.
In Sonic CD, Sonic travels to Never Lake to see the once-per-year appearance of Little Planet, which is a mysterious world where past, present, and future collide because of the time stones within it. Of course, evil Dr. Eggman has stolen the time stones and the power of Little Planet, and Sonic must travel through time to stop him.
Though I did own a Sega Genesis and I did play a few of the original Sonic the Hedgehog games, I never played Sonic CD, so this content was new to me. Graphically, it looks like an old Sega game, which sure brings back memories.
The game plays the same too, with a directional pad on the left and a jump button on the right. The controls are more sensitive than they would be with a controller, but they’re simple, easy to use, and non-distracting from gameplay (though they still have some issues – see below). Spinning is still done by holding the down button and hitting jump.
As in all Sonic games, you zoom through levels grabbing as many gold rings as possible. Getting hit by spikes or monsters still causes an explosion of rings, but as long as you have a ring on you, it won’t cause death. If you do run out of rings and die, you have three lives, so it’s not quite game over.
I can remember being frustrated in difficult-to-maneuver environments in many Sonic games, and there is no exception here. There are some irritating areas, namely the pinball levels which were an annoyance. It’s much harder to navigate through certain obstacles without a traditional controller. I got stuck in one area that was so frustrating that I had to turn my iPad off before I hurled it at the wall. And I am a patient gamer.
Power ups will allow you to run even quicker or fly right through enemies, and boss fights are still every bit as fun as they were back in the day. There are some modern additions to the game, like GameCenter integration with leaderboards and achievements to earn, plus a time attack mode where the goal is to get through levels as quickly as possible.
What I liked: I love revisiting games from my past, and this port is really well done. It looks great visually, the music is good, and the game plays smoothly on both my iPad 2 and iPhone 4.
What I didn’t like: As I said, I had a difficult time navigating through some areas of the game because touch screen controls just don’t work like a controller does. I still think the controls are decent though, overall. It’s more environmental than control based. Many folks in the App Store are having issues with a black screen, so if you have an older device, I’d wait for an update before purchasing.
To buy or not to buy: If you’re a fan of classic games, you need Sonic CD. It’s a great game that is well worth the cost, even if it does have a few flaws.
- App Name: Sonic CD
- Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
- Category: Games
- Developer: Sega
- Price: $2.99