Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

  • Original Platform: Android/iOS
  • Version Played: Android
  • Where to get: Play Store, iOS store

Surprisingly, it took SEGA 10 years in between releases of Sonic Olympic games on mobile devices, and this was the first one available on Android devices. While it uses some assets from the Switch game, the structure of the game is completely different.

In Sonic at the Olympic Games, Dr Robotnik has decided to take over Tokyo, agreeing to Sonic’s challenge that if Sonic wins in events, Dr Robotnik will cancel his plans. Dialogue is presented in mobile phone text bubbles, and is cheesy but enjoyable.

The challenges are scattered throughout different areas of Tokyo, with a lovely isometric 2D map serving as a background. You’ll tackle these one at a time, trying to get at least a bronze to progress. You’ll be playing the whole game as Sonic, but once a challenge is completed, you can re-try them as a couple of other unlocked characters (provided you have unlocked them).

Some events have special versions that you will encounter a lot (some are just special versions, like BMX), which involve rings, enemies, springs and powers. This does feel like a Sonic Olympic game rather than just an Olympic game with Sonic in it. A lot of the events are quite fun, and are very short so can be played in quick bursts.

I really enjoyed Speed Climbing, where you have to “throw” Sonic into the direction of the next handhold (avoiding enemies and timing right for moving handholds), as well as Badminton which is surprisingly tactical, letting you use a “slow motion” to get into place for more difficult slots. You automatically move (like Wii sports), but it adds a little something to it. Diving is also a lot of fun, picking the angle of your jump to hit springs, performing additional mid-air jumps and then trying to swipe down as straight as possible.

Not all events are great, shooting is horrible to control, you have to drag to aim and let go to shoot, but it feels way too slow and imprecise, and you pretty much need to get a near-perfect score to get bronze. I also can’t get to grips with fencing, as the controls feel inconsistent. It’s possible to skip a challenge if you can’t complete it, but you have to fail it five times and spend “TP”. TP is gained whenever you complete a challenge, but some challenges require you to spend large amounts of it to wipe your supply. After around 70 challenges, I encountered an extremely difficult shooting challenge and it felt like a good place to stop – although if none of the other Sonic mobile games grab my attention, I may return.

You can boost how much TP you get, these seem to be on-off purchases that give you a permanent upgrade to how much TP you earn. There are no temporary boosts, items, and not time-gates that you can use premium currency to remove, so Sonic at the Olympic Games does not feel greedy. You can also buy additional background music to replace the original music, and I may have bought the pack which includes Can you Feel The Sunshine?

There also a few mini games you will encounter, such as one based on Sonic Jump, a quiz and a crane game, which are nice distractions.

The biggest issue with Sonic at the Olympic Games, however, is that doing anything needs an internet connection. There were a few times where my internet dipped, and I had to wait ages for the loading screen to finish. It makes it a game more to play at home instead of out and about due to that.

I was pleasantly surprised by Sonic at the Olympic Games. It’s a decent mobile game that doesn’t feel like it’s constantly asking for money, which makes it leaps and bounds above most mobile games. In terms of classic video game companies, there’s another whose mobile games are savagely greedy, so in terms of making a respectful mobile game, it seems that Sega does what Nintendon’t.

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