Sonic Dash

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

An endless runner inspired by the success of Temple Run, Sonic is definitely a good fit for the genre and Dash does a good job of making it a Sonic endless runner and not just Temple Run starring Sonic.

Gameplay is simple: Sonic runs forward, you swipe left and right to move across the three “lanes”, jump to jump over obstacles and spin dash to roll under obstacles or defeat enemies. After a section of “track”, you will hit a spring (which can lead to different locations or boss encounters, and you can pick one of three), bank the rings you have collected and carry on. Each time you get to a spring, the rings you have collected will be times by how many springs you have reached in this run. If you hit an enemy, spikes or bomb, you will lose your rings (and get hit again and you’ll die) but hit a wall of some kind and you’ll instantly fail and your score will be counted up.

That’s how it is in theory, but due to microtransactions and adverts it doesn’t work like that. When you die, you can watch an advert or pay in one of the premium currencies (red rings) to come back to life. In order to create a sense of progression, rings can be spent upgrading characters, making abilities and power-ups last longer. You also gain XP by levelling up or completing missions (simple things like “kill X enemies, collect X rings”). The more XP you have, the higher your score multiplier. You can also buy one-off boosts to move you along faster. 

While it’s nice to have progression, these all make the score utterly pointless. There’s no reason to aim for a high score when you can just grind or pay money to get a better score. It turns a simple but fun idea into a game where you play to get rings, so you can spend rings to be able to get more rings.

One nice thing that you do unlock are new areas, based on different zones.  You can choose to start out in any zone you wish, but springs will take you to the other zones. There’s no difference to the gameplay, but they all do look gorgeous and it’s nice to change the environment up. 

Sonic Dash has fun gameplay, but it’s a score-based game which has a meaningless score. It’s nice enough to play every now and then, but you have little incentive to go further than you did last time.

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