It seems that Sonic, and Sega are stuck in the past with their best games behind them. That might not be the case with the new release of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, which is a follow-up on iOS, and comes from the console side of things. It’s another kart racer staring Sonic, and other well known Sega characters in a mad dash to finish, complete with crazy courses, and game changing power-ups. The big new addition to Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed is the ability to transform your race kart into a boat, and airplane to take the racing action to the seas, and sky. It’s a whole new way to play the original Sonic kart racer, as well as any kart racer.
The best part of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed is how seamless the transformations are performed as your kart shifts automatically when a new area is reached. To add to the hectic nature of the game, there are dynamic courses that shift from lap to lap opening up all new aerial and sea faring sequences. There’s never a slow down to the action, but piloting in the air, and in the sea is a little different and requires subtle changes in strategy. It’s a much more engaging kart racer experience, which the genre was in desperate need of as so many different themed versions of Mario Kart have appeared. There’s a whole lot of detail applied to the 3D courses as well, with great variability, beyond the kart transformations. All of the action is controlled through either tilt or touch controls, and you really can’t go wrong with either.
Not only are there multiple ways to play a given race, but there are varying race types beginning with the world tour mode. Each race is in a new location that focuses on either, land, air, or sea racing. There’s also the traditional grand prix mode giving you three consecutive races to compete for a cup. If that wasn’t enough, there are all new daily and weekly challenges, as well as up to four-player online multiplayer. As you play through the different modes, you can unlock additional racers to play as. It’s a feature rich package to say the least giving you a lot of potential play time. One odd inclusion is coins which you need to spend to play at higher difficulties, despite the fact that the game costs $4.99. You earn coins pretty regularly, but the mere inclusion is an unnecessary hindrance.
The one consistency in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed is that there’s non-stop action. Races can change in an instant as a well timed power-up by an opponent can send you from first to fifth in an instant. Medium difficulty and above present much tougher computer players with far greater use of race changing power-ups. Everything is designed to keep you playing through all of the included content, and you will definitely enjoy your time with Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. It’s a brand new way to race, as the course and your vehicle shift as you go, and that impacts every racer. For instance you can be driving on a series of aircraft carriers, which can then lead to plane sequences between ships, or water based travels, all three included within one race.
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed ($4.99, Universal) expertly transforms a stale genre for some fresh kart racing fun that is a must buy in its action packed iOS form.