The endless runner seems to be made for Sonic, and finally Sega has understood this and created Sonic Dash. The game is instantly familiar with the 3D style, behind the back camera, and plenty of speed, which Sonic is known for. Sonic Dash is more like Subway Surfers than Temple Run with the three lane system allowing you to swipe to move between those three lanes to dodge obstacles, and collect coins. For all intents and purposes, this is just another 3D endless runner, but has Sonic in it, and Sega has really infused the Sonic theme throughout the game.
First off, there’s great pacing throughout with the speed Sonic is known for, and the quick reaction time required that various Sonic games are known for. The game features beautiful 3D graphics with the classic Sonic grasslands and temple environments to run through. There are tons of enemies scattered on the endless course, and Sonic can spin right through them with a simple swipe downwards. Along the way, there are also loops, Sonic homing attack, and special dash move to keep the action going.
Although the game is awfully familiar, it still nails that “one more time” gameplay with a great intrinsic replay factor as well as unique objectives. There’s no doubt you have played this style before, but playing as Sonic with the over gameplay flow really makes it fun and fresh. There are also special power-ups to upgrade, and unlock with a similar set-up to Temple Run 2. The one problem is that no matter how good you make a 3D endless runner, it’s still just an also ran that feels like all the rest, and Sonic Dash doesn’t distinguish itself much beyond the theme. It would be great for the 3D endless runner mechanic to be applied to a platformer, so there would be 40 stages to complete with classic Sonic level layouts, but using the familiar style.
If you just haven’t had enough endless runners, Sonic Dash ($1.99, Universal) is a high quality addition to consider, but it truly feels like another also ran. It’s fun, but too familiar for its own good, and we expect more from Sega than just a Sonic version of Subway Surfers or Agent Dash.