Sonic Mania

8 Overall Score
Graphics: 8/10
Gameplay: 7/10
Audio: 9/10

Classic 2D Sonic Platforming

Sparse Content | Bad Design Decisions

This review contains spoilers!!

What is Sonic Mania?

Sonic Mania is an all-new adventure with Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles full of unique bosses, rolling 2D landscapes, and fun classic gameplay.

Game Info

GAME NAME: Sonic Mania

DEVELOPER(S): Christian Whitehead, Headcannon, PagodaWest Games


PLATFORM(S): PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

GENRE(S): Action, Adventure, Platformer

RELEASE DATE(S): 29 Aug, 2017 (Steam)

The ultimate celebration of past and future. An all-new adventure with Sonic,
Tails and Knuckles full of unique bosses, rolling 2D landscapes, and fun classic gameplay.
Sonic Mania brings retro fast-paced platforming into the future through pixel perfect 2D graphics running at 60FPS.

My Thoughts

When I first heard that we’d be seeing a proper 2D classic Sonic game, I was excited to say the least, this is one of the few games I have ever preordered.

Sonic Mania aims to take the best of the 2D Sonic games, mash them all up, throw in some new areas and new features to create what should be a collection of the best that 2D Sonic has to offer and while it manages to achieve this with its dizzying speed and beautiful rich environments, it falls short when it comes to level design and boss mechanics.

Playing through Sonic Mania, I felt myself being transported back to my very first gaming experience of playing Sonic 2 for the first time, seeing the colourful areas shooting past me as I push the Blue Blur as fast as I can possibly push him, initially the experience is refreshing yet familiar, with levels like Green Hill Zone and Chemical Plant Zone retaining their classic layouts but with extra features and obstacles added but the more you play, the more you can tell that this is not a game crafted by SEGA or Sonic Team.

There are some extremely questionable design decisions in a lot of the new levels and some of the old favourites, for example; Having to navigate Sonic through the background whilst the main level in the foreground obscures your view and the boss fights range from trivial to near-impossible (I’m looking at you Oil Ocean boss.)

On top of some of the glaring issues with the game, I did enjoy my time with it and it’s very satisfying to revisit some classic Sonic levels. I was, however very disappointed by how short the entire experience was and how as I was just getting into the game, it ended.

I would recommend any Sonic or SEGA fan to give Sonic Mania a go purely for the nostalgia trip and the brilliant Puyo Puyo boss in Chemical Plant Zone but don’t go in looking for coherent level design and definitely don’t expect hours of gameplay as you won’t be getting more than a few hours out of Sonic Mania.

The Good

– Classic 2D Sonic Platforming
– Great Music and Sound Design
– Fun Gameplay
– Easy to Pick Up and Play
– Extra Game Modes

The Bad

– Questionable Design Decisions
– Poorly Implemented Bosses
– Extremely Short ‘Story’
– Only a Handful of Levels


Thank you for taking the time to read this and good gaming, all.