The holy trinity — Sonic, Tails and Knuckles — are back in the blue hedgehog’s best in 20 years. PC, PS4, XO, SWITCH FROM $26.95 WWW.SEGA.COM
One look at those screenshots and you’ll think you’ve gone back to 1994. Sonic Mania is a firm return to the halcyon days when a new Sonic The Hedgehog game was guaranteed to be fast, fun and all about platforming. It’s almost as if the last 20-something years of torturous 3D games with Big The Cat and fishing never happened.
This really is the best bits of Sonic 3 and Sonic 2, the games you remember, but remade and remixed. The only concession to modern tech (depending on your hardware) is that it runs in 1080p, 60 frames per second, and Sonic and chums have more frames of animation giving them more sticking power on those giddy loop-the-loops. Levels are a hit-list of favourites, from the fast and rolling Green Hills Zone to the more technical Flying Battery with a few new locations thrown in between. Remarkably, Sonic Mania manages to appeal to anyone feeling nostalgic, and anyone who’s only ever seen the blue blur’s titles in the bargain bin. Paul Taylor