Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode 1 HD
Sonic's fourth adventure finally makes its way to iPad, but is it too little, too late?
Sega released Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 over a year ago, so it makes little sense why it took the publisher this long to bring the game to the iPad, but here it is in all its "HD" glory. Unfortunately, that's all it is, a port, and time hasn't necessarily been kind to the blue blur's adventure.
It all comes down to the physics. Sonic moves like he has an attached weight that constantly pulls Sega's mascot in the opposite direction. It doesn't ruin the game, necessarily, but we found the hedgehog's movements a bit difficult to get the hang of, especially after playing the superior iOS version of Sonic CD that released just a couple weeks ago.
Aside from that, Sega litters each of the four zones with annoying bottomless pits that literally come out of nowhere. This definitely made us hesitant to utilize Sonic's trademark speed to blaze through levels. We still don't understand why developers insist upon including such a hazard in games that encourage reckless platform hopping.
On the positive side, each stage features an interesting mix of elements, from loops that cause the screen to rotate 360 degrees to giant boulders that threaten to squash Sonic flat, ala Raiders of the Lost Ark. In addition, he'll fly through the air using zip lines and get propelled off pinball flippers. These elements remind us of the Sonic days of old.
Sadly, you can beat the game in one sitting, and Sega made no attempt to add bonus content. As we said, it's a basic port.
That doesn't mean you should ignore this title. Despite its warts, Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 HD provides a few hours of enjoyment and the introductory $1.99 asking price won't hurt your wallet. If all you can afford is one Sonic game, though, stick with the far superior Sonic CD.
Requirements: Compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later.
What's Hot: Looks great on iPad, $1.99 sale price, unique zones to explore, cool Sonic style music.
What's Not: Strange physics, bottomless pits, nothing new.