In a year where everything old is new again, it seems fitting that one of gaming’s oldest franchises gets a new lease of life. Sonic Mania isn’t just another Sonic game to fill the gap; Sonic Mania takes all the hopes and dreams for a classic-style Sonic game and makes it a reality.
Sonic Mania takes place after Sonic & Knuckles, where Sonic and Tails travel back to Angel Island to investigate Doctor Eggman’s new nefarious plans. Discovering a mysterious gemstone known as the Phantom Ruby, Doctor Eggman uses his elite Egg Robos known as the Hard-Boiled Heavies to harvest the gem and throw Sonic and Tails as well as Knuckles back through time. The trio travel across iconic levels of Sonic history to retrieve the Ruby and stop Doctor Eggman and his cronies.
From the moment you start up the game you know you’re in for a treat. The pixelated startup screen that follows the iconic SEGA scream could almost have been ripped straight from the Mega Drive Sonic games. The menus really pop and are bright with a 16-bit flair, and the music is there to match it. It just feels the way a Sonic game is supposed to feel, even looking past the rose-tinted glasses.