Sonic Mania is a platformer video game released for the Nintendo Switch console in 2017, available on the eShop service. The next prominent addition in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, the game is a modern throwback to the classic Genesis era of 2D Sonic games, further continuing their astounding legacy over the years.
The game is a fully-fledged emulation of the classical games released in the 1990s, returning back to the blue hedgehog's 2D roots down to his gameplay, artwork and level styles. In fact, out of the 12 levels featured in the game eight of them are remixed copies of their originals.
The game was actually worked on by a group of Sonic fans as opposed to the professional designers at Sonic Team, led by Christian Whitehead who had produced successful, enhanced ports of the classic 2D games for mobile devices. They were assisted by PagodaWest and Headcannon studios who provided the art style, level design and polishing touches for the game, whilst Tantalus Interactive were responsible for porting the multi-platform video game to the Switch console.
Upon its release, the game garnered a staggeringly critical acclaim amongst the Sonic fanbase and critics, who hailed it as a successful reincarnation of the classic 90s games. The game's popularity soared to the point of it being Sega's best-selling game in recent years. The following year, Sega launched an expanded port of this game with extra content named Sonic Mania Plus, which was also made available in physical form.
The game emulates the gameplay of Sonic 1, 2, and Sonic 3 & Knuckles. There is a new technique called the Drop Dash, where Sonic will rev up into a ball midair and then dash forward as soon as he lands, which can be used as an attack. This is the first 2D game to feature this, but it has been featured in many 3D games. The game is playable with either Sonic, Tails, or Knuckles, with Tails and Knuckles having their abilities from Sonic 3 & Knuckles.
- Green Hill Zone
- Chemical Plant Zone
- Studiopolis Zone
- Flying Battery Zone
- Press Garden Zone
- Stardust Speedway Zone
- Hydrocity Zone
- Mirage Saloon Zone
- Oil Ocean Zone
- Lava Reef Zone
- Metallic Madness Zone
- Titanic Monarch Zone
- Egg Reverie Zone
Sonic Mania received "generally favorable" reviews on Metacritic holding a metascore of 86/100 on Nintendo Switch based on 21 critic reviews.
Sonic Mania is the first Sonic game released on Nintendo Switch
It is also the highest rated Sonic game in 25 years