Sonic has been in rough waters lately, but the blue blur is taking a dip in the endless well of mobile money with his next game. As we assumed when Sonic Team released the first teaser trailer last month, Sonic Runners will be a mobile “infinite runner” game similar to Cave Runner or Jetpack Joyride that has players running horizontally and clicking the screen to avoiding obstacles and collecting shiny rings.
From the brief gameplay trailer we can see the well-known mechanics of an infinite runner at play, just now with a visual Sonic twist. Similar to other free-to-play games developed by Sonic Team, it looks as if the majority of the microtransactions will be used to unlock new characters. Amy, Rogue, Shadow, Vector, Espio and more are teased.
The infinite runner formula is one that makes total sense for a Sonic game, being that the gameplay for most Sonic games already consist of running horizontally while jumping over things and collecting rings.
It has not been a good year for Sonic so far. The most recent Sonic game, Sonic Boom, sold only 490,000 on the Nintendo Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS combined, and was panned for being borderline broken upon release. Several patches fixed technical issues, but no amount of patches can fix the broken and boring game mechanics. Sonic games have found a certain level of success on mobile platforms before, so Sonic Runners may end up being another bump that keeps the longtime SEGA icon’s head just above water.
Sonic Runners is scheduled to be released later this year in Japan on Android and iOS devices. As of this writing there has been no word on a North American release.