Sonic Forces – Speed Battle on Android Review

Sonic Forces Speed Battle

You would think Sega would have been all over bringing Sonic to mobile devices considering the popularity of endless runners. Only in the last couple of years have they taken up this combination in earnest. Early on we saw Sonic the Hedgehog hit mobile with Sonic 4 Episode 1 and Episode 2 (and due to poor sales, no more). That is the past, and Sega has seemingly learned their lesson as far as what type of Sonic game will work on mobile devices and what won’t. Sonic Forces – Speed Battle is a continuation of what works on mobile and boy does it work well.

First, we are looking at yet another auto scrolling action game. Anyone that has known me for any length of time knows how I am not exactly a huge fan of these types of games. I seriously cannot stand most of the 2D ones as they are generally all the same. Some, such as Alto’s Adventure, are unique in their presentation, enough to get my interest piqued for at least a few days. The 3D ones seem to be more interesting to me as there is a bit of challenge involved since you can move left or right and jump/slide to avoid obstacles.

Sonic Forces is exactly that, a 3D auto scrolling running game. The way Sega has changed up the genre is what makes this game worth your time though. This is not just a cash grab mobile release starring Sonic and friends.

Sonic Forces Speed Battle

The first thing that sets Sonic Forces apart from other 3D runners is that it is a race against other real people around the world. This makes the levels a little more hectic as you know you are not racing against the machine that knows the in’s and out’s of the track. Instead, you are racing people that probably have more time than you and can practice these tracks A LOT.

I don’t mean that as a copout for my sucking at the game (the proof is in the video).

I did improve a bit as I have been practicing my timing more and focusing less on what my opponents are doing (or what place I am in the race). Sonic Forces is one of those games that only takes a second of you not paying attention to take you from first place to last place. The races are often that close.

The level design is another area that Sonic Forces excels at. The first few times through you are going to be lost and barely able to keep up. Give it a few runs and things will become familiar and easier to navigate.

Sonic Forces Speed Battle

These levels are huge environments, even though you are restricted to viewing what is near the track. In the distance are often huge objects, whether a pyramid or hills or another object, and tons of trivial things that are easily missed while playing. Watch some videos of this game in action to get an idea of what is going on in the background – you won’t be disappointed.

Actual level design is where I have a major complaint though. I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t bring up something that was wrong. There are obstacles scattered throughout the levels – that is a necessity of creating challenge in the game. No problem.

Sonic Forces Speed Battle

My problem is with the sweeping camera and such during the run – sometimes it is seemingly random that it does this too. One instance of annoyance is the placement of three obstacles by the developers in the way across the four lanes you must run in. Now, keep in mind I said DEVELOPERS placed them, not the ones that other players can call into action via powerups earned while playing.

Take for instance the iconic loop. What kind of Sonic game would it be without this iconic level piece? All too often when I encounter this iconic piece in my adventures with Sonic Forces it is accompanied by obstacles blocking three of the four available lanes.

Sonic Forces Speed Battle

You may be thinking, why don’ you just get in the lane that is open? Well, easier said than done because the angle that you are given to view this section is from the side. At an angle. From this perspective you have a 25% chance of picking the correct lane.

Alright, some good stuff that Sonic Forces does right. For one, Sega has made auto scrolling games interesting with the whole “battle the world” aspect. It being a Sonic game helps with the familiarity as well. There are a ton of characters to collect and upgrade via assorted items you get for winning.

Sonic Forces Speed Battle

The amount of characters you can collect and upgrade, each with different abilities, almost gives Sonic Forces a light role-playing feel.

There are In App Purchases to watch out for. There are also Loot Crates to deal with. Those may be big turn offs for most potential fans but here, I have not run into them being a problem during my playing. The match making is sometimes off a bit – pitting level three players against level six or seven. This doesn’t happen all that often, so it is not that big of a problem. For the most part, you are going to be taking on players of similar ranked characters.

Sonic Forces Speed Battle

While I am certainly not a huge fan of Sonic’s early adventures, I can safely say that it will be hard to uninstall Sonic Forces from my Huawei Ascend XT. Excellent job Sega.

Sonic Forces – Speed Battle by Sega
Platform: Android (Ascend XT used for review) and iPhone
Genre: 3D auto running with online multiplayer
In App Purchases: Yes
Rated: E for Everyone on Google Play and 9+ on iTunes
Available now on Google Play and the iTunes App Store.


Carl is a portable gamer (mainly PSP and Android) currently getting his butt handed to him in MIniclip’s Beast Quest on Android. Got a cool tip or inquiry about Gaming on Batteries? Contact Carl and he will be in touch ASAP.

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