Fantasy dream states meet fast speeds with the release of SEGA Hardlight’s Sonic Dream Team for Apple Arcade. Should players go on a lucid trip with Sonic and his friends?
Sonic Dream Team Review
As he’s naturally known to do, the nefarious Dr. Eggman is up to no good with his new hard-boiled scheme. Sonic Dream Team already starts out in a dire situation – he’s captured Cream and Cheese (remember them?) and is using the power of the Reverie to control dreams. Sonic and his friends set out to stop him, but fall asleep and get stuck in a dream world.
This isn’t a complete nightmare, however; Reverie Haven Ariem (lovingly nicknamed Ari) is eager to help Sonic save his friends, get her powers back, and save the day once more. The story is displayed through still panels, but the voice acting – and dad joke humor – are up to the series’ signature standard.
Rather than keep things on a 2D plane like Sonic Superstars or go open-world like Sonic Frontiers, Sonic Dream Team takes design cues from the Dreamcast days. You’ve got your high speed acts with Dream Orbs at the end, your shard collecting that Knuckles/Rouge oh so loves, and even your checkpoint races that will take you up and down and all around. By collecting Dream Orbs at the end of each stage to unlock more stages in true mobile fashion, those weaned on the Sonic Adventure games will feel right at home – even if the camera can be kind of awkward.
There’s some more modern accoutrements in the form of boosting with a meter, collectible Red Star Rings, key collecting, and a free-roaming camera in select spots. There’s also the tried-and-true homing attacks, light speed dashes, and rail grinding – all of which work really well.
Even the use of touchscreen controls in Sonic Dream Team is fairly intuitive; while there is a bit of a learning curve, we were able to find our groove before too long. Of course, there is also controller support for those looking for it.
The levels of Sonic Dream Team definitely take advantage of the dream motif as well. No Green Hill Zone or Chemical Plant Zone here; rather, players will venture across Scrambled Shores, Dream Factories, and other fresh venues all channel signature Sonic elements while still trying something new. While all platforms are floating in the air, we still do appreciate the aesthetics.
Just note that Sonic Dream Team runs on the short side, clocking in at a little less than three hours and a handful of zones. While it’s a good problem to be left wanting more, we do feel like it is over before it even gets the chance to begin.
Forgive the obvious pun, but Sonic Dream Team is a dream come true for Sonic fans. While it runs a bit on the short side, those looking for some classic high speed Sonic action will welcome this homecoming.
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