In 2008, there were two Olympics that had people talking. One was happening in Beijing, and the other on your Wii. The latter, Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games, turned out to be a huge success. Since we will never see a certain mushroom-craving plumber on the App Store, Sega has decided to make the next game in the series a hedgehog-only affair, with Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games. Here are our impressions after spending some time on the slopes.
Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games features four different events (we will discuss just the first two in this preview): snowboard cross, curling, skeleton, and figure skating. These can be played individually, in a tournament spanning all four, or against friends via local multiplayer.
Snowboard cross is a game of speed. You race against four other players, trying to reach the bottom in the fastest time possible. Tilt controls provide a means of steering and balancing. For example, when you go off a jump you must hold the device steady or else your rider will tumble down. There are two different trails to ride in our build.
Another sport available is curling. Here you swipe on the screen to send a curling stone sliding across the ice. While it is in motion, you can swipe to sweep in front of it, altering its motion. The goal is to get the iron as close to the center of the circle as possible.
Each sport has coins scattered around the course. These act as currency for the in-game store, where you can unlock new levels and characters. However, if you mess up then the coins will scatter, similar to the Sonic platformers.
The game features ten characters in total, spanning the entire Sonic series. These are Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Shadow, Eggman (aka Dr. Robotnik), Vector, Blaze, Metal Sonic, and Silver. Each character has different stats, although many are duplicates. We ultimately found ourselves just playing with our favorites.
The target release date for Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games is sometime in January. Check back for our full review once the game goes on sale.