Earlier today Sega announced that a port of last year’s console title Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing would be coming to iOS. Today I was able to stop by a hands-on event for the game and spend some time with an early pre-alpha build, and so far it’s shaping up nicely. If you’re unfamiliar with Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, it’s similar to Mario Kart but with a selection of Sega characters. It’s a fast-paced racing game with special weapons you can use to slow down your enemies and powerups that help you gain an advantage in the race.

Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing will feature 10 playable characters including the expected stable of Sonic-related characters like Sonic, Dr. Robotnik, and Tails; and some more obscure characters like Ryo Hazuki from Shenmue, Beat from Jet Set Radio, and B.D. Joe from Crazy Taxi. There will be 12 tracks to race on over a single-player Grand Prix or Challenge mode, and local multiplayer with 1v1 over Bluetooth or 2-4 players over local WiFi. There isn’t currently any online racing functionality, but the developers have stated that it’s always a possibility in a future version.

Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing played very well despite still being in an early state. The tilting to turn was very responsive and fun to use, and I usually dislike tilt-to-steer options in racing games. There are plenty of boosts and weapon pickups scattered throughout each track, so there’s always some sort of carnage going down. One nice aspect to the game is how you earn points with each race which will go to unlocking each of the characters and tracks in the game, lending a nice goal-oriented progression to playing. The game is also quite colorful, and although it isn’t heavily detailed the game moves so fast that it’s hard to notice.

Here’s some video of me playing through one race using B.D. Joe from Crazy Taxi:

Sega pegs the release of Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing for Spring, and there is definitely some additional polishing that needs to be done before then. The frame rate stuttered a tiny bit and many of the sound effects and some music aren’t present at this time, as you can tell from the above video. Still, it’s shaping up fairly nicely and I’m definitely looking forward to the release. You can check out a discussion for Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing in our forums, and we’ll have more from the game as its Spring release date approaches.

  • E_Domina

    meh. bland visuals. hope it is good though

  • gee

    dear sega, please!!! stop destroying my childhood memories, please make a good sonic game :-(

    • spiffy

      They did. Twice. Sonic Colors. On Wii, and DS. Stop hatin' on Sega. Sonic Team's gone through ups and downs, but the last Sonic was STELLAR.

  • Anonymous

    I'll wait for them to add the online... if they add the online. I can't say I'm terribly confident that they will.

  • No

    "It's a possibility" means no online. I will eat my own arm off if they actually add online play.

  • Brian

    You know, it seems the popular thing to put DS games on the iDevices. So far, they are usually some of the best games I've played and port well. This actually looks like it could be worth getting. There aren't any kart racing games for iOS that have really wowed me so far. I love this game on my DS. I'll likely pick this up for my iPod. Maybe they'll make an HD version?

  • Nunabiz

    Please let there also be touch controls and not just tilting the screen left and right. This is the problem NFS has with their games

  • http://twitter.com/Inaba_kun Phil Baxter

    Blimey that looks rough. Visually barely better than N64 level and with a low frame rate. I hope it's incredibly early in development.

  • Capone

    I posted a comment an hour ago, but it seems to be gone... does TA delete comments?!

    Well, here's my posting again, put in a nutshell:
    I played the Wii version of this game, it's actually the second best fun racer on Wii after Mario Kart. The heart of this game are the different modes, e.g. time trial or missions. That's why the lack of online play isn't so bad, even though it's a disadvantage.
    I hope this is not a port of the DS version, as the iOS devices would surely be good enough to handle the Wii version.
    I remember joining the SEGA forums daily half a year before this game was released on consoles. SUMO Digital did a great job communicating to the fans, and the result wasn't bad when you consider that this is a multiplatform title.

  • http://twitter.com/clonewar2 parrotcam

    the console version of this game is getting high marks. i hope it's as good as that version

  • Mamoon65n

    I hope they add GameCenter Achievements and Leaderboards for different challenges and races. And in a future update Online Multiplayer for up to 4 players via GameCenter.

  • spiffyone

    As long as they're porting the Wii assets, and not the DS assets, this will be a good pick up. I'm also hoping that Sega gets their stuff together and finally releases a new Fighter's Megamix.

  • yanhua wu

    88Amity3:

    Uggs Boots