|Series||Sonic the Hedgehog|
|Genre(s)||Endless runner, platformer|
Sonic Runners[a] was a side-scrolling endless runner platformer developed by Sonic Team and published by Sega for iOS and Android devices. The game's side-scrolling structure mirrors earlier Sonic games. The title was soft launched in Japan and Canada in February 2015, and officially released worldwide in June of the same year.
It was the first mobile game in the franchise developed by Sonic Team, where it received mixed reviews from critics. Sega shut down the game's servers and pulled the game from its respective app stores in July 2016. A sequel, titled Sonic Runners Adventure, was released in select regions in June 2017.
Sonic Runners is an endless runner platform game which has players aiming to get as far as they can to earn rings and high scores. Running is done automatically while the player controls jumping to dodge obstacles and defeat enemy badniks. Along the way players can obtain items such as invincibility and Wisp powers to help them along their way. As the level progresses, the speed at which the player moves will increase, with rings being removed from the stage once the player reaches top speed. The game ends if the player is hit while holding zero rings or falls into a pit, though the player can resume play by spending Red Rings, which can either be earned or obtained through in-app purchases. Rings can be used to either buy single use items or power ups for a run, or increase the effectiveness of certain items.
Players progress through the game's main story mode by collecting enough points to progress along the world map. Each section will either give a reward, such as bonus rings, or unlock special missions such as boss battles. Progressing through the game unlocks new playable characters with unique abilities, such as Tails and Knuckles, and companions that assist the player.
Late in 2014, rumors of a new game titled Sonic Runners began to circulate online after Sega had registered the domain name sonicrunners.com in July of that year. Eventually, Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka confirmed these rumors at an event called "Sonic Fan Thanksgiving" in Tokyo in November 2014.
A small teaser and more details about the game were revealed in early February 2015. The same month, composer Tomoya Ohtani announced on Twitter that he had composed the musical score for the game. First soft launched in February 2015 in Japan and Canada, it was free to download for iOS and Android devices. The game was officially released worldwide on June 25, 2015. Volume one of the official soundtrack, titled Sonic Runners Original Soundtrack Vol. 1, was released digitally on iTunes and Amazon.com on June 24, 2015. The second and final volume of the soundtrack was released on February 2, 2016. A CD containing both volumes was released in Japan in September 2016.
In May 2016, the game's official website announced that the title's servers would be shut down on July 27, 2016.
Upon the game's announcement, Thomas Whitehead of NintendoLife uttered disapproval at Runners being a Smartphone title, while Destructoid staff writer Brett Makedonski opined that while "it's tough to imagine Sonic fans getting too excited about Runners", its future augured well after the critical panning of Sonic Boom's Rise of Lyric and Shattered Crystal.
Sonic Runners received mixed reviews upon worldwide release, holding a 51 on review aggregator Metacritic. Praise was aimed at the game's core gameplay, with it positively compared to the previous 2D Sonic gameplay, visuals and soundtrack. Criticism was aimed at the game's bugs and glitches, the abundance of adverts, pay to play elements, and the roulette wheels, which was called an unsuitable feature for younger gamers in a number of Western countries.
- "Sonic Runners will be dashing its way on to iOS and Android this year". Pocket Gamer. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
- Makedonski, Brett (December 29, 2014). "Sonic Runners dashes to mobile in 2015 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯". Destructoid. Retrieved December 30, 2014.
- Whitehead, Thomas (December 29, 2014). ""Sonic Runners" Rumours Prove True, But It's a Smartphone Game". NintendoLife. Retrieved December 30, 2014.
- Ishaan (December 28, 2014). "Sonic Runners Announced For Smartphones". Siliconera. Retrieved December 30, 2014.
- Kubba, Sinan (December 29, 2014). "Sonic Team's Sonic Runners announced for smartphones". Joystiq. Retrieved December 30, 2014.
- SEGA (May 27, 2016). "NOTIFICATION OF CLOSURE OF SERVICE". SEGA. Retrieved November 12, 2016.
- Jones, Elton. "'Sonic Runners': Top 10 Tips & Cheats You Need to Know". Heavy. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
- "Sonic Runners Mobile Game Announced". Anime News Network. December 28, 2014. Retrieved December 30, 2014.
- Yin-Poole, Wesley (February 3, 2015). "The next Sonic game is Sonic Runners". Eurogamer. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
- McWhertor, Michael (February 3, 2015). "Sega teases Sonic the Hedgehog's next game, Sonic Runners". Polygon. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
- Cardoso, Jose. "SEGA confirms Sonic Runners' official worldwide launch next week". Gamezone. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
- "Sonic Runners Original Soundtrack Vol.1 - EP". iTunes. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
- "Sonic Runners Original Soundtrack Vol.1". Amazon.com. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
- "Sonic Runners OST Vol. 2 released!". blogs.sega.com. Sega Blog. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
- "SONIC RUNNERS Complete Soundtrack 発売！！". sonic.sega.jp (in Japanese). Retrieved 18 October 2016.
- "Sonic Runners for iPhone/iPad Reviews - Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved 2 July 2015.
- Carter, Chris (June 25, 2015). "Review: Sonic Runners". Destructoid. Retrieved July 4, 2015.
- Musgrave, Shaun (June 26, 2015). "'Sonic Runners' Review - It's Always Something, Isn't It?". TouchArcade. Retrieved July 4, 2015.