Sonic Jump Fever Review (iOS)
In the many years since Sonic the Hedgehog proved himself to be a mascot worthy of rivaling the omnipresent Super Mario, we've seen this fast-footed furball in countless different adventures. Sometimes he's a werehog, sometimes he's smooching human girls, and in Sonic Jump Fever, he's jumping up an endless series of platforms while begging for your money.
In Sonic Jump Fever, when you're not navigating the many different menus all trying to entice you into spending, you'll be hopping from platform to platform in a Sonic-themed Doodle Jump clone. Like most Sonic games there are power-ups to briefly make use of, animals to rescue, and rings to collect. The core gameplay, however, lacks any of Sonic’s usual charm or creativity, and is instead as uninspired as any you would find in the many other Doodle Jump duplicates out there.
Though Sonic Jump Fever would lead you to believe it was a skill-based game where masterful play would lead to higher scores, in reality it's a timesink— the more you've played, the more powerful your character is, and the more points you can get. Should you fall, or bump into a badnik, the only penalty is a loss of a few seconds' of time, mitigating any sort of risk and reward to play. Skilled players should more frequently be able to acquire the point globes necessary to fuel Fever mode, the "game-defining" ring-collecting frenzy state, but Fever mode has two very distinct problems that destroy its usefulness. Firstly, Fever mode only lasts, at base, for around three seconds, which is so brief you might as well not have even bothered with it. Secondly you can't always control when it happens, and when it's over you're placed in a randomized section of level, so if you were inches away from snagging a red ring, extra time, or character token, it won't be there any more.
And Sonic fans, guess which character you start Sonic Jump Fever as? If you guessed the guy whose name is in the title of the game, you'd be wrong. No, at the outset your only option is to play as Tails; Sonic the Hedgehog requires a bit of work to unlock. There are a number of other Sonic characters to unlock, but God help you if you want to play as them without paying money, as they each cost a small fortune in red rings/character tokens.
Outside of the core platform hopping gameplay there's quite a bit of junk nestled into Sonic Jump Fever to try to get you to visit every day. There are things like a roulette prize wheel to spin every twenty-four hours and little pet Chaos to raise and maintain relationships with, both of which contribute to this feeling more like a terrible Facebook game than a proper piece of entertainment.
Sonic Jump Fever's music, sound effects, and voice acting are all bright and cheerful, with the large cast of characters voiced with gusto by their usual voice actors. The controls are primarily motion-based, requiring you to tilt your iOS device right and left to guide your character through each level, and work well enough for a game so forgivingly easy, but would probably be too sluggish for anything more challenging.
The Blue Blur's had his name dragged through the mud by starring in many subpar games over the years, and Sonic Jump Fever is another ignoble entry in the muck pile. This is a technically-sound, boring, greedy game that wants to take advantage of the voracious Sonic the Hedgehog fanbase by asking a lot of them and giving very little in return.
This review was based on a download of Sonic Jump Fever provided by the publisher for iOS.