Week in Mobile: Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed returns to burn the mobile speedway
Sumo Digital’s transformative kart racer just won’t quit. More than a year after crossing the finish line, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed is still burning the tracks, tearing through the skies, and cruising the waters — on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, on Wii U, on PlayStation Vita and 3DS, on PC, and now, finally, on mobile devices.
“Sumo Digital has a very unique and wonderful take on the racing genre,” Kevin Kuenstler, Sega’s mobile producer, told GameZone. “I’d say their special sauce is the main ingredient at work here. The racing itself swings a bit more hardcore than casual compared to other similar racers but still manages to feel very accessible to new users.”
Maybe that’s what makes Racing Transformed such a good fit for so many platforms, including iOS and Android, where casual and hardcore meet but don’t always merge. “The mobile platform always offers its own unique challenges — from device fragmentation, to network instability, to screen real estate,” said Kuenstler. “That being said, I’d say the biggest hurdle was getting the controls to feel just right across all of the different devices.”
Kuenstler cited the impressive framerate and wealth of content as perks to the mobile versions. “But, by far, the fun factor is what I’m the most proud of,” he said. “Part of that has to do with diverse roster of characters.”
Sonic, Tails, and the Ulala are the three most popular racers among the community, in that order, but that could change as more players unlock later characters.
Those who haven’t dared the raceway since launch in 2012 will find other reasons to come back, said Kuenstler. “We’ve made a lot of changes, redesigning and optimizing the entire meta game of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed to better fit mobile gameplay patterns. There’s a new World Tour mode that offers more bite-sized gaming sessions, new daily and weekly challenges that users can quickly pick up and play to experience new scenarios each and every day.”
Sega has also made improvements to the multiplayer. Races can take place both online and locally, including asynchronously in the World Tour, in case friends aren’t around to compete right away.
But they’ll be back. Sega’s made sure of that.
“At the end of the day, it comes back to what we talked about earlier in terms of getting the controls to feel just right," said Kuenstler. "The responsiveness and feeling of control while blazing through tracks at breakneck speed is what it’s all about.”