Sonic Superstars - Switch Review

"Being honest, Sonic Superstars didn’t really catch me"

Sonic Superstars - Switch Review
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I didn’t really play classic Sonic as a kid - my first exposure to it was actually Sonic Heroes. But growing up and hearing about the series more and more, it was clear that classic Sonic had and still has a lot of diehard fans, and I’ve been curious for a long time to see what’s up with that, because I was definitely a fan of other famous 2D platforming series. I just needed the right opportunity to jump in. Enter Sonic Superstars, the classic-style sonic game that I knew would be my ticket into more supersonic blue hedgehog appreciation in my life!

To me, this game is an introduction and showcase into the classic Sonic formula, a first look at something I never got to experience. So, from the perspective of someone that has only heard the legends of the bygone era, how does this high-speed, high-flying, roll-bounce game hold up?

The Good - Look at all the pretty lights!

Sonic Superstars makes a really good impression with its visual design right off the bat. It feels like sprite work full of personality while using HD models, and everything looks beautiful and smooth. The background integrates with the gameplay for fun sections of each stage, the animations are all great and everything runs buttery smooth.

Speaking of running, the actual gameplay feels super fast and responsive, as it should be. The momentum of jumping feels awkward at points, but once you learn to control the speed everything fits exactly where it should, although it never gets too easy.

The entire game has a great sense of speed and danger. Stage hazards and bosses are no slouches - the game wasn’t made to be a walk in the park, and the difficulty feels just right, even intimidating to a newcomer like me. Everything has a weakness, but sometimes it’s very hard to think fast enough to figure it out before losing a life, or five, or ten.

But the kicker is that simply by changing characters, it’s possible to tackle the levels in very different ways, adapt and gain experience, and that is both very useful and very fun. 

Sonic favours reaching and maintaining top speed at all times. Knuckles gets to climb, glide and tear through enemies easily; Amy’s double jump and big friendly hammer make her perfect for platforming; and Tails gives the most freedom with his flight while also being as defensible as your average mosquito. And the new character, Trip, also has different playstyle options - no spoilers, though!

An interesting part is that every character has the same top speed while running, but it doesn’t feel like it. Sonic has a much easier time reaching said top speed from the ground and the air, while Knuckles has much heavier momentum, which feels very appropriate.

The gameplay variation also extends to the Chaos Emeralds, which makes for a really nice break from the usual formula of having them exist solely as MacGuffins. You have to explore the different stages to find the chaos emeralds, and once you get them in a minigame, each of them gives your character a new ability they can use a few times per level. And they’re good, too! Finding each feels rewarding in a unique way, encouraging exploration of all the stages and acts.


  • Visuals are both fun and beautiful throughout
  • A well-balanced challenge
  • Significant differences between character playstyles
  • New twist on the Chaos Emerald collection aspect

The Bad - Can I get some seasoning?

Sonic Superstars is fun - for a while. It’s engaging while being played and it doesn’t do anything wrong per se, but it’s not memorable once the console is put down or the first hit of speed-fueled adrenaline wears off. It does the basics really well, but starts to feel bland early.

The game has no dialogue at all - and I don’t mean voice acting, I mean dialogue. Everything from plot to character interactions is told silently, which is a neat choice that pays homage to the original Sonic games, but it doesn’t really do anything to add to the game. In fact, it even highlights some shortcomings.

It’s cute at first, but the silence isn’t actually filled with anything that justifies it, which makes it way too obvious that something is lacking. There are no particularly funny or memorable interactions, charm, visual gags, coolness factor beyond what we already expect - there’s nothing to fill the void, and that leaves the adventure feeling lacking in heart.

Speaking of uninteresting, a large part of the stages and gameplay loop seems to be collecting things throughout the stages. The 7 chaos emeralds and medals are the big ones, with special bonus stages and minigames dedicated to getting more of them…And it’s boring.

Medals exist for the sake of Battle Mode and building a custom robot avatar, but if you aren’t interested in that or are a newcomer like me who didn’t know about it and went straight into single player, medals serve zero purpose while being most of what the game expects you to find. 

There are collectable fruits throughout the acts which can be redeemed to play in different stages and acts, and these are pretty interesting, but also many amount to mini-game stages to collect a bunch of coins and more medals. Nothing particularly robust.

Which leaves only the 7 Chaos Emeralds as truly rewarding to collect, but they’re not particularly hard to find, and once you acquire one, the ability given to a character is shared with all the others. So medal collection is the only other reason to revisit stages. With multiple characters, with their own varied gameplay options, it’s extremely disheartening to think that there’s little reason to bust them out.


  • -Short-lived engagement
  • Lack of interesting plot and characterisation
  • Uninteresting collectibles and side objectives

Final Score: 7/10

Being honest, Sonic Superstars didn’t really catch me, but I don’t think that’s the game’s fault. It does nothing horribly wrong, and it may be that I’m just not the correct audience for the “Do it again, but faster and better” gameplay loop that it seems to encourage.

I didn’t come out of it disappointed, though: It’s a competent game that looks great, can be played in short bursts and keeps up the sense of speed that the franchise has always been known for. Really, I have no reason to complain on the execution front at all.

Superstars turned out to not be my cup of tea, but I definitely think that it’s worth picking up for people that are looking for a solid entry in the franchise and already know they’re all about the high-speed world traversal. It’s not for me, but can you blame me for not being able to keep up with the Fastest Thing Alive?

Thank you for checking out our Sonic Superstars Switch review, thank you to Sega (via Five Star Games PR) for providing the review code and thank you to our Patreon Backers for their ongoing support: