Having a real hedgehog in your pocket would be uncomfortable. Thankfully, the first episode of the long-awaited Sonic 4 is now available, letting you spin, dash, and spin dash your way across some heartwarmingly familiar levels.
Sonic 4 Episode 1, the first of four installments, has four zones, each with three acts and a boss. After mashing on that d-pad all those years back, the virtual controls take a little bit of getting used to, and sometimes I found that I had to be pretty deliberate about, say, sliding my thumb over to move Sonic mid-jump. Generally, though, things are just as you remember them—familiar levels, familiar music, familiar hectic Sonic action—aside from a new jump attack that locks onto targets when you're in mid-air and a new kinda-nauseating flourish of rotating the camera when you're going through a loop.
The app is
universal, so iPhones, iPod Touches, and iPads all get the love (update: deceived by iTunes—doesn't run natively on iPad yet), and TouchArcade says it holds up pretty well on older devices. It'd be nice to see Retina Display support, of course, but what I yearn for even more is an online leader board to see how my Time Attack times stand up against others. Probably not very well.