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Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing is an arcade racing game in the same vein as Mario Kart. Though there's comic mischief, that's simply a part of the competitive nature of the game, and all but the youngest kids will understand that. Players can share high scores via the Game Center social network, but participation is optional.
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What's it about?
Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing combines traditional racing mechanics with whimsical courses, obstacles, and boosts. You'll navigate a variety of environments, from beachfronts to volcanos, making huge jumps and drifting into obstacles as you battle against other SEGA characters. Boosts include nitrous boosts for your vehicles and rockets that take out other players. Steering is done via the phone or tablet's gyroscope, while players press buttons on the bottom right to accelerate and brake.
Is it any good?
A good arcade kart racer is a rare thing, and SONIC & SEGA ALL-STARS RACING is a bright light in the iDevice world. The game is universal, letting you play on iPad or iPhone/iPod Touch and has all the necessary elements of a fun kart racer -- colorful characters, winding courses, mystery boxes that contain power-ups to either help you speed up your kart or slow down opponents, and even a good online mode. The game has four single-player modes with plenty to unlock, giving it a longevity that's rare in apps, and a good brief tutorial that never wears out its welcome. It's a wonderful addition to the App Store.