A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice is an arcade-style platform adventure game. The game takes the high-speed run-and-jump formula of most Sonic games and adds an extra level of strategy with exploration and element-based puzzles. While there's some minor violence in the game, as Sonic pounds on Eggman's robotic minions, everything shown is cartoonish and fun without any brutality present.
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What's it about?
In SONIC BOOM: FIRE & ICE, Dr. Eggman is back again and has his sights set on defeating Sonic the Hedgehog and his friends once and for all. This time, he's using a newly discovered element called Ragnium to power his robotic minions. As if that wasn't enough, mining the Ragnium is wreaking havoc on the environment. Now it's up to Sonic and his friends to run, jump, glide, and smash their way to saving their world, recover the Ragnium, and stop Dr. Eggman one more time. In between saving the day, players can also feed their need for speed by customizing unique race bots and taking on other racers in either single-player races or against friends in two-player local competitive races.
Is it any good?
This adventure game manages to strike an impressive balance between adventure and action, which should work for anyone who picks it up. Like fire and ice, many gamers tend to come in two flavors. One races the clock and runs through levels as fast as possible, while the other meticulously explores every nook and cranny for secrets. Luckily, Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice offers a good mix of gameplay for whichever suits your tastes. First off, it has to be said that a Sonic game isn't a Sonic game unless it's got some speed behind it. Taking that away is like having a Mario game without jumping. Fire & Ice never forgets that. Each stage has a time goal and can be blasted through at hyper speed. It'll take lightning-fast reflexes to race to the finish, especially when you're also switching on the fly between a fire or an ice aura meant either to melt walls of ice in your way or freeze standing water to run across. These are the moments that define the classic Sonic experience, and Fire & Ice captures it wonderfully.
The flip side of Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice's design appeals to the more adventurous sort of gamer. Every main stage features multiple paths, hidden items, and special challenge rooms. By making use of all the abilities of Sonic and his friends, players can uncover lots of secrets and treasures. Discovering these are just as important as beating a time goal, with items found used to customize special race bots used in certain stages. Also, speed and strategy come into play during the game's massive boss battles. While the game does a great job of balancing both styles of play in one package, it's inevitable that fans who enjoy the speed likely will feel held back by the exploration, and fans of the exploration will feel pressured by the speed runs. Still, there's a little something for everyone in Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice, and it's a strong return to form for everyone's favorite hyperactive hedgehog.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about consumerism in gaming. How do things like cartoons, toys, comics, and other merchandise keep players interested in certain games or characters? Does the hype built from such spin-offs make players more interested in the property, or is it too much?
Talk about friendship and teamwork. What are some of the benefits of working with your friends to overcome obstacles in life?
- Platforms: Nintendo 3DS
- Price: $39.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Sega of America
- Release date: September 27, 2016
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Adventures, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs, Robots
- ESRB rating: E for Mild Cartoon Violence
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
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