Sonic Mania Plus

Game review by
Jeff Haynes, Common Sense Media
Sonic Mania Plus Game Poster Image
Speedy action game's new content kicks it into overdrive.

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 6 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Basic good vs. evil story of animals rescuing animals from clutches of evil scientist.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Well-known characters Sonic and Tails are frequently seen as good, heroic figures that fight to save others. Knuckles can seem more standoffish, while little is known about the two new playable characters.

Ease of Play

Simple controls, but gameplay can be challenging for some gamers, especially understanding where to go and how to navigate the game's frequently branching paths.

Violence & Scariness

As Sonic (or his friends) zip along, there are robots he can bounce off that explode. No blood or gore's seen in the game.

Language
Consumerism

Latest installment in popular franchise that includes TV shows, merchandise, games.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sonic Mania Plus is an arcade-style action game. Players can take on the role of five animal characters, two of whom are new for the franchise, as they attempt to defeat Dr. Eggman and his new schemes. While there's occasional combat at high speeds, you spend most of your time running around hitting machinery and robots. Otherwise, there's no inappropriate content.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byTy C. September 29, 2017

Reminds me of playing the old games.

Honestly, there's nothing offensive about the game. Whatever age seems appropriate for your child to be gaming, I see no reason this would be a problem. M... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bykevingarcia117 August 27, 2017

A throwback to the original; completely fine for kids

It's a remake of the original, with new levels, a new ability, new enemies, and three playable characters. It's really fun if you like Sonic. It'... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written bySono Sugoi N. August 24, 2017

CSM got the Age Rating wrong again!

This game can be played by 6 years old. Why is the rating 10+? Sure, the game can be hard if you don't know platformer controls, but the game is very easy... Continue reading

What's it about?

SONIC MANIA PLUS is the latest installment of in the long running Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. Although nothing's explicitly stated during the game's cutscenes, it quickly becomes clear that that series antagonist Dr. Eggman has released a new horde of robot henchmen called the Hard Boiled Heavies to capture animals and destroy the world. It's up to Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles to race through each level, collecting rings and beating bosses as quickly as possible. Sonic Mania Plus also introduces two new playable characters, Mighty the Armadillo (whose hard shell can protect the animal against some spikes) and Ray the Flying Squirrel, who can glide around the screen. The game also adds a new Encore Mode, which redesigns the layout of some stages while also allowing players to swap characters at will. There's also an addition of a competition mode where up to four players can take on a stage, and the option to save sprints through the time trial mode. (Content in Sonic Mania Plus can also be found in the Encore DLC update to 2017's Sonic Mania, and is the same as the physical version.)

Is it any good?

Freshly updated with new characters, gameplay modes, and new takes on familiar stages, this adventure game should appeal to fans and keep them coming back for high speed fun. Sonic Mania Plus builds on the downloadable release of 2017's Sonic Mania, which pulled many levels from the Sonic and Knuckles and Sonic the Hedgehog CD games, as well as the first three games of the series. These stages have been revamped with the addition of new stage features like zip lines, twisting pipes, and sticky platforms. What's more, the addition of the Encore mode makes subtle, yet substantial changes to the gameplay while adding two new characters. Initially, Ray and Mighty seem like mild variations of series characters Tails and Knuckles, but their abilities help them stand on their own. For example, Mighty's tough exterior can shrug off spikes that normally cause damage to the other animals, while Ray's gliding helps players swoop past some hazards. 

Another great addition to the Encore mode is the option to swap control of characters with the touch of a button. That allows players to take advantage of the abilities of the various animals to surpass the obstacles frequently placed in their path. It might not sound like much, but when you're racing through stages at breakneck speed, every little advantage helps. What's more, many of the issues from the previous version of the game have been improved. The addition of a competition mode adds more replayability as players challenge their friends in completing stages, and the ability to save and share time trial replays means that players can help out friends that are having some trouble clearing a level. The only main issue with the game is that the main adventure is still pretty short, and experienced Sonic vets can tear through each stage quickly by timing their jumps and maintaining their speed from start to finish. If you're looking for fast-paced fun, strap up your shoes and blaze a trail with Sonic Mania Plus.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about this title being made in cooperation with hardcore stalwart fans. How are works of fiction and art ultimately different when made by people who appreciate a property from afar as opposed to creators who are used to being behind the curtains?

  • Talk about gameplay. How would the game feel different if the main characters and enemies were humans?

Game details

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