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.