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Sonic DS is an unreleased game for the Nintendo DS. It was shown during the May E3 convention in 2004. The UK based Official Nintendo Magazine ran a piece on it which praised its visuals as being the best on the DS, but also criticized it for having basic gameplay. The magazine compared it to being the Nintendo DS equivalent of the 100 meter button dash. Eventually the game was cancelled and Sonic Rush became the first Sonic game for Nintendo DS.
To play the game, the stylus must be moved left and right quickly on the touch screen to make the character move faster. Jumping was possible by touching the top of the touch screen, but hardly necessary as there were few platforming elements and the level layouts are fairly basic and straight forward. After running for a certain distance the player will reach a new level of "Sonic Speed", which causes the screen to blur. There are multiple levels of speed attainable.
The HUD on the game screen had a timer, rings, and a bar on the bottom which indicated distance from the finish line. After passing the finish line a ranking is given which is based off the achieved Max Speed, Rings, and the time taken to finish the course. A splash screen then appeared afterwards with a note to "Keep an eye out for SEGA's titles on the DS!"
- The level shown resembles Seaside Hill from Sonic Heroes.
- Had Sonic DS not been cancelled, it would have been the first portable Sonic game to have 3D gameplay. Sonic Lost World, which came out years later for the Nintendo 3DS, was the first portable Sonic game to use 3D gameplay.
- Although not likely, Sonic DS could have served as an idea that would later be developed into the similar gameplay for the Mario and Sonic series, in a vein similar to Sonic Crackers on the Genesis and Sonic Extreme on the Xbox.