Sonic Mania (ソニックマニア Sonikku Mania?) is an upcoming side-scrolling platformer video game in the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise which acts as a celebration of the Sonic series' 25th anniversary. It will be developed by Christian Whitehead, Headcannon and PagodaWest Games and be published by Sega. The game emulates the gameplay and 2D sprite animation of the original Sega Genesis Sonic games, and serves, along with Sonic Forces, as a “continuation” of Sonic’s 25th anniversary. The game was announced on 22 July 2016 and is set to be released in Q2/Q3 2017.
Sonic Mania began development in 2015, as Sonic Team wanted to make a new 2D Sonic game that was not a remake. The game was first announced during a presentation held by Sega at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con with a debut trailer. The development team includes Christian Whitehead and Simon Thomley, who have previously developed enhanced and newer ports for other Sonic titles. Tee Lopes, a YouTube user who has done many remixes of the music tracks from the Sonic franchise, will compose the music for the game. PagodaWest Games members Jared Kasl and Tom Fry, who had also worked on a fan-made HD remake of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, are both working on the game's level design and visuals.
According to Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka, Sonic Mania is a “passion project” that “was born out of our fans’ love of the classic Sonic 2D platform games.” He added, “This type of collaboration is a first for Sega and we hope everyone will be both surprised and delighted by this title.” When developing the art for the game, the general rule was to be above the level of Genesis, but under the level of Saturn. Christian Whitehead also added that the game will be longer than Sonic Generations. Later, on the official Sonic Twitch stream, lizuka stated that Sonic Mania will have more classic levels than new levels. The day after that, Christian Whitehead explained to fans on Twitter that it was Sonic Team’s wish to celebrate the classic titles in Sonic Mania, but this time in a "new and exciting way". 
Briefly after the game's announcement, the game developer company Renegade Kid offered to port the game over to the Nintendo 3DS. However, on 29 August 2016, Renegade Kid announced that the studio would be closed and split to two separate companies: Atooi & Infitizmo, leaving the possibility of a Nintendo 3DS port of Sonic Mania unknown.
On 12 January 2017, it was announced the game would also be released for the Nintendo Switch, with Tantalus Media helping to port it. SXSW 2017 would also announce that they would be hosting a second Sonic panel for this year’s event, set to reveal news about the upcoming Sonic Mania and Sonic Forces.
The latest Nintendo Dream Magazine from Japan featured Sonic Mania, but the information included was revealed months ago and also confirms that Sonic Mania will feature multiplayer. On the week before 10 March 2017, Sega held a demo at their San Francisco's office to reveal more information about the game. Although the demo went well, Tails was noted to be glitchy to play. On the Sonic panel of SXSW, the game has been delayed later in the year. 
Emulating the style of the original Sonic Sega Mega Drive games, Sonic Mania is a 2D side-scrolling platform game with Sonic, Tails and Knuckles as playable characters. The goal is to race to the end of each Act of a Zone (a level in the game). The game's levels consist of remixed Zones from past games, such as Green Hill Zone from the original Sonic the Hedgehog, and new Zones as well. In addition to the standard Spin Jump, Spin Attack and Spin Dash maneuvers, Sonic Mania introduces the Drop Dash, which allows the player to instantly dash into a Spin Attack upon landing from a jump. The game will also feature the elemental shields from the early games.
The player can choose a second playable character to follow the lead character. Here, player 1 can control Sonic, and player 2 can control Tails. If Tails takes damage, he does not lose Rings. Tails can also fly while holding Sonic. By putting this to use, the player can reach areas that is hard for Sonic to reach on his own.
- Item Boxes
- Giant Rings
Gimmicks and obstacles
- Star Post
- Goal Plate
- Breakaway Bumper-like gimmicks
- Zip Line
- Dr. Eggman
- Bean the Dynamite (Cameo)
- Bark the Polar Bear (Cameo)
- Fang the Sniper (Cameo)
- Bat Brain
- Buzz Bomber
- Moto Bug
- Red Roller-like Badnik of Mirage Saloon Zone
- Unidentified bird-like Badnik of Mirage Saloon Zone
- Green Caterkiller-like Badnik of Mirage Saloon Zone
- Unidentified bull-like Badnik of Mirage Saloon Zone
- Orbinaut-like Badnik of Studiopolis Zone
- Unidentified microphone-like Badnik of Studiopolis Zone
- Unidentified fly-type Badnik of Studiopolis Zone
- Unidentified snail-type Badnik of Studiopolis Zone
- Green Hill Zone
- Flying Battery Zone
- Mirage Saloon Zone
- Studiopolis Zone
- An unnamed, original Zone
With the game set to be released in Spring 2017, Sonic the Hedgehog's official twitter account posted a poll on 8 September 2016, relating to the release of the Collector's Edition of the game. On 13 September 2016, Amazon leaked a pre-order offer of the Sonic Mania: Collector’s Edition for the PC. The Collector's Edition consists of a Sega Genesis-styled package, a 12" Classic Sonic Statue standing on a Sega Genesis that plays the "Sega" chant when turned on, a metallic collector’s card and a Genesis cartridge-like cast with a golden Ring. The Collector's Edition was later announced for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One (and eventually, the Nintendo Switch) as well, albeit exclusively for North America. The Collector's Edition has also become available to be pre-ordered on Europe countries since 17 October 2016. To promote the Collector's Edition, Sega released a retro-styled informerical (see below) based on an American informercial of Sonic 2 featuring former Sonic the Hedgehog series art director Kazuyuki Hoshino and social media manager Aaron Webber.
In September 2016, Sega began selling official T-shirts through Amazon US until 30 September. These included Studiopolis Zone-based shirts and “Triple Theat” t-shirts with icons of the game’s three playable characters. Originally, the Studiopolis and Triple Threat shirts with the Sonic Mania logo printed on them were available on Amazon UK before their listings were removed.
Sonic Mania's announcement was met with praise, with Andrew Goldfarb of IGN saying that Sonic Mania had him excited for the series again, in a way that did not happen with Sonic the Hedgehog 4. Alex Donaldson of VG24/7 agreed, saying that Sonic Mania was the sequel he had wanted for over 20 years. Donaldson also appreciated Sega's choice of development team, calling them "the right guys for the job", and praised the game's visuals, music, and the inclusion of obscure Sonic and Sega lore. Jack Hamnett of Twinfinite praised the game's attention to detail and how faithful it felt to the original games, saying that it had the potential to return the series to its "former glory".
Despite having initial doubts due to the normally mediocre reception of the series in recent years, Nick Robinson of Polygon called Sonic Mania a "revelatory moment" for him after playing a preview of the game, saying it was his most anticipated game of 2017. Robinson also praised Sega's choice to hand the game's development off to fans of the series, stating that Sega's own previous attempts to make a classic style side-scrolling Sonic games, such as with Sonic Advance and Sonic the Hedgehog 4, never felt "quite right" to him.
- This will be the first Sonic game to be released for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.
- The island seen on the title screen of the game is shaped like Sonic's head.
- The trailer music featured in the debut trailer is called "Checkpoint," composed and arranged by Nitro Fun and Hyper Potions.
- This is the second Sonic game to feature the playable character spinning vertically when jumping on a Spring since Sonic the Hedgehog CD.
- After completing a Zone, Sonic will perform a short hop before doing the traditional index finger waving pose. The hopping animation originated from an early victory pose seen in pre-release screenshots of Sonic the Hedgehog (1991), but was later unused in the final release.
- The mock infomercial video of the Sonic Mania's Collector's Edition is a reference to the humorous television infomercial for a Sonic the Hedgehog 2 console bundle that debuted back in 1993. The fake "suggested price" of $6,231,991 seen in the infomercial is a reference to the North American release date for the original Sonic the Hedgehog (June 23, 1991).
- ↑ Game Master (October 2016). Retrieved on 29 October 2016.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 McDonell, Jeffrey (23 July 2016). More Footage of Sonic Mania Gives a Closer Look at the Brand-New Studiopolis Zone. Gamnesia. Retrieved on 23 July 2016.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Goldfarb, Andrew (23 July 2016). Comic-Con 2016: Sonic Mania Announced. IGN. Retrieved on 23 July 2016.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Chen, James. Sonic Mania Hits All Platforms This Spring. Retrieved on 13 January 2017.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 SSF1991 (12 April 2017). Famitsu Has Released New Information On Sonic Mania & Forces, Iizuka Interview. Retrieved on 12 April 2017.
- ↑ http://www.polygon.com/2017/3/16/14953558/sonic-mania-delayed-to-summer-sonic-forces-project-sonic-2017
- ↑ Whitaker, Jed (23 July 2016). Sonic the Hedgehog is heading back to his retro roots in Sonic Mania. Destructoid. Retrieved on 23 July 2016.
- ↑ Paget, Mat (23 July 2016). Two New Sonic Games Announced, Seek to Recapture the Glory Days. Gamespot. Retrieved on 23 July 2016.
- ↑ PagodaWest Games on Twitter. Twitter (29 July 2016). Retrieved on 6 September 2016. “Noah Copeland: Question: is everyone from PagodaWest involved in the development of Sonic Mania, or just one/two team members? / PagodaWest Games: Jared and Tom, formerly a part of S2HD are in charge of level design/art and @teelopesmusic is doing the music.”
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Sonic Mania Is "Longer Than Generations, Will Have Boss After Every Act". Gamnesia (23 July 2016). Retrieved on 23 July 2016.
- ↑ Iizuka On Sonic Twitch Stream: "Sonic Mania Will Have More Classic Levels Than New Ones". Tssznews (20 September 2016). Retrieved on 21 September 2016.
- ↑ Christian Whitehead On Mania Level Ratio: "For Sonic’s 25th Sonic Team Wanted To Celebrate Classic Games In New & Exciting Way". Tssznews (22 September 2016). Retrieved on 23 September 2016.
- ↑ Renegade Kid Offers to Port Sonic Mania to Nintendo 3DS. Enthusiast (23 July 2016). Retrieved on 23 July 2016.
- ↑ Renegade Kid. Renegade Kid (29 August 2016). Retrieved on 30 August 2016.
- ↑ SONIC MANIA, PROJECT 2017 REVEALS COMING TO SXSW 2017. Sonic Stadium. Brad (13 February 2017).
- ↑ New Project Sonic 2017 information confirms villain, multiplayer status and genre. Sega Bits. Nintendo Dream Magazine (14 February 2017).
- ↑ Sonic Mania’s “1.5 Player” Co-Op Mode Explained. SSF1991. tssznews.com (10 March 2017). Retrieved on 16 March 2017.
- ↑ http://www.polygon.com/2017/3/16/14953558/sonic-mania-delayed-to-summer-sonic-forces-project-sonic-2017
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 19.5 19.6 19.7 19.8 19.9 Playing as Tails and Knuckles in Sonic Mania - Kinda Funny Plays. YouTube (26 October 2016). Retrieved on 26 October 2016.
- ↑ Sonic Mania official website (Japanese). Sega. Retrieved on 16 April 2017.
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog on Twitter. Twitter (10 March 2017). Retrieved on 10 March 2017. “Sonic the Hedgehog: Say hello to Eggman’s strong arms specialist, Hard Boiled Heavy member Heavy Gunner!”
- ↑ Sonic SXSW Panel 2017! (Sonic Forces & Sonic Mania!). YouTube. Tails' Channel (16 March 2017). Retrieved on 17 March 2017.
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog on Twitter. Twitter (8 September 2016). Retrieved on 13 September 2016. “Sonic the Hedgehog: Real Talk: If we made a Sonic Mania Collector's Edition, would you buy it?”
- ↑ David Scammell (13 September 2016). Sonic Mania's Collector's Edition could be the best Collector's Edition I've ever seen. VideoGamer.com. Retrieved on 13 September 2016.
- ↑ Amazon.com: Sonic Mania Collector's Edition - Switch. Amazon (13 January 2017). Retrieved on 14 January 2017.
- ↑ Sonic the Hedgehog on Twitter. Twitter (8 September 2016). Retrieved on 13 September 2016.
- ↑ Sonic Mania Collector’s Edition races into Europe. PlayStation.Blog (17 October 2016). Retrieved on 18 October 2016.
- ↑ Three Weeks Remain for Limited Edition Sonic Mania T-Shirts on Amazon. The Sonic Stadium (10 September 2016). Retrieved on 13 September 2016.
- ↑ PAX 2016: Sonic Mania Has Me Excited For Sonic Again. Retrieved on 30 September 2016.
- ↑ 30.0 30.1 Sonic Mania hands-on: after 20 years, this is the sequel I’ve always wanted. Retrieved on 30 September 2016.
- ↑ Sonic Mania Brings the Blue Blur Back to His Former Glory. Retrieved on 30 September 2016.
- ↑ 32.0 32.1 Why Sonic Mania is my most anticipated game this year - Polygon. Retrieved on 25 February 2017.
- ↑ (Electro) - Nitro Fun & Hyper Potions - Checkpoint (Monstercat Release). YouTube. Retrieved on 24 July 2016.