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It's taken 22 years for a Sonic the Hedgehog game to reach the Mac, but while the first Apple outing isn't one of the hero's traditional on-foot adventures, Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing isn't lacking in speed — or fun, for that matter. Using the tried-and-true Mario Kart template, All-Stars Racing packs in a bevy of familiar characters and locations from Sega's beloved properties, letting users command a driver through vibrantly colored worlds in rollicking circuit races that put an emphasis on drifting around turns and utilizing cartoonish weapons.
While Sonic expectedly takes the starring role, with a few of his companions and several courses inspired by his past entries in tow, the game on the whole feels like a love letter to Sega's glory days. Creative track designs pull elements from past console favorites like Jet Set Radio and Samba de Amigo, which helps create a diverse selection of locales — 24 in total — while thrilling old fans of the included franchises. And the driver roster pulls from even deeper in Sega's catalog, with heroes that haven't had a starring role in ages.
But you don't have to be a Sonic or Sega fanboy to get a kick out of this accessible and entertaining kart racer. Breezy play mechanics and colorful aesthetics give the game a strong hook beyond its ample and well-considered fan service, and while easy to get into, there's also plenty to keep you around: Grand Prix cups, objective-based missions, time trials, and four-player online and split-screen showdowns.
The races are best experienced with a controller, and Feral's port to Mac is luckily very accommodating in that regard. We used a PlayStation 3 controller with zero issues via Bluetooth, but many others are supported. We did struggle to find random online competition, though — seemingly thanks to Game Center's rigid matchmaking approach — but races with friends ran well.
The bottom line. Simple and sweet, Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing will amuse even those unfamiliar with the colorful cast.
Mac OS X 10.8.3 or later, 1.8 Ghz Processor, 4GB RAM, 256MB VRAM (ATI X1xxx/HD2xxx, Intel GMA, NVIDIA 320M/330M not supported)
Great array of classic characters and environments. Solid array of content. Accommodates many different controllers.
Copies the Mario Kart formula with little variation. Random online competition is tough to locate.