Review – Team Sonic Racing

This has been a very weird year for Sonic fans. The year started off with the news of an upcoming live-action movie, followed by the release of that trailer featuring everybody’s favorite blue hedgehog, depicting the stuff of my nightmares. It seemed like things couldn’t possibly improve for fans of the franchise, until the movie’s director decided to change the much criticized design of the main character. To top things off, we now have a brand new Sonic game, and thankfully enough, it’s a good one.


You know the drill: when you drift, you get a boost.

Team Sonic Racing is less of a sequel to the excellent Sonic All Stars Racing series and more of a spinoff focused solely on the blue hedgehog and his pals. It’s also less of a full-blown party kart racing (even though there is a mode just like that) and more of a strategy-filled alternative to the simplicity of other games in the genre such as Mario Kart.

The main selling point of Team Sonic Racing, as the name implies, is its team-focused gameplay. Even though you only control one racer at a time, and your focus is to win every single race possible, you also have two other teammates racing on the same course with you. It won’t help if you reach first place in every race with your two teammates ending up in the bottom. Just like in Formula 1, it’s all about the team winning the championship. Unlike F1, however, there are more ways to ensure this will happen instead of just hoping that everyone races well enough.

One of the main gameplay aspects in Team Sonic Racing is being able to send and receive items to and from your teammates during the race. Did you get a homing rocket while on first place? Send it over to your teammate who’s dead last! He’ll most likely do the same with you if you’re in his shoes, as Team Sonic Racing features a surprisingly decent AI. They’ll send items your way whenever you need them, and will position themselves in order to increase your boost meter whenever you’re behind them. In no moment I felt like the AI was too dumb or too overpowered. It always felt right.

Besides these mechanics, the game plays just like your typical kart racer: simple controls, drifting grants you a small boost, slight rubber banding, lots of items, and colorful tracks. The courses are less extravagant than those featured in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, but they still get the job done. There are lots of twists, turns, loops, jumps, death traps, portals and varied environments. While I can’t say there is a course which stood out from the rest, I can’t say I disliked any of them either.

It’s hard to point out something inherently bad in Team Sonic Racing. The courses are well-designed, the controls are responsive (even though they are hindered by the Switch’s lack of analog triggers), the soundtrack is as good as any other modern Sonic game, the voice acting is equally irritating and charming as any other modern Sonic game, the amount of tracks and modes to choose from is pretty high, and the roster is sizeable enough.

There’s just one detail that really disappointed me with Switch version of Team Sonic Racing: the framerate. No, it’s not inconsistent, but the game runs at half of the framerate of what the Xbox One and PS4 versions provide. There was little to no sensation of speed while playing this game, which is a letdown for a game starring a hedgehog who was once called the fastest thing alive in one of his ‘tude-filled cartoons from the 90’s. That’s the one little element that makes this game a lot less exciting to play than its main Switch competitor, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.


How can I hold anything when I’m basically flying??

Team Sonic Racing is a great game without a doubt. It’s packed with a lot of modes, racers and inventive tracks, as well as a neat gameplay twist. Is this game a great Mario Kart substitute, though? Well, if you decide to buy any other version other than the Switch one, absolutely, thanks to the improved framerate. Being able to play this game on-the-go is a fantastic bonus, but its underwhelming locked framerate doesn’t make it look as fast-paced and exciting as its competition.


Graphics: 7.5

The courses are beautiful and detailed, but the reduced framerate doesn’t provide the sensation of speed that a game featuring Sonic should provide.

Gameplay: 8.0

Your standard kart racing control scheme. It’s easy to pick up and play as it should, and it’s only undermined by the Switch’s lack of an analog trigger for precise acceleration.

Sound: 8.0

This is what you expect from a Sonic game: an excellent soundtrack, a few Crush 40 tunes, and irritating voice acting.

Fun Factor: 8.5

Thanks to its unique spin on the kart racing sub-genre, course variety, challenging difficulty, and handful of modes, there’s more than enough in Team Sonic Racing to keep you entertained for hours.

Final Verdict: 8.0

Team Sonic Racing is available now on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Switch.

Reviewed on Switch.