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Video Game / Sonic Runners

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Sonic Runners was a free-to-play Endless Running Game for iOS and Android in the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise developed by Sonic Team, released worldwide on June 25, 2015note  and shut down on July 27, 2016 due to poor revenues and reception.

In this game, players follow the antics of Team Sonic as they fight to protect Omochao and their animal friends from the heinous plots of the nefarious Dr. Eggman, his loyal servants Orbot and Cubot, and his army of Badnik minions. Players progress the plot by playing the game, which takes the form of an endless obstacle course Sonic and pals speed through on a quest for the most points possible. On the way, they'll encounter myriad hazards, evil Badniks, and Dr. Eggman himself, all who intend on standing in the player's way.

A sequel titled Sonic Runners Adventure was later released. Not to be confused with Sonic Dash, an earlier Sonic endless running game.

And because this is Sonic the Hedgehog with its extensive Fan Game and Game Mod scenes, a group of fans have taken it upon themselves to unofficially bring the game back online after its shutdown and expand it as Sonic Runners Revival, still in active development and service well into 2022.

Tropes present in this game:

  • Action Commands: The game doesn't directly tell you, but launching off a springboard allows you to do tricks by continuously tapping the screen, a la Sonic Colors, which scores more points. The Idiosyncratic Combo Levels from Colors is even recycled.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • If you reach Eggman with a power up still active, anything except the Combo Bonus and Magnet will stop working and their timers will freeze until Eggman goes away.
    • After a Wisp wears off, the Spring power up will take effect for a couple seconds so you don't accidentally drop into a pit while transforming. Nearby enemies and spike balls will also be destroyed.
    • After a Speed Up occurs, your Combo will pick up from its last value prior to the cut, regardless of how much time is spent picking up the next item.
    • If you're high enough up a wall but haven't cleared it, your character will automatically grab the ledge and vault up instead of colliding.
  • Ascended Extra: Amusingly, the tutorial character Omochao is promoted to a standard character and gains a (albeit flat) personality for the first time, living amongst the animals and interacting with Team Sonic on a regular basis. When trouble arrives, the animals turn to Omochao, and Omochao turns to Team Sonic.
  • Attack Drone: Caliburn and Moon Mech can score free direct hits on Eggman. Note that this effect triggers once per boss appearance, which means that over the course of a regular stage, they can strike whenever the player reaches Eggman.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: You can purchase Red Rings with real money, which in turn can be used to purchase a plethora of benefits, such as Premium Roulette spins, more Rings, Revive Token recharges, and Continues.
  • The Bus Came Back: Several characters from the Sonic Storybook Series reappear as Buddy characters. In addition, Tikal, who hasn't made an appearance since Sonic Adventure 2, was added to the game as a playable character during the Sonic Adventure event.
  • Character Select Forcing: You can take any character into any stage, but if you want to use higher roads and better paths for more points, you'll have to use a character whose type matches the stage specialty.
  • Console Cameo: You can get a SEGA Genesis and a Sonic the Hedgehog cartridge topped on the Sonic & Knuckles one as Helpers.
  • Crossover:
    • With Phantasy Star Online 2, by way of MAG, Rappy, and Quna Helpers for Sonic and co. Astoundingly, this crossover is also in the English version of the game, even though the game it's collaborating with hasn't released worldwide yet.
    • Since then they've also crossed over with Puyo Puyo, adding a Puyo Puyo themed level and Carbuncle as an equipable companion.
    • A NiGHTS campaign also happened, where you could get NiGHTS, Reala, and a Nightopian as companions in the Premium Roulette.
    • And there has also been a Fantasy Zone campaign where you could get Opa-Opa, Opapa and a Heavy Bomb as companions.
  • Cut and Paste Environments: The levels revealed so far come from Sonic Lost World. The design of each level shows you which character they were designed for - Windy Hill for Sonic and the Speed Types; Sky Road for Tails and the Fly Types; and Lava Mountain for Knuckles and the Power Types.
  • Difficulty by Acceleration: Upon finishing the first Eggman battle in a run, the speed will increase. The game will go faster after the second battle, and after the third, the game will hit "Top Speed".
  • Double Jump: Every character has an ability that they can use in midair to get some extra airtime.
    • Speed-Type characters have the ability to triple jump. If an enemy is hit in midair, you can execute another 2 jumps.
    • Fly-Type characters can fly for a brief period of time, whether it's used all at once or in short bursts. Hitting an enemy will reset your flight power, allowing you to get more airtime.
    • Power-Type characters dash forward, allowing them to smash enemies and blocks, and they can jump during or after the dash. Hitting something during the dash will extend the dashing time, while hitting something during the second jump lets you do another dash and another jump.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: Silver the Hedgehog, Cream the Rabbit, and Big the Cat are "Easy" type characters that provide a 10% decrease to gameplay speed when used, which goes up to 19% if two are equipped at once. However, that 10% speed decrease comes with a 50% score penalty, and that 19% comes with a 75% cut to score. Additionally, all three cost 250 Red Star Rings each or a whopping 5,000,000 Rings each to purchase, which are both high enough numbers that you probably don't need them by the time you can amass those values. An update overhauled the character acquisition system and made them readily available via the Roulette, although the score penalty remains.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: "Gothic Amy" is Amy Rose dressed up in this fashion.
  • Elite Mook: Story-wise, the Super Egg Pawns. They're powered by a special energy that prevents Sonic from destroying them, although Knuckles can clean them up with ease. Gameplay-wise, there are other "Super" enemies that are metallic in color, which cannot be destroyed unless you're invincible or you're using a Power-type character. Speed and Fly-type characters just bounce off their heads. An update eventually removed Super enemies from Speed and Fly courses and limited them to Power courses, where they are treated identically to regular enemies.
  • Episodic Game: In a quite literal sense. The plot is told in a fairly episodic fashion, which follows a "Saturday morning cartoon"-esque format. In most Episodes, something bad occurs, and Team Sonic speeds to the rescue, whether to find an animal friend some food or to stop Dr. Eggman from kidnapping Wisps. The player progresses these plots by playing the game, and when the player get enough points, they move onto the next stage. At the fifth stage, the player confronts Dr. Eggman or whatever crisis is occurring, and if it's the former, there's a boss fight. After that, crisis solved, Team Sonic does it again, and the plot marches on.
  • Guide Dang It!: The tutorial is actually generally helpful in telling you the ins and outs of the game, although it glosses over some bits, like how Springboards worknote  and the trick behind a Power-type character's aerial dashnote , which must be figured out via gameplay.
  • Fake Difficulty:
    • The game isn't very well optimized on weaker smartphones, especially older ones, which can lead to bouts of lag from time to time. Given the nature of the game, this can kill a run in an instant. Activating Streamlined Mode can help alleviate the problem, but it may not get rid of it.
    • At later stages, Eggman's spike ball pattern can screw you over if he drops two next to each other and you run into the first one; the second one will kill you before you can regain control of your character.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • Erazor Djinn. After being sealed away by a "blue warrior", he was split into 1000 fragments, who can recombine if they each grant a wish. So the mini-Djinns start running around granting wishes like crazy, and one of them is more than willing to let Team Sonic take him along for the ride as a Helper.
    • King Boom Boo and the other boos don't appear as enemies in the Halloween Event. One of the boos guides Sonic and co. to the castle to stop Eggman's brainwashing of King Boom Boo and the other boos. Also, you can have the boo and King Boom Boo as companion characters.
  • Large-Ham Announcer: The announcer from Sonic Colors and Sonic Lost World returns to announce Wisps. He doesn't announce the Quick Time Events, although the screen still shows "Good! Great! Awesome! Outstanding! AMAZING!".
  • Luck-Based Mission: The Roulettes of course, but leveling Helpers takes special mention. To get a Helper to level up, you have to snag the same Helper in the Premium Roulette, which is completely based on random chance.
  • Meaningless Lives:
    • The game has a lives format similar to Candy Crush Saga, in that you get limited lives and when they run out have to wait to get more... but you can befriend other players and send each other lives. It's possible to get past the thousands in just a few days.
    • Early on, it's extremely unlikely to run out of lives without doing it deliberately, as they replenish whenever you reach Eggman, which is very easy. However, Sega changed this by having only three lives as the cap for regenerating amount, and increasing the time from fifteen minutes to half an hour.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Zavok is well aware that no matter hard he tries, Zazz will never defeat Sonic. However, Zazz fighting Sonic will allow him to gather data for them, so that the Deadly Six may one day return to get revenge on Sonic.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: Cubot. He's far too good natured and stupid to do anything to actively prevent the heroes from stopping Eggman.
  • Musical Nod: “Fly Away” not only includes Rooftop Run’s theme in it’s notation- it also briefly samples the SatAM theme.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Cubot does this so often, it's amazing Eggman hasn't scrapped him yet.
  • Nintendo Hard: Generally, it's smooth enough sailing for the first two segments, but the obstacles get simply ridiculous once you hit top speed.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Of course, this trope is present, but it's out in full force once you hit top speed, where there are no rings whatsoever, and only the occasional shield.
  • Palette Swap: Some characters are given new versions during events, which are usually the same character but with a new design/outfit. Averted for a select few characters who are different from their base versions, such as ESP Silver, who is Fly/Future instead of Speed/Easy like his normal counterpart.
  • Piñata Enemy: Dr. Eggman appears in his Eggmobile after running for a set period of time in a regular stage. He only drops non-lethal springs that slow you down if you hit them, and if you attack him, he drops a lot of Rings and occasionally a Red Star Ring. He lets you wail on him for a set time or until you miss, in which case he zooms ahead and drops a bomb that explodes and restarts the cycle at the next speed tier.
  • Play Every Day: There are login bonuses, and a daily challenge with another reward.
  • Power Ups: The Cyan, Indigo, and Yellow Wisps, which grant the Laser, Asteroid, and Drill powers respectively. There's also a standard Invincibility Power-Up, Springs (they block off bottomless pits), a Power-Up Magnet that draws in items, and Combo Bonus, which prevents you from losing your combo, as well as doubling the bonus points you get for a limited time.
  • Premium Currency: Red-star rings. Players can use them to play roulette (used to earn new characters, Chao, and buddies) or exchange for rings, which are regular currency. Red-star rings can be earned by completing daily challenges, episodes, participating in events, or rarely during runs and boss fights
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • As far as a children's game is concerned. Zazz outright tells Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles that he's going to "send them all to Hell".
    • Knuckles says "Damn" a few times, too.
  • Random Drop: Eggman may drop a Red Star Ring when you hit him. Using the RC Battle Cruiser as a partner increases the odds of him dropping one.
  • Recurring Boss: All of the bosses, technically. There's three different battle types that get repeated ad infinitum with increasingly high health and tougher attack patterns.
  • Running on All Fours: Sonic the Werehog does this.
  • Sore Loser: The Zazz Raid Event features Zazz returning to get revenge on Sonic. Why? Because ever he since he lost to Sonic, he's been unable to sleep.
  • Spell My Name With An S: Quna is spelled as "Kuna" in Runners, even though the credits of her home game states otherwise.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: Two of the boss battles have Eggman fire shiny yellow projectiles that you can knock right back at him, and in the third he tries to ram you directly, giving you a chance to hit him.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: The Easy characters are actually pretty good for events that require you to collect items in a special stage, since the score there doesn't do anything.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: In "A Gift for Mama", Sonic's love of chili dogs is brought back when him and his friends find one while looking for a gift for Picky's mom, and Sonic states that "I'd be super-stoked if someone gave ME a chili dog for my birthday!"
  • Tyop on the Cover: If you click on the battle button where you and your opponent are shown, one of the buttons below says that you can pay 5 Red Star Rings to "Find Another Apponent". Particularly funny, since the word "opponent" is spelled correctly on the button right next to it.
  • Video Game Flight: Fly-type characters can ascend by tapping the screen in midair. However, they have limited stamina, and will no longer fly if they get tired.