Sonic Utopia is an experimental fully-3D Sonic the Hedgehog fan-game. The idea of the game is to reimagine how the series could be in 3D, remaining more faithful to the 2D games that started the franchise. It's currently in development but a demo was released in 2016.
The creator of Sonic Utopia, Mr Lange, is unsatisfied with the series' 3D titles. They're not enough like the 2D ones. Sonic Utopia changes this by being more based on the 2D games than Sonic Adventure was. It's meant to be to Sonic what Super Mario 64 was to Super Mario Bros.. Everything is Classic-themed, from Sonic's design to the general art design, and the gameplay is based on the Classic style.
Everything in the demo is built from scratch except for a few placeholder sounds and sound effects from Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie.
Sonic Utopia provides examples of:
- Anti-Frustration Features: Despite largely being based on the Genesis games, Sonic still has the Homing Attack from the Adventure games to make hitting enemies easier. Unlike the Adventure games though, hitting an enemy with the Homing Attack doesn't kill your momentum.
- Fan Game: Sonic Utopia is being designed from the ground-up by a team of Sonic fans.
- Genre Throwback: The Sonic Utopia demo is a 3D version of the Mega Drive titles.
- Green Hill Zone: The demo is a literal 3D reimagining of Green Hill Zone. It expands upon the level by making it a huge, expansive landscape.
- Sliding Scale of Linearity vs. Openness: Point 3 on the scale. The game takes the level design philosophy of the Genesis games of having three paths and massively expands on it. The level is still 'get from point A to point B', but the sheer vastness of it can make it feel like an open world at times. The end result is comparable to that of the areas in Xenoblade Chronicles.
- Wheel o' Feet: Sonic has this like in the classic games, stylised to look good in 3D.