‘Sonic Mania’ will take us all back to the ’90s on August 15

Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles are all set to return to our digital screens this August 15 when Sonic Mania is released. The retro-looking and feeling Sonic side-scroller stands apart from many games within the franchise and the latest trailer for the game reflects that, with some hand-drawn art from Sonic comic artist, Tyson Hesse.

Although there have been many Sonic games over the years, none have quite captured the fan-love and esteem of the original quadrilogy on the Genesis from the early ’90s. While there are various theories as to why, one of the most popular is the push for three-dimensional worlds, something that Sonic Mania does away with. This is a Sonic game as it was originally intended.

The new gameplay footage shown in the latest trailer for the game highlights this, showing not only a 2D drawing of Sonic himself but the titular blue hedgehog and friends racing through various levels from the upcoming game. They are entirely two-dimensional and making their way from left to right throughout the levels, all of which are either returning classics or inspired by the original’s level design.

Along with many familiar elements to the maps, the characters too are very much the classics. While Sonic certainly has a lot of different friends and enemies who were introduced over the years, Sonic Mania offers the classic three from the first four games: Sonic himself, his ever-present-pal Tails, and Knuckles.

You’ll use each of their abilities in Sonic Mania, spinning as Sonic, flying as Tails and climbing with Knuckles, all the while listening to a pumping, retro soundtrack as showcased in the new trailer. We even get a glimpse at what looks like a boss of sorts, with a traditional robotic slant to it.

Sonic Mania is set for release on Xbox One, PS4, Windows PCs, and Nintendo Switch on August 15, though it is already available for digital pre-order on Steam and the Xbox Games Store for $20. As Polygon points out, there’s also a Collector’s Edition for those who fancy spending $70 for a deluxe box, 12-inch Sonic and Genesis statue, a cartridge cast, and a metallic collector’s card with download key.