The complete first adventure of Hirokazu Yasuhara's blue-haired speedfreak plays surprisingly well on the iPhone and iPod touch. You only ever needed left, right and jump controls, so that's all you're getting on the iPhone. And they come in the form of virtual on-screen buttons.
"O rly?" you snark, "On-screen buttons? Don't they, y'know, suck?" Well yeah, kind of. They lack any tactile feedback, so you never know by touch alone where your fingers are (if you see what we mean). It's not a Susan Boyle hairstyle-sized obstacle, but for a game as fast-paced as Sonic, we found it takes a good half hour to acclimatise to.
But the graphics are lush, the original soundtrack is intact, along with all the original sound effects, and gameplay is smooth. Very sporadic frame-rate drops notwithstanding, the game plays admirably. Perhaps better than we were expecting.
Yes, Sega could've used the phone's accelerometer to allow you to roll Sonic around the screen -- something which was never possible on the Game Gear back in the day -- but no, that would've been too much to ask. As, apparently, would've been the ability to save and load more than just one instance of the game.
As long they're prepared to get used to using a touch-sensitive joypad, retro gamers will love the iPhone incarnation of Sonic the Hedgehog. If they don't, consider slapping them and demanding they give it another go.
Now, Sega, bring on Sonic and Knuckles already. This rudimentary hedgehog-related arousal isn't going to satisfy itself with just the one hot-ass title.
Juicy screenshots abound over the next few pages. Of the game, not our arousal. The very thought!