Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice does bring together the charm of platforming with a mild amount of exploration, but doesn’t become anything more than a decent experience on Nintendo 3DS. Based on the Sonic Boom cartoon show with the same characters, Fire & Ice has a similar humor in its story, but also tries to have a classic series approach with its 2D gameplay. While there is a lot to discover in each of the game’s seven areas, and a number of characters to play with, I never found my experience with it any more exciting than the previous Sonic games that came before it. It might be a step in the right direction, but Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice isn’t as good as I would have hoped it would be.
The story of Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice has Sonic and his friends investigating a surge of giant fissures appearing on their home island, while trying to foil Dr. Eggman’s latest scheme. Along the way, Sonic encounters a mysterious power that allows him to switch between the elements of fire and ice, which is somehow related to the fissures that appear on the island.
While it’s not the best story to appear in a Sonic game, it did help keep most of the focus on Fire & Ice’s gameplay. If you weren’t a fan of the redesigns for Sonic and his friends, then you aren’t going to feel any different playing through this game. A lot of the same kind of goofy jokes and witty humor you would expect in the cartoon show can be found here, with more than a few stumbles along the way.
While classic Sonic games have always focused on speeding through stages, Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice encourages players to take a moment and check different paths for collectibles. Quickly traversing a stage is done by toggling between both Fire and Ice powers, which is used to get across some platforming puzzles and obstacles.
However, the fire and ice powers weren’t always necessary for a majority of the game. I used ice to make platforms I could run across or fire to melt obstacles that blocked my path, but it wasn’t until the final stages where powers are used in more interesting ways.
Uncovering everything in each level requires switching between characters to reach new areas. You can play as Sonic and all of his friends, each with their own unique abilities to use in stages. I didn’t always have to switch between characters when reaching the end goal, but I couldn’t find collectibles without taking a moment to explore my surroundings and see which of Sonic’s friends would be helpful.
The moments where I switched between characters more frequently were during boss fights towards the end of each zone. Bosses are simple to take down because of their simple attack patterns and obvious weak points, which makes the majority of them boring despite utilizing both screens of the Nintendo 3DS during battle.
Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice is an okay game that doesn’t do anything special for the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. While its 2D gameplay mimics the classic entries of the series, everything else about Fire & Ice is shallow at best. There’s a lot to collect in each stage, which encourages returning to different stages, but not everyone will have the desire to revisit them again. The multiple playable characters and humor are good here, but this game will mostly appeal to those who already enjoy the Sonic Boom cartoon show.
This review was based on a digital review code for Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice for the Nintendo 3DS, provided by SEGA.