Sonic and friends make their racing debut on Nintendo Switch with Team Sonic Racing. Play as one of 15 franchise characters as you race alone, in couch co-op, or with up to 11 other racers online. This game’s standout feature is the cooperative element of racing in teams and working together for the win. Players perform various actions to help team members, like sharing items, giving boosts, and working towards filling the Ultimate meter, which offers a high-speed boost to every player on the team.
While there are several play modes to choose from, you should start with Team Adventure, the story mode with three difficulty levels. This mode serves as a tutorial, introducing the game’s overworld and leading you through an assortment of courses, each with different objectives to complete in order to achieve the highest star ranking. The more stars you obtain, the more tracks are unlocked for racing. As you proceed through this story mode, you’ll also unlock new characters, each with unique skill sets. For instance, Tails can drive on rough surfaces without slowing down.
If you’re used to Mario-Kart-style controls, it will likely take a few races to adapt to the Team Sonic Racing controls, but you’ll get the hang of things fairly quickly. Move with the joystick, use ZR to set your speed, and use ZL to direct your drift. Controls are pretty tight, a la Mario Kart, but in our view, Mario Kart’s controls are superior. ZR controls your speed, while ZL directs your drift. Items can be used with X, Y, A, and B, and remember that items are meant to be shared among teammates. Working together is the only way to fill your Ultimate meter, which grants a high-speed boost to all team members.
The cooperative gameplay makes Team Sonic Racing stand out from other racing games, but that’s not all that sets this title apart. While games like Mario Kart designate vehicle customization as an unlockable, Team Sonic Racing lets you purchase customization options called Mod Pods with in-game currency that’s earned by performing well in races. You can adjust your car’s acceleration, handling, speed, defense, and boost, but you can also change your car’s looks and sounds.
Team Sonic Racing looks gorgeous on Switch. It runs at 30 FPS when docked and seems to run similarly in handheld mode, and we never encountered any issues with frame rates. It’s true that the PS4 and Xbox ports look better (in 60 FPS), but unless you are really picky and/or blessed with 20/20 vision, you probably won’t notice a difference. The stages are well-designed and filled with bright and vibrant colors, often taking inspiration from past Sonic titles. The new music fits the Sonic brand well, and the sound effects add Sonic flair that fans of the franchise know and love.
Team Sonic Racing is a welcome addition to the Switch’s library of racing titles, especially for players looking for a fresh new racing title. It offers everything that a good racing game should have, like tons of tracks, solid controls, and a variety of customization options. With excellent replayability, Team Sonic Racing offers hours and hours of fun, whether you’re playing alone or with friends. While Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a superior title, Team Sonic Racing offers something new, different, and fun, especially for fans of the Sonic franchise.
Nick and Sarah are the ultimate gaming couple. Nick is a Super Mario Maker 2 enthusiast, but working with Nintendeal has fostered a love for tough-as-nails indies such as Enter the Gungeon, Celeste, and Cuphead. Sarah prefers sim games like Animal Crossing, Don’t Starve, and Stardew Valley, but she challenges herself by grinding Slay the Spire from time to time.