While virtual reality has opened the door to a large number of unique, creative gaming experiences, there’s often still a desire to see existing iconic franchises adapted to the new technology. One that you wouldn’t expect to work is the classic Sonic the Hedgehog, not only because the original games were 2D platformers, but also because they emphasize going really, really fast — a feeling that frequently doesn’t translate well to VR. That hasn’t stopped one indie VR developer from giving it a try, however.
Nimso Ny has managed to turn Green Hill Zone Act 1, the original Sonic game’s iconic first level, into a full VR environment. All the original elements are there, including gold rings, enemies, branching paths, spike traps, and yes, corkscrews.
The level’s core layout is the same, except players are now moving forward instead of left to right across the screen, and now there’s space to move to the sides, since the environment is 3D.
What’s really interesting is how Sonic’s movement is controlled: instead of just pressing forward on the controller, players must actually run in place and jump in order to move through the level, with the spin maneuver triggered by crouching. It almost turns classic Sonic gameplay into an exercise routine.
The developer admits this is far from being a recreation of the full game experience, as there’s no damage taken for colliding with enemies or traps. It’s those corkscrews, however, that need the most warning, as running through those is sure to give your stomach a twist. If you still want to check it out, Nimso has made it available as a free download.