If you enjoyed the nostalgia-fueled fun of last year’s Sonic Mania, then the game’s newly released content will give you all the reason you’ll need to go searching for more Chaos Emeralds. Available as both a physical release (Sonic Mania Plus) and digital DLC (Encore), the remixed content and new gameplay experiences with the playable characters Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Flying Squirrel are worth the price of admission.

While the level color palette changes in Encore Mode aren’t that amazing on their own, the new enemy placements and stage arrangements do force you to rethink how you run through a level. It’s when you traverse through these courses as the spike-proof Mighty or the perpetually gliding Ray that you really get a renewed sense of appreciation for this pitch-perfect love letter to classic Sonic platforming. In addition to spike immunity, Mighty the Armadillo also has a ground pound ability that allows him to smash down through select level sections to open up new paths to the end. Unlike Tails’ signature helicopter flying ability or Knuckles’ gliding, with enough practice, you could fly through most of a level as Ray and avoid all the perils underfoot. If you’ve ever spent time flying around levels in the SNES title Super Mario World using the Cape Feather power-up, then the mechanics of Ray’s flying ability will be second nature.

Sonic Mania Plus Encore DLC Review Final Thoughts:

Short on actual new content in a game already made up of repurposed levels from decades ago, Sonic Mania Plus shines when Mighty and Ray enter the mix. Encore Mode pairs together two characters at a time, though the inability to switch between all available characters in your lineup is a bit frustrating. For the price of $4.99, Sonica Mania Plus DLC gives you updated level layouts which refresh the experience for veterans of the series.