Sonic Lost World (Nintendo 3DS) Review

By SirLink 25.11.2013 4

Review for Sonic Lost World on Nintendo 3DS

Much like previous home console Sonic games such as Sonic Colours and Sonic Generations, Sonic Lost World on the Wii U is accompanied by a handheld version developed by Dimps. Portable versions of home console games don't exactly have a very good reputation so the question is, can Sonic Lost World on 3DS prove this notion wrong? Read on to find out...

The story of the game is told in cut-scenes that appear either before or after nearly every level and feature a group of antagonists called The Deadly Six that Sonic and his buddy Tails have to face. Dr. Eggman and his trusty minion robots Orbot and Cubot also make an appearance and they certainly provide the most entertaining moments throughout the story. How does the gameplay hold up, though? Well, it's a very enjoyable experience for the most part that's hampered by some instances of poor level design and mechanics.

Let's get to what it does right first. A major change to the formula comes in the form of a parkour system that allows Sonic to scale and run alongside walls and grab onto ledges. It controls quite well, improving the flow of the game and allowing level design that wasn't possible before, such as running and jumping between walls. The ability to save oneself from certain death by grabbing onto ledges is also much appreciated. Another change was made to Sonic's speed. While there's still some acceleration by simply moving with the Circle Pad, it's only possible run fast by holding down the right shoulder button. Parkour functions are mapped to that button, as well, giving the player full control over Sonic's abilities. The spin dash is also back and activated by briefly holding down the Y button to obtain an extra boost that's even faster than simply running, which is often required in 2D sections and very fun to activate. Overall, the basic controls are very satisfying to use.

Screenshot for Sonic Lost World on Nintendo 3DS

Although Sonic is packing his trusty homing attack and a new somersault move that can be used to stun enemies, sometimes his abilities aren't enough to overcome the challenges ahead of him and he has to make use of a variety of Wisp power-ups, that were first seen in Sonic Colours. Unlike the Wii U version of the game, levels that feature Wisps are actually designed with them in mind and not randomly placed in a way that it feels pointless to even use them. Particularly fun to use are the Ivory Lightning and Indigo Asteroid Wisps. Ivory Lightning turns Sonic into a lightning bolt that can quickly ram into enemies and generate threads of electricity to connect with charge coils scattered throughout a level. Indigo Asteroid, instead, can be used to cause anything that Sonic touches to disintegrate and surrounds him to increase his reach.

While a majority of stages are well-designed and very fun to play, there are a select few that really hold the game back from being something truly special. Perhaps the most frustrating one is a snowy level where the goal is to push snowballs around to make them larger and eventually roll them into a hole to advance - something that is the complete opposite of the rest of the game when it comes to pacing. It's made even worse by an enemy snowball that chases the player throughout the majority of the stage with the goal to make the snowball mechanic as annoying as possible. Other problems include sudden camera or gravity switches in some 2D stages and forced usage of the gyroscope for some segments that would work just as well with the Circle Pad. Fortunately, extra lives are placed fairly throughout levels so some deaths caused by poor game design won't result in Game Overs that would trigger the player to lose progress in what can be moderately-long stages at 10-15 minutes each.

Screenshot for Sonic Lost World on Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

While some infrequent instances of poor game design prevent the game from being an absolute success, it's still a very worthy entry in the Sonic franchise that can keep up with and, in some areas, even surpass its home console counterpart. With a relative lack of 3D platformers available for the system, 3DS owners should definitely consider giving Sonic Lost World a try. Fans of the series that already own it on the Wii U may want to pick up this version, too, as it features different levels and offers enough content to warrant a purchase.


Sonic Team




3D Platformer



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now    Also on Also on Nintendo eShop


Good review, and surprising score given some of the others I've read! Quite liked that snowball bit actually (if it's the same as the Wii U version, felt very Mario).

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer

I was surprised myself, to be perfectly honest. I never thought I'd enjoy it more than the Wii U version which I'd also rank more at a 7/10 because it had more design problems than the 3DS version. Sonic also controls a bit smoother in this one and the flow of the levels is generally better.

The snowball bit doesn't actually turn Sonic into one like in the Wii U version, it makes him just push them around to make them bigger, kinda like you can do in Animal Crossing during winter. It's a completely unnecessary addition that doesn't add to the game in any way. I'd prefer if they didn't try so hard to mix things up by adding weird mechanics like this one and simply made more of the levels that work well instead.

JMC (guest) 18.12.2013#3

I completely agree with the review, especially the snowball bit. I'm actually stuck in that zone because it is SO bad that I don't want to play it...

Fighterbuilder (guest) 30.03.2014#4

Besides the snowball part, I thought Sonic Lost World was a pretty good game. The snowball section should've been replaced by a part where Sonic rides a snowball through the level (almost like the star-in-a-ball levels in Super Mario Galaxy.)

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