Sonic Mania

Watch on YouTube Sonic Mania feels less like a "retro style" game and more like an actual retro game. The gameplay, controls, environments and more are exactly what you'd expect if someone were to release a new Genesis-based Sonic game... minus the fact that the increased size, plus things like cut scenes and other bits clearly call it out as not being achievable on the Sega Genesis platform.

The game consists of 13 zones: 8 of them are remasters of existing zones, while 5 are original. The remasters typically contain a first act which is substantially similar to the existing zone it is remastered from -- while you may not be able to play directly from muscle memory on these zones, it's not far from it, though secondary paths often have additional hidden components like access to chaos emeralds or different item pickups.

The second act of each remastered zone will typically be a well-done level done in the exact same style -- featuring the key elements of the existing stage but adding additional twists, turns, enemies and elements.

The game incorporates components of all of the major Genesis-based games: the spindash from Sonic 2, the various bubble types from Sonic 3 and Knuckles, the Chaos Emerald stages from Sonic CD, etc. It incorporates all these elements in a way that makes it feel like just a continuation of the existing game series.

Overall, I think the developer did an excellent job carrying forward the tradition of Sonic with Sonic Mania. Well done to Christian Whitehead and the Headcannon and PagodaWest Games teams for creating an excellent piece to continue in the tradition of Sonic!