Sega is bringing a collection of its finest retro video games to iOS and Android devices via a new service called Sega Forever. There are five games in the Sega Forever launch line-up, consisting of the original Sonic the Hedgehog, RPG Phantasy Star II, beat them up Comix Zone, platformer Kid Chameleon and the original Sega Mega Drive (Genesis) pack-in game Altered Beast.
Unlike its past mobile releases – which include the likes of Sonic the Hedgehog and Football Manager Mobile – the entire Sega Forever line-up is free-to-play and supported by ads. Players can optionally remove the ads via an in-app purchase for £2.
The launch line-up is exclusively made up of Mega Drive games, the Sega Forever Twitter feed has teased shots of other consoles, including the SG 1000, Dreamcast and Saturn Sega has promised that all have been updates with modern features including cloud saves, controller support and leader boards. All games are also available offline, regardless of whether the user is playing the ad-free or ad-supported version. iOS players will receive a free iMessage sticker pack alongside each game.
Sega’s previous retro catalogue has been largely well-received on cell pjhonesa but a few games suffered technical glitches. The downside of this was the emulators used which mimic original hardwares and play Mega Drive ROMs – rather than ports made specifically for Android and iOS products. For example, an early emulated version of Sonic the Hedgehog was replaced by a superior port in 2013 alongside a port of Sonic CD.
Christian Whitehead, the fangame developer behind the ports, has since moved in-house at Sega, developing the upcoming Sonic Mania Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch. How Sega will tackle and manage these performance issues will be intriguing to know because the difficulty developers have created a working emulator for the consoles that are classically esoteric hardware.
The first set of Sega Forever games launches today for both iOS and Android users. Further games will launch every two weeks.