Spark The Electric Jester 3 refines Sonic-style 3D platforming to an art

Would you believe that one of the best Sonic games in years doesn’t contain a single blue hedgehog? Recently released on Steam, Spark The Electric Jester 3—a mouthful of a title—caps off a trilogy of heavily Sonic-inspired platformers by Brazilian solo developer Felipe ‘LakeFeperd’ Daneluz, who first broke into game development making Sonic fangames. While I’ve enjoyed the whole trilogy, Spark 3 is the first to transcend its inspirations and give Sega some genuine competition.

Much like A Hat In Time and Demon Turf take heavy inspiration from 3D Mario games while doing their own thing, Spark 3 has its own feel while being immediately intuitive if you’ve played 3D Sonic. The first key difference is combat. Spark spends most of his time running extremely quickly and bouncing off smaller enemies, but sometimes slows down to engage bigger foes in some Devil May Cry-lite combat, building up a combo multiplier that also amplifies damage done. It’s a decent combat engine with a satisfying parry mechanic, but it can break up the flow of some levels. There are some vehicular segments and even a giant mech battle at one point, but for the most part, this is a game about extremely fast movement.

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