Nothing quite gets the nostalgia hairs on the back of my gaming hands standing to attention quite like that scratchy, two-note introduction of “Say-garrr” that precedes devastatingly frustrating Sonic adventures of old.

They don’t make games like that any more, and they’ve tried. My goodness they’ve tried…

But Sonic Mania doesn’t so much fly in the face of previous attempts to recapture the joy and exhilaration of old-timey Sonic, but lift it off its feet, dip it in jam and send it shattering into a dimension where the furniture isn’t altogether comfortable.

What Sonic Mania does is pull all the good stuff from the myriad incarnations over the past 25 years (for this is an anniversary title, see), slap a raft of new bits across its face (but not so new that we’d remember we’re not playing this in the early nineties), stand back and watch the fireworks of small mammals racing across the screen in order to defeat the large headed gentleman that has significantly annoyed old blue pricklepants from the start.

For a Sonic-head it’s an absolute ring-chucking joyous return of 16-bit death-redo-death-learn-survive-death-again that rewarded perseverance and made a generation of bloody hardy gamers that scoff at today’s non-death approach to digital entertainment.