Ranking Every Playable Character In Sonic Dream Team

Sonic Dream Team surprised everyone when it launched on Apple Arcade by being a fantastic 3D Sonic platformer with some incredible levels. On top of reviving the more linear-style gameplay, the Blue Blur’s iOS adventure marks the return of multiple playable characters, including some faces that have been missing for years.

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There are six characters you can play as in Sonic Dream Team, with three unique play styles and several character-specific levels spread across them. In addition, Ian Flynn (Sonic comics, Sonic Frontiers) returns as the writer, delivering some stellar depictions of Sonic and his friends. But only one of them can be the best.

These characters are ranked based on their gameplay styles, levels, and how they’re written.

6 Amy Rose

Unlocked

Scrambled Shores – Act One

Special Ability

Light-Speed Dash, Air Dash

While not a bad depiction of the character, Amy from Sonic Dream Team highlights the limitations of Apple Arcade games. Sega teases you by including her iconic Piko Piko Hammer on her character model without letting you use it during gameplay, likely due to the simpler control scheme.

The omission is understandable given the hardware limitations, yet it robs Amy of her individuality gameplay-wise. Nevertheless, her light-speed dash and air dash abilities allow her to zoom through rows of rings and cross large gaps, making her great for speed runs.

How Is Amy Written?

Luckily, Sonic Dream Team does wonders for Amy’s characterization by fleshing out her personality beyond her obsession with Sonic and tackle-hugging every hedgehog she meets.

She’s both the heart and muscle of the group, always looking out for everyone’s well-being while mercilessly destroying enemies. This depiction of Amy debuted in Sonic Frontiers, and it’s refreshing to see it here.

5 Knuckles The Echidna

Unlocked

Nightmare Maze – Act One

Special Ability

Wall-Climbing, Gliding

Knuckles is back with his traditional gliding and wall-climbing gameplay. Similar to his appearance in Sonic Frontiers: Final Horizon, Knuckles can climb walls with red panels. While it’s fun, it feels slightly restrictive compared to games like Sonic Adventure 2 or Sonic 3 & Knuckles, where he can scale any surface.

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Despite that, Knuckles is perfect for exploration-based segments. Gliding around levels is just as fun as ever, making searching for red coins and Dream Orb Shards a breeze. He can even create shortcuts and access areas intended only for Sonic and Amy.

How Is Knuckles Written?

Sonic Dream Team does something smart with Knuckles by having him bond with the Reverie guardian, Ariem, thanks to his own experience as the Master Emerald guardian.

Besides that, he’s a bit hot-tempered and likes throwing insults at enemies to rile them up. It’s a faithful depiction of the character, but unfortunately, Knuckles isn’t given much to do in the story and has the least amount of dialogue in the team.

4 Tails

Unlocked

Dream Factory – Act One

Special Ability

Flight

Tails in Sonic Dream Team is the closest he’s ever been to his gameplay style from Sonic Adventure. You won’t find any mechs, ring bombs, or gadgets here. You can boost, homing attack, and fly – and that’s all Tails needs. If anything, the simpler control scheme emphasizes Talis’ flight ability, which is still fun to use.

The best part about Tails’ gameplay from Sonic Adventure is finding shortcuts that break the level, and that’s back in Sonic Dream Team. Despite being tied to a stamina bar, Tails’ flight opens many opportunities to bypass chunks of the stage and save yourself from bottomless pits.

How Is Tails Written?

Sonic Dream Team does Tails justice by making him a capable fighter who courageously stands by his friends in battle. This is a stark contrast to his appearance in Sonic Forces, where he cowers away from danger.

As usual, Tails is the brains of the team, able to quickly understand the Reverie and how it works. Sadly, most of his dialogue is relegated to delivering exposition, and the character is capable of so much more than that.

3 Rouge The Bat

Unlocked

Nightmare Maze – Act One

Special Ability

Wall-Climbing, Gliding

It’s great to see Rouge playable in a 3D platformer after a 17-year absence. The last time you could play as her was Sonic ’06, and thankfully, Sonic Dream Team does a much better job with her gameplay. She can glide and climb walls, making her perfect for reaching alternative routes and finding collectibles.

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Like Knuckles, Rouge’s character-specific levels are slower-paced than the others, focusing on using her abilities to dodge obstacles rather than boosting straight through the level. This is nothing new, since Rouge has always thrived in exploration-based stages instead of speed-focused segments. If you like that style of gameplay, you’ll love her here.

How Is Rouge Written?

Rouge is up to her usual antics, only helping Sonic with the promise of a reward and constantly considering how she can use this dream world to her benefit.

However, Sonic Dream Team shows a more compassionate side to her. She will do the right thing when push comes to shove, indicating that she genuinely cares for the team deep down. Overall, it’s a spot-on depiction of her character.

2 Sonic The Hedgehog

Unlocked

Scrambled Shores – Intro

Special Ability

Light-Speed Dash, Air Dash

You can’t have a Sonic game without the Blue Blur himself. Thanks to his mix of boosting and light-speed dashing, Sonic’s time attack stages nail the feeling of fast-paced platforming, offering uninterrupted speed-based action from start to finish.

He’s also the ideal character for speedrunners, since his light-speed dash ability often leads to the fastest routes. The one downside is he can only dash across designated rows of rings, making it the most limited ability in the game. Nonetheless, Sonic feels incredible to control and lives up to the title “fastest thing alive.”

How Is Sonic Written?

Sonic Dream Team continues the trend set by Frontiers to make Sonic more mature. He feels like the big brother of the group who keeps everyone motivated while being playfully snarky.

He still laughs in the face of danger but takes things seriously when he needs to. His best dynamic is undoubtedly his sibling-like relationship with Cream, showcasing the heart of his character. He’s even able to beat Nightmare Eggman without transforming into Super Sonic. Talk about way past cool.

1 Cream The Rabbit

Unlocked

Dream Factory – Act One

Special Ability

Flight

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost 20 years since Cream last appeared as a playable character in Sonic Advance 3. While she has popped up occasionally in spin-offs and multiplayer modes, Sonic Dream Team puts her front and center as a main character, and it’s like she has never left.

While not as powerful as her appearances in the Sonic Advance games, Cream’s flight makes her excel in exploration stages and hunting down those last pesky red coins. Even Cheese the Chao is back, and he’s just as adorable as ever.

How Is Cream Written?

Cream is arguably the most important character in Sonic Dream Team’s story, going from being kidnapped by Eggman to striving to prove herself as a valuable member of Sonic’s team.

Cream is a bundle of positivity and childlike wonder, but don’t let that fool you. She’s more than capable of standing up to bullies, giving Eggman a piece of her mind several times throughout the game. Overall, she’s the heart and soul of Sonic Dream Team and the best depiction of the character in years.

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