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The Best New Sonic The Hedgehog Game In Two Decades Costs $1.99

And it's a flagrant cash-in on a mobile gaming trend. But it's so fun, who cares?

Posted on March 12, 2013, at 12:35 p.m. ET

Remember Sonic?

You know, the blue speed-freak hedgehog that a lot of gamers actually preferred to Mario? Let's do a quick crash course in what Mario has done in the 19 years since the last great Sonic game, Sonic and Knuckles.

Well, in 1996, Mario basically invented the 3-D open-world game.

Then, the next year, he starred in maybe the greatest casual racing game ever made.

Oh, then in 1998, for a follow-up, he starred in maybe the greatest party game ever made.

And we'd be remiss not to mention this:

Anyhow, here's what Sonic has been up to during the same time period. There was this, which was fine, sort of.

But then there was this?

And what the hell was this?

Also, let's try to forget about this.

Oh, and the less said about "Sonic Unleashed," the better.

Finally, in 2010, Sega tried to take Sonic back to his roots. But the game was only OK. Sonic couldn't go home anymore.

Then, the next year, a game called "Temple Run" came out. It was fast, and addictive, and simple: everything a good Sonic game should be.

(It also got downloaded more than 40 million times.)

And it was made by a husband and wife!

Someone at Sega noticed. "Sonic Dash" came out last week, and it's an unabashed copy of "Temple Run."

You can buy it for iOS here.

It's also incredibly fun and addictive. It captures the spirit of Sonic, which we thought was lost.

View this video on YouTube

(Sorry about the dubstep in the trailer)

So the moral of the story is this: Let's all send a giant thank-you to Keith Shepherd and Natalia Luckyanova, who made "Temple Run."

And Sega, maybe send them a check.