Team Sonic Racing is a 2019 kart racing game and a spin-off from Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog series. Controlling one of 15 characters from the series’ cast, players compete in races using sports cars. They view gameplay from a third-person perspective while performing tricks, drifting, and collecting power-ups. Team Sonic Racing differs from traditional kart racers because of its focus on cooperative gameplay, similar to the kind featured in Splatoon (2015) and Overwatch (2016)—players are part of a team of racers and win races through efficiency rather than speed. Game modes include competing to earn points, time trials, customizing the racing rules, and a story-driven tutorial campaign.
Sumo Digital, which had previously worked on Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing (2010) and Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (2012), developed Team Sonic Racing. Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka conceived the cooperative gameplay, and Sumo Digital used the team-based Sonic Heroes (2003) as a point of reference. Unlike Sumo Digital’s previous racing games, Team Sonic Racing only features Sonic characters, as the team wanted to expand the series’ world and character roster. They aimed to make the game stand out compared to other racing games and developed it using a modified version of the All-Stars game engine. Musician Jun Senoue, who had not contributed to a major Sonic game since Generations (2011), composed the soundtrack.
Team Sonic Racing’s existence came to light when a Sumo Digital memo leaked in January 2018, with Sega confirming it the following May. Its marketing campaign included appearances at trade shows, a one-shot comic from IDW Publishing, and a two-part animated series. The game was released on May 21, 2019 for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows, and received mixed reviews. Critics praised the team-based gameplay and track designs, but disliked the story mode and voice acting.