Sonic Boom actually has two releases later this year for the 3DS and Wii U. Each version will be completely different, including a different story, levels, and development team. This preview is specifically for the 3DS version, which is easily the better version.
Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal features three different types of levels. The most abundant is the side-scrolling adventure level, which is loosely akin to side-scrolling Metroid levels. Although players can play as Sonic and blaze through some parts of the levels, they also involve somewhat slower platforming and puzzle-solving. This is not necessarily a bad thing; with four different characters, each with their own abilities, there are plenty of puzzle-solving possibilities. This does unfortunately mean that players should not expect as much speed in these levels as they would typically from a Sonic game.
Gamers take control of Sonic to weave him around obstacles and jump over crevices in the tube levels. These levels are somewhat similar to Temple Run, although they are much faster and more entertaining than anything offered in Temple Run. They are very well-put together and deliberately placed, since the levels are not procedurally designed and actually possess substance. The racing levels are standard Sonic fare: players race against other characters in a side-scrolling environment.
All three levels are pretty entertaining and fun to play. Although the adventure levels are not necessarily as fast as some would have hoped them to be, they are still fun 2D side-scrolling experiences nevertheless. The best part is that all level types have multiple paths to get through them, as well as collectables and unlockables hidden throughout. Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal is the most like a traditional Sonic game and it ends up being the better version out of the two, thanks to that reason.
If you are interested in the Wii U version of Sonic Boom, make sure to check out our preview!
We also interviewed the lead level designer of the 3DS version of Sonic Boom; make sure to check out that interview!