In the summer of 1991, Sonic the Hedgehog was, quite simply, the greatest thing Simon Thomley had ever seen.
At the age of 11, Thomley had graduated to the SEGA Genesis gaming console after years as a Nintendo Entertainment System player. Sonic had lured him to SEGA’s system, and he wasn’t alone: The spiny blue speedster captured the hearts of gamers everywhere. By the end of the year, SEGA had sped past Nintendo on console sales.
A series of sequels followed. While many people remember the Sonic games primarily as a relic of the ’90s, they become an unlikely career for Thomley and his developer friend Christian Whitehead. Better known as Stealth and Taxman, they brought remastered versions of classic Sonic games to iOS for a new generation of gamers to enjoy.
“This has always been my hobby, but I’m lucky enough that this has now become my full-time job,” Thomley tells Cult of Mac. The pair brought finely tuned official versions of Sonic games to iOS — although recent turmoil at SEGA has thrown the future of their highly regarded work into doubt.