Excuse our lack of productivity today--we've got a hedgehog in the office. Sonic the Hedgehog, that is. Sega's 16-bit classic has made its way onto the iPod games section of iTunes (link) this morning and can be had for a mere $4.99. In comparison, the Wii version of the title, which launched just a month ago runs nearly twice as much at 800 Wii points ($8).
The controls use the circular iPod touch wheel as a four-way d-pad, with the center button acting just like the original ABC buttons from the first Genesis controller. They take a little bit of time to get used to, but manage to do the job admirably, at least on the earlier levels. However, for the bonus levels and more platform intensive stages where jumping must be exact, you'll find yourself wishing for something with a little more finesse.
Despite the fudgy controls, the game's got some added goodies not found in the original. You can turn off the game's soundtrack in place of your own, while retaining some of the wonderful '90s-era sound effects. There's also a save anywhere system, and support for multiple player profiles in case you want to share the game with someone else without losing your progress.
We're still not sold on the controls, but for $5 it's got a lot going for it compared to some of the other iPod gaming titles.