2017 seems to be the year of Sonic the Hedgehog. Fans of the blue blur and his games have already gotten the critically acclaimed Sonic Mania, and Sonic Team's newest game—Sonic Forces—is going to release on November 7th. More exciting news has come out recently; apparently these two games are connected in some way beyond just being in the same franchise and coming out in the same year.

In a recent interview, head of Sonic Team Takashi Iizuka talked about how Sonic Mania was well-received by the public and is somehow connected to Sonic Forces.

"Last month, in August, was released a game called Sonic Mania that got a really warm welcome from everyone in the community from all the fans, especially abroad, a lot of people enjoyed playing it. And I really hope that if you played Sonic Mania, you get to play Sonic Forces too because you may think those titles are unrelated, but actually they may not be… definitely I want you guys to check out both titles because there's something going on between the two. And I'm going to keep it at this right now." — Takashi Iizuka, Sonic Team leader

Players of both games should hopefully be able to see what the connection is when Sonic Forces comes out next month. Perhaps the stories will be related in some way? The Phantom Ruby certainly seemed suspicious, and maybe that could explain why there are classic levels appearing in both games in different ways.

SEGA PR also recently released some screenshots of the hero character using a Drill Wispon, based off of the Drill Wisp in Sonic Colors. The custom hero can drill into the ground, onto walls, and through enemies with this weapon. It is shown off in the gallery below against the backdrop of Chemical Plant, which is appearing with a new design in Forces. A new piece of art of the resistance hideout is also included below. You can see Amy, Silver, Espio, and Charmy making plans in the concept art.

What do you think about this recent Sonic news? Are you pumped for Sonic Forces, or are you skeptical it will be a success? Speculate about the connection between it and Sonic Mania in the comments below!