Game Informer is first up:
This time, a familiar face joins the Blue Blur as we make our way through Green Hill Zone’s Act 1. Miles “Tails” Prower returns as a co-op character in Sonic Mania’s 1.5-player mode, allowing two people to play the game together.
Co-op with Tails plays much the same as it did in previous 2D Sonic titles. Since the camera follows player one, anyone playing Sonic’s two-tailed sidekick may have some trouble keeping up, but rest assured that Tails has his own important part to play. Using Tails’ flight abilities, player two can carry Sonic across obstacles and up to new paths hidden throughout the level. Tails can also swim and attack enemies with his propeller-like tail spin while flying, which proves useful against airborne and wall-climbing foes. Due to his invincibility and ability to float back on-screen if left too far behind, Tails is a great choice for someone who’s unfamiliar with gaming but wants to give couch co-op a try.
And here’s what Destructoid said, which didn’t sound as amused:
Little Sibling Syndrome took over big time as I visited Sega’s San Francisco office last week. I was there to see Sonic Mania, an upcoming throwback to the hedgehog’s glory days. In an attempt to lead the demo, a Sega representative played as Sonic and I played as Tails. God, that was the worst.
We were moving through Green Hill Zone: Act 2, a level of Sonic Mania that had not been shown off yet. Helping was almost futile. Sonic would jump on enemies, collect rings, and buzz through secret passages. Tails would get lost, fly in at the last minute, try to grab a ring or something, and then be left in the dust again. Playing as Tails is terrible. No one should have to play as Tails.
There was also news that came from videos and PAX streams that showed that Tails doesn’t lose rings when he gets hit.