How exactly an open-world Sonic title would work in practice is anyone's guess, but never put it past the fans of the speedy blue hedgehog to conjure up all manner of inconceivable situations for the creature that just won't sit still.
Sonic Utopia is the byproduct of these ever-loving fans, ushering the speed freak into an open world obviously taking inspiration from the classic Green Hill Zone seen in so many Sonic titles of old.
With its creator Mr Lange explaining the effort as "an experiment that not only tries to expand on Sonic gameplay in an intuitive way in 3D, but also aims to capture the best of Sonic's style and tie it together in a cohesive experience.", you can't knock the guy for following the open-world trend.
While the title as a whole is still in a self-described "raw state", there's nothing stopping wide-eyed or slightly confused players from getting a taste of the open air. Though most will take to the Dropbox file, there's an alternate route you can take to grab the demo for yourself.
Sega have seen it all before with a collection of fan-made Sonic games usually being tweeted out by their official Sonic the Hedgehog twitter account. The mouthy hedgehog apparently has no shame, so there isn't much chance he'll summon the lawyers in for this one. There's no rush.