Sonic the Hedgehog

Sega Mega Drive / Genesis game, 1991

Genre:
Arcade
Year:
1991
Developer:
Sonic Team
Publisher:
SEGA
Perspective:
Platform, Side-view
Theme:
Animals, Movie

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The premise of Sonic the Hedgehog is centered around its titular character's quest to thwart the evil Dr. Robotnik, who plans to dominate the world. Dr. Robotnik has imprisoned animals in robotic shells, and Sonic's mission is to free these animals and prevent Dr. Robotnik from collecting the powerful Chaos Emeralds. This simple yet effective storyline sets the stage for a high-speed platforming adventure across various zones. …read more

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Game review

The premise of Sonic the Hedgehog is centered around its titular character's quest to thwart the evil Dr. Robotnik, who plans to dominate the world. Dr. Robotnik has imprisoned animals in robotic shells, and Sonic's mission is to free these animals and prevent Dr. Robotnik from collecting the powerful Chaos Emeralds. This simple yet effective storyline sets the stage for a high-speed platforming adventure across various zones.

Each zone in Sonic the Hedgehog is composed of multiple acts, featuring unique environmental themes, from the lush Green Hill Zone to the industrial Scrap Brain Zone. The game's levels are designed to take full advantage of Sonic's speed, with slopes, loops, springs, and other elements that allow Sonic to zoom around at high velocities. This emphasis on speed was a significant departure from the more methodical platforming style of contemporary games and was key to the game's appeal.

Sonic the Hedgehog introduces several gameplay mechanics that became staples of the series. Rings scattered throughout the levels serve as Sonic's health; as long as Sonic has at least one ring, he can survive enemy attacks. However, being hit by an enemy causes Sonic to lose his rings, adding a unique twist to the conventional platforming health system.

Sonic the Hedgehog was a landmark title for Sega, helping to solidify the MegaDrive as a major player in the console market. The game's success led to numerous sequels and spin-offs, and Sonic became one of the most recognizable characters in video gaming.

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