Back in the day, demand for Sonic was high. With high demands the fans were always hungry for more and more. They were always mostly satisfied with the main big name releases like Sonic the Hedgehog and the numerical sequels that followed, but theirs was an appetite that was never full. So to work with the fans constant cravings, Sega dished out several other games during and between releases. Lets go back to ol' 1991 and start this off with a Sonic game being released on a console that was still back then outdated.
In October of 91, anyone wanting to play this newfangled Sonic game that hasnt made the jump to the Genesis just yet and still had their old Master System around was in for a Sonic 8-bit treat. Sega released Sonic the Hedgehog out to the Master System. Similar in gameplay and nowhere near as fun as the Genesis version, this late to the party port, well its not even that its pretty much a game of its own, allowed them to do just that, sort of. December of the same year Sega released the same exact version, well except the tweak to the Sonic sprite and caution signs put near obsticals and death pits, onto the handheld Sega sytem the Game Gear.
They said they put them there to compensate for having to play on a small screen when really theyre there to make you feel more like an idiot if you actually fall in.
Then, shortly in the same year Sega released a Sonic puzzel game titled Sonic Eraser on the Sega Game Toshokan, an add on to the Genesis that was released only in Japan. Calling this a Sonic game is sort of a stretch, as the only thing Sonic related about it besides the title is that two Sonics stand on screen, when one of the players scores on the puzzel, their Sonic attacks the other players Sonic. Yeah, they should have just taken them out and called it Columns.
Oh god oh god please say my guys good at Tetris, oh please oh please
In that same month a kiddie ride was made by Sega featuring Sonic.
This ride had a screen inside to play a video game of Sonic driving a police car around trying to stop Dr. Robotnik who is driving around the street like a madman. The steering wheel was the controller with a jump button near by to make the onscreen Sonic leap momentarilly out of his vehical. The miniature car the player sat in rocked left and right matching Sonics car in the game. By the way, this game also included Sonic verbally givining an introduction and explination of the controls so technically THIS was the first game to have Sonic ever speak. It was both made in Japanese and English versions, but seeing as how this never left Japan the English versions were more than likely made for places with a lot of tourists.
In November of 1992, just before the release of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on the Genesis, Master System and Game Gear owners got an early chance of owning their own version of Sonic 2. Like with the first Sonic game, this 8-bit version featured completely different levels and wasnt nearly as enjoyable. Hey I callsem like I seesem. Also, Tails is in the game, but in this version he is kidnapped at the beginning and rescued at the end. And since this game released just a few days before the Genesis version, this is technically the first debut of Tails, what a letdown. But hey, one thing this version has up on the Genesis version, minecart riding!
Sonic: "In before Donkey Kong Country!"
Then in November (December in Japan) of 1993, Sega Technical Institute of America released a Sonic theme pinball game titled Sonic Spinball.
The CAPTCHA phrase I had to enter for this at tinypic was "on the ball" no joke
Sonic Spinball was the game STI of America was tasked out to create while Yuji and the gang back in Japan was working on Sonic 3. The game is focused around Sonic going through a labrynth of pinball stages in Robotniks new fortress. This was the only game to feature elements and characters from the SATAM tv show and one of the only two game to feature characters from the AoStH tv show. It was released on the Genesis, and an 8-bit version for the Master System and Game Gear, aswell as an LCD handheld in 94.
Remember that ridiculous police car contraption? Well in 93 Sega did it again. This time, a rocket ship!
Like the Waku Waku Sonic Patrol Car, the SegaSonic Cosmo Fighter was a ride/game. It had a screen inside that let the player control Sonic in a rocket ship shooting down Robotnik cruisers in a Galaga type fashion.
In June of 93, Sega released SegaSonic the Hedgehog AKA SegaSonic Arcade. The game was an arcade machine and featured Sonic with two new characters Ray the Flying Squirel and Mighty the Armidillo (Once a mascot idea when thinking up of Sonic).
The games story invovled Sonic and his two new freinds getting trapped in one of Robotniks bases. The player could choose a character to play as and navigate them through an isometric world full of traps. The game was controlled by a trackball system, a small ball that you rolled in the direction you wanted your character to move, the speed of the spin decided the speed of the players character.
Then in November of 93, Sega of America released Dr. Robotniks' Mean Bean Machine.
As you can tell from the cover art, its the only game in Sonic history to be completely set in the world of the comical tv series Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog. Its also the first game to not have Sonic as the main protagonist. Instead in this puzzle game based on the popular in Japan Sega puzzle game Puyo Puyo, the main protagonists are a race of creatures called Beans. The objective of the game is to defeat Robotniks robot guards, then eventually Robotnik himself, in Puyo Puyo style matches. The game also got an 8-bit version on the Game Gear in Dec 93 (US), and Jan 94 (EU), aswell as a Master System port of the Game Gear version on July 26, 1994 (EU only).
In the same month Sonic Chaos was released for the Game Gear (and Master System only in EU). The 8-bit game followed the traditional side scrolling formula as the usual Sonic game but had new features like bounce springs that moved via a spring coil underneath them and power ups like Rocket Shoes that allowed Sonic temporary flight.
Yeah, like the fastest thing alive needs rockets on his feet.
The game would prove to be one of the best selling 8-bit titles of the series. Its sequel titled Sonic Triple Trouble would release the next year. The name of the sequel is given due to Sonic having to face three different advisaries in the game. Dr. Robotnik, Knuckles the Echidna, and newcomer and hardly ever used after this game Fang the Sniper AKA Nack the Weasle.
The only Sonic villian to have little to no fanbase. Probably due to him being the biggest thing since woopty-friggen-do.
Triple Trouble will go on to be THE best selling Sonic title on the Game Gear.
Then there was Wacky Worlds for the Sega Genesis which Im only briefly describing because the only thing it has to do with Sonic is that a Sonic sprite is used at the stage select screen and Tails is one of the stickers used. Basically Wacky Worlds is a big time waster game where you can select a background like the moon or a place resembling Asgard or an ocean floor, stick a bunch of interactive stickers of things like dolphins, knights, babies, aliens, Tails, ect. and they do different things when clicked on. You can buil houses, castles, space ships, all that good stuff and add floating text. NEXT!
In August of 1994 Sonic Gameworld was released for the early childhood learning device the Sega Pico. The game featured Sonic, Tails, and Amy as they looked for hidden Chaos Emeralds in the Gameworld stowed away by Robotnik. The game featured minigames and a Wheres Waldo type search formula.
In the same month and for the same system, Sega released Tails' Music Maker. The game features Tails as he teaches kids about music. The objective of the game is to learn about scales, tempo, rythme and about instruments.
Only in Japan, Sonic got his very own kart racing game in 94 exclusively on the Sega Game Gear.
Sonic Drift featured only four playable racers Sonic, Tails, Amy and Dr. Robotnik. The tracks playable were all based on and named after Sonics first game in 91.