Sonic's Schoolhouse

A Collection of 10 Overlooked Sonic the Hedgehog Games

Learn more about the collection of 10 overlooked Sonic the Hedgehog games in the post below.

Sonic the Hedgehog is one of the most instantly known gaming characters. There’s no mistaking him as the star of multiple popular videogames, a trilogy of box-office smashes in Hollywood, and enough comics and souvenirs to send Angel Island tumbling into the sea. What you see is what you get: simply a guy who enjoys adventure.

Sonic has appeared in a genuine laundry list of games on a wide range of systems; in fact, excluding remasters and ports, he has over 75 unique adventures to his name. With such a lengthy and illustrious history, it’s understandable that some would fall between the gaps of the pop culture zeitgeist. We’ve produced a selection of the most intriguing Sonic adventures that time forgot.

10. SegaSonic Popcorn Shop

A Collection of 10 Overlooked Sonic the Hedgehog Games - 1

You might think we’re stretching the definition of ‘game’ with this one, since it’s just a glorified vending machine – but there’s a screen into which you enter controls, and all connected trademarks and copyrights refer to it as’software’, so it counts (technically).

Popcorn Shop is precisely what the name implies. You would insert your sparkling penny into the slot, then crank wheels and pull levers as Sonic commanded to discharge your high-sodium treat. For what it is, it’s delightful, but it’s simple to see why it never took off in America.

9. Sonic Rivals

A Collection of 10 Overlooked Sonic the Hedgehog Games - 2

Rivals is a frequently forgotten episode in Sonic history. Though this pseudo-racing title was popular at release and even spawned a sequel, it has not stood the test of time. Exclusive to the PSP, it features Eggman and his dimensional counterpart Eggman Nega transforming a significant number of the hedgehog’s friends into playing cards.

Only raw speed can save the day, so it’s off to the races in a variety of side-by-side courses that try to combine conventional 2D Sonic action with current twists. Rivals is significant for restoring Silver to the cast after his 2006 début was removed from canon, but else it is forgettable.

8. Sonic Labyrinth

A Collection of 10 Overlooked Sonic the Hedgehog Games - 3

What is the one cardinal sin you will never commit when developing a Sonic game? Why, of course, take away his speed; it’s like Mario without his mushrooms, Crash without his Wumpas, and Bubsy without his… rampant mediocrity. Nonetheless, Sonic Labyrinth committed it.

This is a horrible maze puzzler for the Game Gear, Sega’s counterpart to the Game Boy, which guzzled AA batteries like no one’s business. Eggman has taken Sonic’s sneakers, reducing his speed to that of a regular hedgehog, so you must travel mind-numbing labyrinths to find keys and defeat him. It’s best left behind because it’s sluggish and inefficient.

7. Sonic Pocket Adventure

A Collection of 10 Overlooked Sonic the Hedgehog Games - 4

Pocket Adventure is an inoffensive, candy-colored platformer that was released for the Neo Geo Pocket Color, a system that has now been lost to the mists of collective disinterest, which does not speak well for the game’s future relevance. It manages to capture a good portion of the spirit of the original Genesis games, despite being cramped onto a little processor.

Level themes and music, as well as bosses, are reused from the Classic trilogy. It was fantastic for Blue Blurring on the move back then, but there’s little motivation to revisit it again, despite being one of the few Sonic titles to receive perfect 10 marks.

6. Sonic Blast

A Collection of 10 Overlooked Sonic the Hedgehog Games - 5

When Donkey Kong Country debuted in 1994 with its dazzling pre-rendered 3D graphics, it had no idea what terrors it would unleash. Pre-rendering became the hot new trend, and while some projects, such as Super Mario RPG, managed it with few glitches, Sonic Blast for the Game Gear… didn’t.

This is a terrible 2.5D platformer in which Sonic and friends appear as repulsive, plastic-looking sprites that move as if they’re powered by car batteries. The controls seem like treacle, the sound design is overwhelming, and the entire experience lasts less than an hour. Small mercies!

5. SegaSonic The Hedgehog

A Collection of 10 Overlooked Sonic the Hedgehog Games - 6

Another installment in the oddly named ‘SegaSonic’ anthology (maybe there was some concern that people would forget who created the franchise?)This arcade cabinet featured Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Flying Squirrel.

SegaSonic was operated with a massive plastic trackball that was incorporated into the machine and, in most cases, quickly became extremely sticky. Your mission is to guide Sonic and his friends through a variety of obstacle courses, but it is not simple. If you come into a cabinet that is still operational in the wild, make sure to stock up on quarters.

4. Sonic’s Schoolhouse

A Collection of 10 Overlooked Sonic the Hedgehog Games - 7

Sonic’s Schoolhouse is a very strange experience, the result of a licensing agreement between Sega and Orion Entertainment in which a PC edutainment game (that previously had nothing to do with Sonic) was retooled at the last minute.

A crudely rendered Sonic, voiced by a woman who makes no attempt to sound like him, leads you through a hauntingly vacant school building while teaching you fundamental language and arithmetic. The whole attempt has a melancholy loneliness to it, and in this day of ‘analogue horror’, it’s tough not to feel the willies. Stick to the textbooks, youngsters.

3. Tails’ Sky Patrol

A Collection of 10 Overlooked Sonic the Hedgehog Games - 8

Eternal second fiddle, Miles ‘Tails’ Prower, takes centre stage in this lightweight side-scrolling shooter. In order to defeat the dastardly Witchcart (who is, erm, a witch riding a cart), the plucky fox must chuck rings and a variety of other gadgets at her airborne stooges.

Initially exclusive to Japan, Sky Patrol would be localised for its inclusion in compilation titles like Sonic Origins Plus and Sonic Gems Collection. It’s a perfectly average way to spend two hours – but Tails’ Adventure remains the superior solo outing for Sonic’s best bud.

2. Sonic The Hedgehog’s GameWorld

A Collection of 10 Overlooked Sonic the Hedgehog Games - 9

We’re truly plumbing the depths of obscurity at this point. GameWorld was a title for the ill-fated Sega Pico, a chunky handheld device intended as an educational tool for toddlers. It came with a pen, space for making notes, and included a rudimentary touch screen.

GameWorld (and its sister release, Tails’ Music Maker) ostensibly teaches reaction speed and memory, but really it’s just a collection of naff minigames. You’ll be tossing basketballs into hoops, steering toy cars, and whacking moles – but it all has next to nothing to do with Sonic.

1. Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood

A Collection of 10 Overlooked Sonic the Hedgehog Games - 10

Sonic Chronicles had a tidal wave of hype behind it. This was to be the first fully-fledged RPG – a genre into which Mario had ventured with glorious success – in the franchise, and it was being developed by BioWare, patron saints of the roleplaying realm. Anyone who’s touched Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic is aware they know their stuff; so how’d Chronicles turn out?

Sadly, behind-the-scenes chaos and the trademark immovable Sega deadline sunk the effort. Chronicles is barely finished – its battle systems are poorly explained and half-baked, the storyline doesn’t make a lick of sense, and the soundtrack, due to the Nintendo DS’ limitations, is broken and instead plays ear-splitting placeholder tracks. What should have been a home run instead languishes in obscurity to this day, where it probably belongs.