Mean Machines

Sonic The Hedgehog
By Sega
Sega Mega Drive (EU Version)

Published in Mean Machines #10

Sonic The Hedgehog

Eggman alert! In a deal that shocked environmentalists everywhere, vile Dr Eggman has brought up a load of land just so he can capture its small furry inhabitants, brainwash them and put them inside his rocket-powered Cyberfauna suits. With his army of armoured animals, Eggman plans to terrorise the people of the world until they relent and promise to pay him lots of money.

Sonic, being a speedy blighter, is the hedgehog that got away. Now, of course, he's resolved to free his forest buddies by doing over Eggman and he has to leg it through six hazardous zones, each made up of three scrolling areas.

The landscape is packed with platform-type puzzles and terrifying terrain! Not only that - Eggman has despatched his robot-like forces to destroy Sonic before he can catch up with him! Luckily, Sonic is a powerhouse of athletic ability, and he can protect himself by curling into a ball and somersaulting into any enemies, skewering them on his spines!

Sonic The Hedgehog

To protect him still further, Sonic has to collect the power rings which are scattered throughout the landscape. If he bumps into an enemy the rings will protect him, but the collision makes him drop all those he was carrying. If Sonic stays out of trouble, every ring he gets to the end of the level earns him 100 points, and if he has over 50, he is instantly warped to the weirdo bonus game!

Marble Zone

Sonic movies into a marble domain in the second world, but soon has to go underground. The route to the end of each area is through subterranean mazes which are full of cascading streams of lava and spiked plungers! Watch out for secret rooms!

Special Stage Spinning

If Sonic collects over fifty rings when he hits the end of a level, a massive ring appears. Travelling through this ring warps Sonic to a strange revolving maze, where bonus rings and mysterious Chaos Emeralds are hidden.

Sonic The Hedgehog

What these emeralds actually do isn't revealed until later on into the game, but if he collects enough points during this special stage, Sonic is rewarded with a continue for his efforts! Hurrah!

Boxes O' Tricks

Located on every level are boxes which Sonic can bust open to reveal some rather useful icons:

1. Sonic Boxes A handy extra life. These are another bonus usually hidden in those secret places.

Sonic The Hedgehog

2. Magic Shoes Make Sonic even faster than he already is! These only last a short while, but they can be the kay to reaching otherwise unattainable parts of a level.

3. Sheild Protects Sonic from a single hit - after that, only his rings can protect him!

4. Sparkles Makes Sonic invulnerable for a short period. Very handy for getting past those large, dangerous obstacles.

Sonic The Hedgehog

5. Rings Awards Sonic ten rings. Usually to be found in secret rooms or other areas he wouldn't normally pass through.

End-Of-Level Egghead

At the end of each zone, Sonic is confronted by Egghead himself who is intent on sealing the spiny speedster's doom. Egghead floats about the screen in his Eggship, which is armed with a different weapon each time.

In the first zone he is armed with a mighty ball and chain, and later on he has a fire-spewing death cannon and a deadly spike to butcher the heroic hedgehog!

Labyrinth Zone

Sonic The Hedgehog

Sonic travels over and underwater in this domain populated by mechanical fish and drill-nosed monkeys. Unfortunately, he can only hold his breath for a certain length of time so he has to look out for the air bubbles which leak out from cracks in the ground - they're Sonic's only lifeline!

Springyard Zone

The landscape becomes a macabre form of pinball table in this level, with our prickly little hero being spanged around in all directions on contact with the star-spangled platforms and springboards. Push against the walls whenever you get the chance because secret ring stashes are everywhere!


Yep, it's true - Sonic is really great! I can't think of a Megadrive ame with more spectacular graphics - even Mickey Mouse wasn't as visually exciting as this - and everything is just so fast and smooth it's just astonishing!

Sonic The Hedgehog

The design of the levels and the obstacles is ingenious (the Labyrinth Zone is a blast!), and I love the fact that you can really explore the levels for different routes and secret rooms, rather than simply having to get from left to right.

The instant-loss-of-all-rings factor tended to be a little frustrating, but it certainly didn't prevent me coming back to this game again and again. The wait has been worth it Megadrive fans - this is a game you must get!


After about fifteen zillion millenia of waiting, Sonic's finally here, and it's almost as fabby as Sega would have us believe! The graphics are truly tremendous, with superlative backdrops and super sprites.

Sonic The Hedgehog

I cannot stress too much the graphical excellence of this game - it is definitely the best looking Megadrive game yet seen, even more attractive than the Super Famicom's Mario 4! The speed of the game is incredible and when Sonic gets the supa-speed trainers, boy, does he shift!

Playability-wise, Sonic is grerat, although I found that the gameplay does get a little frustrating after a while, especially as there's a few almost impossible situations the hapless hedgehog can find himself in.

I'm bound to get billions of 'phone calls asking if it's better than Mario 4, and whilst Sonic's a brill game, it just doesn't have the depth to match Nintendo's masterpiece.

Sonic The Hedgehog

Still, I must admit that Sonic is one of the best Megadrive games I've ever played! Buy, buy, buy!


Presentation 87%
Super-smooth control method and nice screens make Sonic a well-presented game.

Graphics 96%
A range of sprites and backdrops that haven't been matched on any other Megadrive game.

Sonic The Hedgehog

Sound 83%
Vaguely appealing tunes coupled with excellent effects.

Playability 91%
Super addictive platform action that's addictive from the outset!

Lastability 90%
Far larger than Mickey Mouse, with plenty of secret rooms to find and loads of levels to conquer.

Overall 92%
The best platform game on the Megadrive! Go for it!