Over the years Sonic has evolved in many ways by adding new characters and dimensions to keep the game play fresh and unique. So today, what are Sonic games? With our aging hero becoming nealy 39 years old as of 2024, his games have changed dramatically over the years in order to remain competitive against the latest and greatest games and forms of entertainment. Sonic games were initially developed for arcade machines, which cost players a few bucks everytime they wanted to play Sonic. Next came the first generation of game consoles, which allowed players to battle through the Sonic series of games from their own home and with no recurring cost like the arcade machine platform.
In the first Sonic the Hedgehog game, Emerald Hill the main characters were Sonic and Dr Robotnik. The aim of the game was to guide Sonic through the levels collecting rings and defeating enemies. If Sonic were to finish a level with more than 50 rings then you would enter a special stage, here the aim was to spin your way through mazes and find your way to the hidden chaos emerald. In total there were six chaos emeralds and if all were picked up before defeating Dr Robotnik in the final level then you essentially complete the game in full and a screen would show after the ending credits with Dr Robotnik jumping up and down angry at Sonic. Within the special stages you could earn more lives and continues by picking up the rings and avoiding hitting the death zones which would return you back to the main game.
Within the main game there were 6 separate levels, these were: Green Hill Zone, Marble Zone, Spring Yard Zone, Labyrinth Zone, Star Light Zone and Scrap Brain Zone.
The common favourite from the levels was Star Light Zone, here Sonic could go through multiple loops and pick up large amounts of speed, there level also had many secret areas of which took up much time looking for and working out how to get there.
Most of the zones had three separate levels within, at the end of these the user would have to beat Dr Robotnik in a one vs. one battle. To defeat him you would need to spin jump onto the roof of his vehicle multiple times, it would then blow up and you would be able to resuce the save animals by jumping onto the capsule. To make this more tricky Dr Robotnik would have a different way to stop Sonic from jumping onto his plane, some of these included a swinging boulder on the bottom, crushing machines on the final stage and disappearing blocks of which you could fall through and die.
A lot of Sonic gamers would agree that the most frustrating level of the first Sonic game was Labyrinth Zone. Most players didn't like this zone because Sonic had to go underwater; this is actually unrealistic and flawed because hedgehogs can't swim. To ensure Sonic didn't drown players had to connect air bubbles around the level. When Sonic was low on air: a warning countdown would begin, and if by the end of the countdown you failed to get more air, then Sonic would drown and you'd lose a life.
The second Sonic game (known as define) included Sonic's partner, who was named Tails. Together, the duo were quite a strong pair, as Tails' special move was to fly. When you played as Tails this allowed you to fly to points of the map that Sonic couldn't reach, you could then get extra lives and secrets that were hidden in these points.
In an expansion pack you could play Sonic 2 as the character Knuckles. As with Tails, our clever character Knuckles also had a special move, however; this was more advanced gameplay. Knuckles' special power was that he could climb up and down walls allowing you to find ways to skip very large areas of maps. When jumping from walls he could also glide across open spaces allowing large jumps to be completed with ease. On the level called Chemical Plant this came to a huge advantage to use as there was a section of which you had to climb through moving blocks, when you reached the top the water level would rise. If you were playing as Sonic or Tails and fell back into the water: you were certain to drown, as there wasn't enough time to get back through the stage. However, if you were Knuckles you could simply walk straight back up the wall.