The 10 WEIRDEST Sonic Games
VOICE OVER: Ty Richardson
WRITTEN BY: Ty Richardson
With a career as long as Sonic's, there's bound to be a few weird games on his resume. For this list, we'll be looking at the blue blur's strangest adventures over the years. Our list includes "Sonic Shuffle" (2000), "Sonic's Schoolhouse" (1996), "Sonic the Fighters" (1996), "Tails' Skypatrol" (1995), and more!
Script written by Ty Richardson
With a career as long as Sonic's, there's bound to be a few weird games on his resume. For this list, we'll be looking at the blue blur's strangest adventures over the years. Our list includes "Sonic Shuffle" (2000), "Sonic's Schoolhouse" (1996), "Sonic the Fighters" (1996), "Tails' Skypatrol" (1995), and more! Have you played any of these games? Did any of them catch you by surprise? Share with us in the comments below!
“Sonic Unleashed” (2008)
Like we said a little bit ago, just because we’re calling it “weird” does not mean we’re saying “it’s bad”. Come on, you really think we’re going to sit here and tell you “Sonic Unleashed” was garbage? We all know that’s a load of hooey! “Sonic Unleashed” has such an awesome blend of beating the snot out of baddies and running around at the speed of sound! But you have to admit that the whole “were-hog” concept seemed pretty bizarre prior to launch. It really seemed like SEGA was going to jump the shark. Thankfully, history had other plans and gave us a weirdly satisfying “Sonic” game.
“Sonic the Fighters” (1996)
Now, you really want to get bizarre in a gameplay sense? Try imagining all of the Sonic characters in a “Tekken” game. You basically get “Sonic the Fighters”. This was a 3D fighter similar to “Fighting Vipers”, which had launched the year before, putting two players in a small, cage-like arena. Players could perform simple combos and knock each other into walls or even out of the stage! Although, it wasn’t the fighting aspect that threw us for a loop, especially since “Sonic Battle” would arguably do it better on GBA in 2003. No, it was mainly because of the addition of two new characters who we’d never see again after this - Bean the Dynamite and Bark the Polar Bear. Sure, they boasted their own unique movesets, but their sudden introduction left us scratching our heads.
“Sonic and the Black Knight” (2009)
We have a strong feeling that the Sonic Storybook Series was supposed to last far longer than two games. Whereas “Sonic and the Secret Rings” was a decent entry, “Sonic and the Black Knight” was the oddball. The Blue Blur is transported to a dimension where Arthur Pendragon rules with an iron fist, and his Knights of the Roundtable are all of Sonic’s friends. We can respect the different approach to the IP with its medieval theme and mesh of source material. However, as the final game in the short-lived Sonic Storybook Series, its poor combat and tedious quests make it the bad apple of the small, small bunch.
“Sonic’s Schoolhouse” (1996)
The mid- to late-90’s saw a few iconic video game characters try to go down the “edutainment” avenue. (Hello, “Mario Is Missing” “Typing of the Dead”!) Likewise, Sonic went down the same path and starred in “Sonic’s Schoolhouse”. Here, Sonic has a high-pitched and nasaly voice and tasks you with solving problems by exploring 3D environments akin to “Wolfenstein” and “Doom” minus the shooting. It is very much a game aimed at the kids who grew up playing the “JumpStart” games, and the drastic change in Sonic’s personality does not fit the hedgehog we know today.
“Waku Waku Sonic Patrol Car” (1992)
If you ever saw a cartoonish cop car with Sonic in the driver’s seat, well, you either saw this arcade cabinet or an edgy advertisement for a new game. Regardless, “Waku Waku Sonic Patrol Car” was a rather uninspiring clone of the Midway series, “SpyHunter”. You and Sonic must chase down Doctor Robotnik in a cop car while avoiding traffic. The whole experience lasts only a couple of minutes, so the little ones will certainly enjoy feeling like they’re helping Sonic. As for the rest of us? Well…at least it was a new way to introduce Sonic to young soon-to-be fans?
“Sonic Shuffle” (2000)
“Sonic Shuffle” has been infamously known as one of several “Mario Party” knock-offs, but the carbon copy doesn’t go any further than “four players moving on a board and playing minigames. No, what makes “Sonic Shuffle” truly weird is how it does and doesn’t copy the “Mario Party” formula. See, around the core of what makes “Mario Party” what it is, there is a confusing system of stealing and exchanging cards, boss battles, and a few other aspects we can’t wrap our heads around. If SEGA was going to rip off a successful Nintendo property, wouldn’t they want to stick close with what made it successful? Why all the unnecessary additions?
“Knuckles’ Chaotix” (1995)
Spin-offs starring side characters weren't exactly uncommon around 1995, even for Sonic. While he wouldn’t be the only Sonic character to get his own game, Knuckles got his own lead role in this title…sort of. Despite being the titular protagonist, Knuckles is still forced to share the spotlight, only this time, it’s not with one or two other characters - it’s with FOUR. Mighty the Armadillo, Espio the Chameleon, Vector the Crocodile, and Charmy Bee are also playable characters. We were ready for a rock-punching, mountain-climbing adventure with the echidna. Instead, he was practically forced to share space.
“Tails’ Skypatrol” (1995)
Unlike our echidna friend, Tails managed to snag THREE of his own spin-offs in the 90’s. One was a simple platformer while the other was… another edutainment game. However, “Tails’ Skypatrol” was the oddest of the bunch. As you can see, it’s a side scrolling shooter…starring Tails. While it does hold some interesting ideas, it doesn’t do much after the fifteen- to twenty-minute journey. It felt like there was an idea here, but what confuses us most is, if they wanted to give Tails a shooter, why isn’t he using the Tornado? It was introduced three years before this game was out!
“Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric” (2014)
Why shouldn’t this game be on here? Visually, it’s all weird. Sonic and friends are all bandaged up for some reason, the environments look really generic, and Eggman looks more like the Red Baron than a mad scientist. Oh, and the evil snake in a robot suit. It all just doesn’t make any sense! The gameplay also simplifies the traditional running segments from other 3D Sonic games by tying everything to three lanes. If it weren’t for the slew of technical problems, maybe this would have turned more kids into Sonic fans. Alas, that ambition was thrusted onto the Cartoon Network series.
“Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood” (2008)
When looking at the entire franchise, there has been no other Sonic game as bizarre, as strange, as abstract as “Sonic Chronicles”. For starters, this was a Sonic the Hedgehog RPG, a Sonic RPG with rhythm-based mechanics, a Sonic RPG with rhythm-based mechanics developed by BIOWARE. Yes, the same BioWare known for “Knights of the Old Republic”, “Mass Effect”, and “Dragon Age”. And it was developed for the Nintendo DS. And if you thought that was absurd, well, so was the story. There was something about aliens and crystals and it led to widespread destruction, and Eggman was a recruitable party member. It was all sorts of “what the Green Hill Zone is going on here?”