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Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure

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Released: 1999

Genre: Platformer

Format reviewed: Neo Geo Pocket Color

Publisher: SNK

Developer: Sega

Submitted by: Chris Murphy

We're spoiled for choice nowadays, but in the 1990's it was very rare to find Sonic on a machine which Sega themselves hadn't produced. His appearance on the NeoGeo Pocket Colour was therefore both surprising and welcome.

The game itself is based largely on Sonic 2 on the Megadrive, with each of the zones bearing a striking resemblance to Sonic's second outing. So for instance, Neo South Island in this game substitutes for Emerald Hill from Sonic 2. While the graphical style is similar, the layout of each level is brand new, and you'll have Dr. Robotnik (I can't bear to call him the 'e' word) throwing his latest creations in your fuzzy face. Obviously this being an 8-bit handheld game, you won't get the full roster of levels that you do on the Megadrive, but the game is reasonably substantial, and it does a fantastic version of the bonus level which has you hurtling into a tube, collecting rings and avoiding mines.

Although the meat of the game is familiar, there are also some nice additions to add longevity. Time trials and a link up mode are two of these, but there is a strange puzzle screen which is made up of cards which you can collect in the main game, which then go on to look like sliding tile puzzles.

While the NGPC never caught on over here, it's a fantastically playable machine, and hosts many great games: this being quite high on the list. If you're a Sonic fan, this is definitely high on the roll of honour in his CV, and you owe it to yourself to play it.