Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine is a puzzle video game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series developed by Compile and published by Sega. A loose adaptation of Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine for the Sega Mega Drive, it was released for the Sega Game Gear and Sega Master System in late-1993 and 1994. Like its Sega Mega Drive counterpart, the game is based on the Game Gear port of Sega's C-2 version of the Japanese puzzle game .
The game's story and gameplay are very similar to its Sega mega Drive counterpart, but with the version-exclusive Puzzle Mode. Similarly, Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine has received numerous ports and re-releases like its Sega Genesis counterpart.
At his fortress, Dr. Robotnik shows his minions, Scratch and Grounder, the Mean Bean-Steaming Machine, a device he has created that allows him to turn the beans of Beanville into robots, so that he can get rid of all music and fun on Mobius. Robotnik then orders his minions to catch more beans and bring them into the Mean Bean-Steaming Machine.
It is in this moment where the player attacks Robotnik's dungeons where he keeps his captured beans. However, these dungeons are guarded by Robotnik's henchbots, who start to attack the playable character. After defeating the henchbots, Robotnik himself faces the player, though he is defeated anyway. After the doctor's defeat, the Mean Bean-Steaming Machine is destroyed and all beans are freed.
Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine is a puzzle video game, which plays similar to  The left dungeon is controlled by the player, while the right one is controlled by either a second player or an AI.. The gameplay takes place in two different boards, named "dungeons".
The main goal of Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine is to fill the opponent's dungeon so that they cannot play anymore. Each player will be given two beans in pairs, which will fall until they touch ground. Beans come in different colors, which are red, yellow, green, blue, and pink. When four beans of the same color touch each other, they will disappear and go to the opponent's dungeon in the form of refugee beans, which can only be disposed of by making neighboring groups of colored beans disappear. The player can also make chain reactions to make more beans disappear, and as such drop more refugee beans in the opponent's dungeon. Once one of the players is unable to drop more beans, the other player will win.
|Button formation||Character movement|
|down||Drop beans faster|
|PAUSE||Pause the game|
- Davy Sprocket
- Sir Ffuzzy-Logik
- Dragon Breath
- Dr. Robotnik
Scenario Mode is composed on thirteen stages, each of them having the player fighting against an AI. If the player managed to win the stage, they will mode to the following one. However, if they lose, they will be taken to a Continue screen, where they will have ten seconds to decide whether of not to restart the stage. The opponents featured in this mode are as follows:
|Stage 5||Davy Sprocket|
|Stage 10||Sir Ffuzzy-Logik|
|Stage 11||Dragon Breath|
|Stage 13||Dr. Robotnik|
Gear-to-Gear Mode is an extra competition mode of the game. It is played by having each player's Sega Game Gear connected with a Gear-to-Gear. Gear-to-Gear Mode is largely similar to Scenario Mode.
Puzzle Mode is a mode exclusive to the 8-bit version of Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine. This mode consists of thirty challenges where the player must solve different puzzles using the game's core gameplay mechanics. When pausing a challenge, the player is given the option to quit the Puzzle Mode. Completing a challenge gives a password that lets the player continue from that point when restarting the game. Completing all thirty challenges makes the end credits roll. The list of lessons are as follows:
Sega Game Gear and Sega Master System differences
- Slight visual changes are made in the Sega Master System version. This includes wider menu backgrounds and extended cutscene images.
- The machinery-themed tiles featured in Stages 8-13 are replaced with the standard rock tiles in the Sega Master System.
- The credits screen in the Game Gear version has a blue background, while the Master System version has a black background.
Much like its 16-bit counterpart, Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine received positive reviews. Sega Magazine praised the Game Gear version for its presentation, playability and challenge, and concluding the game as being "brilliantly executed and great fun to play." GamePro described it as absorbing and complex, and pointed it out for having easy controls to use and learn.
For the game's Nintendo 3DS re-release, Neal Ronaghan of Nintendo World Report gave the Game Gear version an 8 out of 10, praising its addicting and fun puzzle gameplay, but also noted that it can be hard to play in its original resolution. For the game's multiplayer mode, Ron DelVillano of Nintendo Life stated that "sharing the frustration among pals can be fun, and there's little more satisfying than performing a crushing combo that subsequently dumps a bunch of beans into your friend's column, then laughing right in their face as you parade in victory." He criticized the game's graphics for being outdated, but also praised the gameplay for remaining fresh nearly 20 years after its initial release.
The Game Gear version of Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine has been included as an additional game in Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut (2003) which can be unlocked after collecting 130 Emblems and clearing ten missions. The Game Gear version of the game is also included in Sonic Mega Collection Plus (2004) and the Plug-and-Play game console called Freetron’s FunPlay 20-in-1, the latter of which was released in 2009 by Atgames.
In 2003, Sega of America released the Game Gear version of the game for mobile platforms under the Sega Mobile label. Also, in 2013, the Game Gear version was re-released on the Virtual Console for the Nintendo 3DS at the price of 300 points.
- Producers: Max Taylor, Moo Niitani
- Directors: Katsuhiro Hasegawa ("Hase"), M.Tsukamoto
- Planner: Kazu&Kozu
- Programmers: E.D.A., Wahaha, Nattoh
- Designers: 7LY Big King, Noburin, AAA↲, Takako Kawaguchi ("Choko"), U·D·K, Max Taylor, Brian Ransom, Dave Albert, Tokifuru Morita
- Sound programmers: Masayuki Nagao ("Nagao'N'Gee"), Masanori Hikichi ("Hiki"), Haruyo Oguro ("Lotty"), David Javelosa
- Speical thanks: Tsuka-P, 16Bit Staff
- Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine (Sega Game Gear) United States instruction manual, pg. 6.
- Mega Drive Review: Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine (January 1994). Retrieved on 7 September 2016.
- Dr. Robotnik*s Mean Bean Machine (January 1994). Retrieved on 7 September 2016.
- Ronaghan, Neal (18 June 2013). Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine. Nintendo World Report. Retrieved on 7 September 2016.
- DelVillano, Ron (18 January 2013). Review: Dr Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine (3DS eShop / Game Gear). Nintendolife. Retrieved on 7 September 2016.
- Four New Game Gear Titles for the Nintendo 3DS eShop. Sega Blog. Sega (13 June 2013). Archived from the original on 18 June 2013. Retrieved on 7 September 2016.
- Nintendo 3DS re-release at official minisite of
- at The GHZ
- at MobyGames
- at GameFAQs
- at SMS Power!
- at SMS Power!