Sonic News Network

Know something we don't about Sonic? Don't hesitate in signing up today! It's fast, free, and easy, and you will get a wealth of new abilities, and it also hides your IP address from public view. We are in need of content, and everyone has something to contribute!

If you have an account, please log in.


Sonic News Network
Sonic News Network
Main page CreditsGallery

Race for the goal with Sonic and his pals!

— Tagline

Sonic R (ソニックR Sonikku Ā?) is a racing game that was developed by Traveller's Tales and Sonic Team. It was initially released for the Sega Saturn and was later ported to PC in 1998.

Sonic R is the first appearance of the characters Metal Knuckles and Tails Doll and the first playable appearance of Eggrobo.


The original boxart, before the game was released.

Like most Sonic games in the 90's, the story differs between the Japanese and International versions


Sonic and Tails are enjoying a little time off from adventuring. The trip they have planned will be a nice, relaxing vacation. Or so they think...

Tails spots a huge sign alongside the road they are currently traveling on. It is a recruiting advertisement for the World Grand Prix. Tails then says, "Sonic! Sonic! Look! There's going to be a huge race with all the best racers in the world! What a great opportunity for you to show your speed and compete with the other great runners!"

Sonic thinks for a moment. He's the world's fastest runner, but participating in races is not really his interest. Something on the sign, however, catches Sonic's eye. Dr. Robotnik, Sonic's arch-enemy, is participating in the race. Sonic races off into the distance. "Wait Sonic! Wait for me!", Tails shouts to his friend.

Miles above the sign, a spy satellite focuses on Sonic and Tails. Dr. Robotnik snickers in delight, saying, "Now that you have fallen into my trap, Sonic, I will finally have the Chaos Emeralds, and beat you at the same time. With my new hover machine, and these new robots..." Dr. Robotnik then looks to his left, and a row of gleaming eyes gaze back at him. "Nothing can go wrong! Hahahahahahaha....." Little does Sonic know that Dr. Robotnik has learned of the location of the Chaos Emeralds.

Sonic is not the only one who will be racing with Dr. Robotnik. Sonic's pal, Knuckles, has learned that Sonic will be participating in a very important race. Knuckles never turns down a chance to be around Sonic when the action starts.

Amy will be there too. After secretly following Sonic to his vacation spot, she joined the race, hoping that winning will impress him.

Japanese Version

After numerous duels with Dr Eggman, Tails, full of respect for Sonic, joins Sonic and gang, and on their journey of adventure, Tails and Sonic looked up at a big screen on a building, and they saw a commercial that said: "World Grand Prix Challengers Wanted!!" "Sonic, Sonic, it says they're competing to be the fastest in the world" Tails said with much enthusiasm. "I think you should go for it! I have no doubts you will win for sure! Hmm… maybe I too can give it a shot and pitch my skills against the others!" "Race? ….. I'm not into these…" Sonic was in the least interested. But just before he turned to leave, the next scene caught his attention. "Tails, I'll do it!"

He said hastily and went ahead. "Wait for me, Sonic!" Tails hurriedly gave him chase. What Sonic saw on the screen was:

Participant list : Dr Eggman

Sonic was not the only who caught sight of this worldwide video broadcast. News of this race reached Sonic's good rival Knuckles and Amy, the girl who liked Sonic. "Let me show you the true winner at the grand prix, Sonic!" "Sonic will surely be in this race! Wait for me, Sonic!!!!" Someone was observing all this via a satellite. His name was Dr Eggman, the super-scientist of evil who had been repeatedly challenging Sonic. "Da…. haha……. you've fallen into my trap, Sonic! Now that I know that the Chaos Emerald is somewhere along the route of the race, all I need is to sit back and wait for Sonic and gang to help me chance upon it! And of course, I will have no trouble dealing with Sonic during the race, since I have this secret weapon with me…" Said Dr Eggman as he turned around to rest his eyes on a row of humanoid shadows whose eyes sparkled with a certain sinisterness.

"da….haha…… my perfect plan will finally lead me into the dominion of the world I have dreamnt so long about! daaahahaha!!!!" Can Sonic stop Dr Eggman's evil ambitions? How will the World Grand Prix turn out? There it goes, the World Grand Prix begins!


All the main characters getting ready for a race.

All the secret characters getting ready for a race.

Starter Characters

Unlockable Characters


Sonic R has five courses: Four of which are available at the start of the game, and one which is unlocked by finishing first in all four unlocked courses.


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 68% (Sat)[1]
70% (PC)[2]
Review scores
Publication Score
Allgame 4.0/5 stars[3]
Electronic Gaming Monthly 8/10, 8/10, 8/10, 7/10 (Sat)[4]
GameSpot 5.6/10 (Sat)[5]

Sonic R received generally positive reviews from critics at the time of its release, although retrospective commentary has been more mixed. The Saturn version currently holds an aggregate score of 68.92 percent in GameRankings based on six reviews,[6] while the PC version received 70% based on two.[7]

Ryan MacDonald of GameSpot commented positively on the graphics and audio, but said that the game is "so short that you'll probably finish it the day you rent it."[5] Game Revolution noted that the game was "a little different" from normal racing games, but was highly critical of the music (remarking that "With lyrics like 'Can you feel the sunshine brighten up your day', you feel like Disney has suddenly taken over the world and Gestapo mice are forcing you to smile all the time") and the "wily and inexact" controls.[8]


Image Platform Description
Arcadecollectionnostalgia.png PC Arcade Collection is a compilation of Sega PC games which includes Sonic R, Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island, and Sega Rally. It was released by Empire Interactive in 2000.
SonicSpeedPack PC US Box Expert.jpg Sonic Speed Pack! is a compilation of the two Sonic PC games developed by Traveller's Tales, being Sonic 3D Blast and Sonic R. It was released by Expert Software in 2000.
SAP pc us front.jpg Sonic Action Pack is a bundle of three Sega PC Sonic games; Sonic R, Sonic the Hedgehog CD, and Sonic & Knuckles Collection. It was released in 2000.
Sonicaction4pack.jpg Sonic Action 4 Pack is the same as Sonic Action Pack, except it also includes Sega Smash Pack 2. It was released in 2001.
SonicDoublePack.jpg Sonic Double Pack similar to Sonic Speed Pack!, a compilation with Sonic 3D Blast and Sonic R. It was released in 2008.
Gc sonic gems collection p o5pa9w.jpg Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2 Sonic Gems Collection is a compilation released in 2005 that features the remaining notable Sonic games not included in Sonic Mega Collection, as well as numerous extras. The three main games of the compilation are Sonic the Hedgehog CD, Sonic the Fighters and Sonic R. The version of Sonic R included is the 2004 PC port.


Main article: Sonic R (album)

The front cover of the album.

Sonic R is an album for the soundtrack of the game. It was released by Marvelous Entertainment in Japan in 1998. It contains a total of twelve tracks, two of which are remixes exclusive to the album. A digital version was released in 2014 and included the instrumental versions of the tracks, but excluded the remixes from the original release.


  • The PC port of the game has a few noteworthy differences, enhancing the game with some extra features and making the controls more responsive. Some of the changes include changing the character stats slightly and altering the item probability (making the gameplay easier against the AI), as well as weather ("snow" would also make the water frozen), daytime effects, and some graphical changes like multicolored balloons and character model touch-ups (though certain effects like the water surface and Radiant Emerald lost its unique characteristics, such as elusive transparencies in a Saturn game).
    • However, there are multiple publishers for the PC version, and some of them (namely the common Activision distribution) inexplicably removed the entire soundtrack (possibly due to extended licensing issues).
    • Versions released around 2004 (namely the ValuSoft edition) fixed minor glitches and also helped compatibility with Windows XP as the game is notoriously hard to set up on modern computers.
    • In versions that do include the soundtrack, not only does the game require the original CD in order to play the audio, but the instrumental tracks have noticeably been shortened from the Saturn length.
    • The version in Sonic Gems Collection is based on the PC port with its version of the soundtrack, but is missing a few additions such as Netplay (which was an officially patched feature). The PS2 version is also only up to two players like the Saturn version.
  • The game's theme music is also heard in Sonic Pinball Party and Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Music from this game is also featured in Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing.
  • Every course begins with the letter R.
  • This is the only original Sonic game on the Saturn, as Sonic 3D Blast was ported from the Genesis and Sonic Jam was a compilation of the first four Sonic games.
  • This is the only Sonic racing game where characters primarily race on foot.
  • At the beginning of the episode "Dinner Out" in the TV series Malcolm in the Middle, Malcolm and his friend Stevie can be seen playing Sonic R in the level Resort Island. Malcolm is playing as Sonic and wheelchair-bound Stevie is playing as Amy Rose, who is the only character in the game on wheels.
  • During gameplay there is an orange Chaos Emerald. Despite this, the image shown when the player beats the game with all Chaos Emeralds replaces it with a blue emerald.
  • In the development of the game Mario Kart 64, the game was known as Super Mario Kart R in early 1995. It was changed when the game was released in 1996/1997 and Sonic R ended up coming out in 1997.
  • Sonic R was promoted before its release at Sonic's 6th Birthday Celebration.
  • According to the prototype version of the game, this was originally going to be Sonic's first appearance with the soles on his shoes. This was scrapped for unknown reasons.
  • This game was Traveller's Tales second involvement in the series, the first being Sonic 3D Blast and the last being LEGO Dimensions in 2016, where Sonic was added to game.
  • This is the last Sonic game of the "Classic" era, before Sonic Adventure redesigned the characters.
  • This is also the final Sonic game that was released for the Sega Saturn.
  • On the Xplosiv version of the disc on the PC, the game's title is "Sonic Racer".
  • Sonic R is one of the two Sonic games added to the Arcade Collection, the other being Sonic 3D Blast.
  • Ian Flynn has stated that one of the notes given to him from Sega of Japan stated that Sonic R is canon.[9]
  • The "R" on the logo of the game was reused much later, in Team Sonic Racing.



Sonic R Mini Trailer


Saturn Sonic R Trailer 480p


Sonic R Dec. 1997 Preview Japanese Sega Saturn Video Magazine


Sega Saturn Sonic R Japanese commercial


SS Sonic R - Prototype Footage (Late Summer 1997)


SEGA Saturn Commercial - Sonic R


Evil Sonic R Commercial


  1. Sonic R for Saturn – GameRankings. GameRankings. Retrieved on 18 June 2010.
  2. Sonic R for PC – GameRankings. GameRankings. Retrieved on 18 June 2010.
  3. Sackenheim, Shawn (3 October 2010). Sonic R – Review. allgame. Archived from the original on 14 November 2014. Retrieved on 25 August 2016.
  4. EGM Staff (February 1998). Sonic R Review. 10. p. 112.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Sonic R Review. GameSpot.
  6. Sonic R for Sega Saturn. GameRankings. Archived from the original on 14 December 2009.
  7. Sonic R for PC. Archived from the original on 26 June 2010.
  8. Why does the female hedgehog get the car?. GameRevolution.
  9. BumbleKast - Episode 22 - BumbleMon Go. YouTube (25 August 2016). Retrieved on 2 September 2016.

External links

Sonic the Hedgehog spin-off games