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Sonic the Hedgehog's Gameworld (ソニック・ザ・ヘッジホッグゲームワールド Sonikku za Hejjihoggu Gēmu Wārudo?, lit. "Sonic the Hedgehog Game World") is an educational video game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. It was developed by Aspect and published by Sega for the Sega Pico. It was released in August 1994 in Japan, and in October 1996 in the United States.

Plot[]

Dr. Eggman has built Gameworld, a carnival-like tower. Sonic, Tails, and Amy must tackle his fiendish games to find the Chaos Emeralds, leading to a two-tiered final showdown with the doctor himself. [2]

Gameplay[]

Gameworld

The title screen of the United States version of Sonic the Hedgehog's Gameworld.

Sonic the Hedgehog's Gameworld is an educational video game. To play it, the player needs to drag the Magic Pen on the Storyware to move a cursor. When the player starts the game, they will be able to choose whether to play with one or two players. They will also be granted the option to play as Sonic, Amy, or Tails. The game is divided into four "areas",[3] which feature several minigames the player needs to complete to progress. The player will be given the option to choose an Easy or Hard degree of difficulty for the gameplay. Throughout the game, the player will get messages from either Sonic, his friends, or Dr. Robotnik. After completing the game, the player will also be able to create their own gallery using elements and special effects.

Characters[]

Playable characters[]

Non-playable characters[]

Minigames[]

First Area[]

  • Car Race:[4] The player need to win a race against three other opponents.
    • One Player (Easy): The player needs to repeatedly tap the Red Button to control their car. If they are the first to win, they will earn twenty points.
    • Two Players (Easy): The first player needs to tap the Purple Direction Button, while the second player needs to tap the Green Direction Button, to control their respective cars. The player who wins first will earn twenty point, while the player who comes in second will earn ten points.
    • Hard: The same as One Player (Easy), except that the player's opponents will be faster.
  • Sonic-Ball:[5] The player needs to throw their ball to earn points and get closer to the goal.
    • One Player (Easy): The player needs to press the Red Button once to aim at the target. A gauge, which will determine the accuracy of the shot, will repeatedly fill and empty. The player then has to press the Red Button again to throw the ball. If the player is the first one to win, they will earn twenty points.
    • Two Players (Easy): Both players will control their balls at the same time. To launch their respective balls, player one needs to tap the Purple Direction Button, while the second player needs to tap the Green Direction Button. The player who wins first will earn twenty point, while the player who comes in second will earn ten points.
    • One Player/Two Players Hard: Same as One Player (Easy), except that the gauge will not show point values, and the opponent will be much faster.
  • Tree Climb:[5] Three players control a Coconuts which they have to steer up a palm tree. Once Coconuts reaches the tree top, it will fall back to the ground. The match lasts for one minute. The player who reaches the tree top the most times is declared the winner.
    • One Player (Easy): The player needs to repeatedly tap the Red Button to make their Coconuts climb the palm tree. If the player gets first place, they will earn twenty points.
    • Two Players (Easy): Player one has to tap the Purple Direction Button to make their Coconuts climb the tree, while player two has to tap the Green Direction Button to make their Coconuts climb. The player who gets first place will earn twenty points, while the player who gets second place will earn ten points. If the match ends up a tie, both players will earn twenty points.
    • One Player/Two Players Hard: Same as One Player (Easy), except that the opponents will be faster.
  • Hoops:[5] The players will find themselves playing basketball. They have to throw basketballs into four moving baskets.
    • One Player (Easy): The player has to press the Purple and Green Direction Button to control the direction of the shot, and press the Red Button to throw the ball. Each basketball thrown into a basket earns the player four points. In addition, if the player throws all five basketballs in the baskets, they will get a bonus of ten points.
    • Two Players (Easy): Same as One Player (Easy), except that the players play in turns.
    • One Player/Two Players Hard: Same as One Player (Easy), except that the baskets are smaller and move faster.

Second Area[]

  • Flag Game:[6] The player controls Dr. Robotnik, who will have to raise green or purple flags.
    • One Player (Easy): The game lasts fifty seconds. At the bottom part of the screen, there is a gauge that displays one or two flags, either purple and green. In Easy mode, a maximum of two flags will appear at the same time in the gauge. When a purple flag appears, the player has to press the Purple Direction Button to make Robotnik raise his right arm where he is holding a purple flag. Similarly, if the green flag appears, the player must press the Green Direction Button. The game also counts the amount of mistakes the player makes throughout the game, the amount of which will determine the points the player will receive at the end of the game; zero mistakes equals twenty points, one mistake equals fifteen points, and two mistakes equals ten points. If the player gets three mistakes, they will be expelled from the minigame without getting any points.
    • Two Players (Easy): Same as One Player (Easy), except that the players play in turns.
    • One Player/Two Players Hard: Same as One Player (Easy), except that the game will last for a maximum of ninety seconds, and the gauge will be faster and able to display three flags at the same time.
  • Toy Drop:[7] The player has to use a robot arm to grab toys as they move by along a conveyor belt.
    • One Player (Easy): The player has to hold down the Red Button to make the robot arm move. By releasing the Red Button, the arm will be lowered and grab a toy. It will then move to the left side of the screen to drop the toy to a tube. The player will have five chances to get a toy. Each obtained toy equals four points.
    • Two Players (Easy): Same as One Player (Easy), except that the players play in turns.
    • One Player/Two Players Hard: Same as One Player (Easy), except that the conveyor belt will move faster.
  • Robotnik Bop:[7] A minigame similar to Whac-A-Mole. The player is tasked with bopping as many Robotnik toys as they can.
    • One Player (Easy): Here, many Robotnik-like toys will appear randomly in five different holes. The player has to drag the Magic Pen to move a hammer towards a Robotnik toy and press the Red Button to bop it. Bopping over twenty toys will award the player twenty points; bopping between fifteen and twenty toys will grant the player ten points; and bopping fourteen or less toys will not award the player any points. Depending on their progress, the player might get an "Excellent", "Good", or "Try Again" message, respectively.
    • Two Players (Easy): Same as One Player (Easy), except that the players play by turns.
    • One Player/Two Players Hard: Same as One Player (Easy), except that the toys will move faster and more points will be required to score points.

Third Area[]

  • Egg Switch Game:[8] Similar to the shell game. In the minigame, there are four eggs on a table, one of them containing a Flicky.
    • One Player (Easy): Four eggs will be on a table, one of them hiding a Flicky. The eggs will then quickly switch their position on the table. Then, the player will have to use the Magic Pen to select an egg, which will open. If the player manages to choose the egg containing the Flicky, they will get five points. There are a maximum of four rounds. If the player selects the wrong egg twice in the same round however, they will lose.
    • Two Players (Easy): Same as One Player (Easy), except that the players play by turns.
    • One Player/Two Players Hard: Same as One Player (Easy), except that the eggs will move faster and the player will lose if they pick the wrong egg.
  • Concentration Memory Cards:[9] Similar to the concentration card game. There are twelve cards, and six possible pairs.
    • One Player (Easy): The player has to drag the Magic Pen to click on two card and flip them over to reveal the images. If they find an identical pair of cards, said cards will be removed. Up to ten mistakes can be committed before the game is over. With each mistake not made, the player will get additional points. The maximum amount of points the player can get is thirty points.
    • Two Players (Easy): Same as One Player (Easy), except that the players play by turns.
    • One Player/Two Players Hard: Same as One Player (Easy), except that five mistakes will expel the player from the game instead of ten.
  • Sonic vs Dr. Robotnik: In this game, the player must stop a roulette at the bottom of the screen to land on an image to determine the outcome of the battle. Each round can be started and stopped by pressing the corresponding buttons with the Magic Pen.
    • One Player (Easy): Sonic has ten health, while Robotnik has five health. By landing on Sonic's head in the roulette, Sonic will throw a ring at Robotnik to deal one damage to him. However, landing on Robotnik's head will result in him throwing a ring at Sonic, causing Sonic to lose one health. Landing on a Ring symbol will heal Sonic by one health. Landing on the question mark will have a random outcome of the three other options. The player wins twenty points upon defeating Robotnik.
    • Two Players (Easy): Same as One Player (Easy), except that the players play by turns.
    • One Player/Two Players Hard: Same as One Player (Easy), except Sonic has five health.

The Rooftop[]

  • Diamond Maze:[10] Race Dr. Robotnik through a four-tiered maze to reach the chaos emeralds.
    • One Player (Easy): Use the Direction Buttons to move the playable character through the maze. The player wins by finding three chaos emeralds before Robotnik does.
    • Two Players (Easy): The same as One Player (Easy) but the players take turns playing.
    • One Player/Two Players Hard: Identical to One Player (Easy) but Robotnik is faster.

Creating Your Own Gameworld[]

The player can create art in this area by clicking on the various characters and items on the page. The righthand page of the Storyware features a variety of tools and colors that the player can choose between to fill the canvas with. These include:

  • Popcorn bags:[11] Each color of bag corresponds to a color that the player can draw with.
  • Pencil:[11] Draws thin lines.
  • Marker:[11] Draws thick lines.
  • Spray can:[11] Sprays a spot of color.
  • Paint bucket:[11] Fills in an area with the selected color.
  • Rubber stamp:[12] Opens a stamp menu from which the player can apply said stamps to the canvas.
  • Eraser:[11] Erases
  • Notebook:[11] Clears the page of all art.
  • Sonic:[11] Follows the cursor around as the player draws.

Clicking on Amy to mirror the drawing along the vertical axis. The drawing of Sonic on the wall will take the player to a coloring page which they can fill in. By clicking on Tails the entire screen can be made to look warped, similarly to how a funhouse mirror distorts the world. The radio in the bottom left corner will switch the background music. Clicking on Sonic will allow the player to place a animated stamp on the canvas.

Regional differences[]

Sonic'sGameworldRoulette

Roulette mini-game removed from the American version.

  • Compared to the Japanese version, games featuring gambling, fortune-telling, fantasy violence, rock-paper-scissors, and other noneducational elements were omitted from the North American version. This means that the entire third page from the Japanese version is eliminated and the remaining games are in different locations than in the Japanese version.
  • In the Japanese version of the game, the "Sonic vs Dr. Robotnik" minigame involved martial combat against Sonic and Robotnik; Sonic's head were originally symbols for punching, kicking, and Spin Dashing against Robotnik, with each outcome dealing one, two, and three damage, respectively. Ring symbols that would heal Sonic were also not originally present. In the American release, one Sonic symbol and Robotnik symbol were removed to add the Ring symbols, while the question mark was moved from the center to the rightmost of the roulette. Alongside, Sonic and Robotnik only throw rings at each other in the American release, which always deal only one damage.
  • The flags in the Japanese version of the of "Flag Game" are colored white and red instead of green and purple to reprsent the buttons on the Japanese model.
  • The casino background in the "Concentration" minigame is removed to a blank gray background in the American release.
  • There is a story mode that is exclusive to the Japanese version where the player must win more minigames than Robotnik. The American version settles for a single/multiplayer high-scoring game instead.
  • The North American version replaces the removed non-educational content with a drawing page for young players to create their own designs.[13]

Japanese-exclusive minigames[]

  • Uranai: Located in the Second Area, this is a fortune-telling love minigame where entering two birthdates would rank their compatibility. It does not yield points upon completion.
  • Roulette Game: Located in the Third Area, the player starts with 100 Rings and bets on how much they'll get if they land on a slot. The multiplier for landing on Robotnik's head (1/16 chance) is x0, Ring (1/2 chance) is x2, Amy's head (1/4 chance) is x4, Tails' head (1/8 chance) is x8, and Sonic's head is x16. The player must get the most rings than the opponents after five spins.
  • Slot Machine: Located in the Third Area, the player must bet five rings to spin a slot machine up to five times. Landing on three cherries grant back 3 rings, three Tails' gives 10 rings, three Sonic's gives 20 rings, three Bars gives 50 rings, and three 7s gives 200 rings.
  • Bakudan Nuki: Located in the Third Area, this game plays like the card game Old Maid, with the maid being a bomb. The player must pick a random card from Robotnik's hand, and getting a pair will remove that pair until only the bomb card is left. There are 5 card pairs (6 pairs on Hard).
  • Poker Game: Located in the Third Area, this minigame plays like the card game poker, where the player bets rings and can hold cards in order to aim for a winning hand. The multipliers is one pair for x1 bet, two pairs for x2 bet, three of a kind for 3x bet, full house for 4x bet, four of a kind for 8x bet, and five of a kind for 16x bet.
  • Janken Game: Located in the Fourth Area, it is a rock-paper-scissors game against Robotnik in a best of five rounds game. Winning all rounds gives 20 points, winning all but one round gives 10 points, and winning three rounds gives 3 points.

Trivia[]

  • The music that plays on the first three floors is a remix of the title music from Sonic the Hedgehog 3.
  • In Robotnik Bop, there is a machine of the game in the background that mentions "Dr. Eggman", even in American releases of the game. This makes it the first game where the Robotnik and Eggman names are concurrently used in the American localization in-game.
  • In "Creating Your Own Gameworld", the template for Tails uses his design from the DiC-animated cartoons instead of the design used for this game.
    • Additionally, there is an unused Dr. Robotnik template that uses his design from Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog.

References[]

  1. The most popular videogame superhero comes to Pico. Business Wire (29 October 1996). "Sega of America Tuesday [OCT 29 1996] announced the launch of "Sonic The Hedgehog's Gameworld""
  2. Flynn, Ian; Sega (8 December 2021). "Learning with Sonic". Sonic the Hedgehog Encyclo-speed-ia. Dark Horse Books. p. 64. ISBN 978-1506719276.
  3. Sonic the Hedgehog's Gameworld (Sega Pico) United States Parents' Guide, pg. 7.
  4. Sonic the Hedgehog's Gameworld (Sega Pico) United States Parents' Guide, pg. 8.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Sonic the Hedgehog's Gameworld (Sega Pico) United States Parents' Guide, pg. 9.
  6. Sonic the Hedgehog's Gameworld (Sega Pico) United States Parents' Guide, pg. 10.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Sonic the Hedgehog's Gameworld (Sega Pico) United States Parents' Guide, pg. 11.
  8. Sonic the Hedgehog's Gameworld (Sega Pico) United States Parents' Guide, pg. 12.
  9. Sonic the Hedgehog's Gameworld (Sega Pico) United States Parents' Guide, pg. 13.
  10. Sonic the Hedgehog's Gameworld (Sega Pico) United States Parents' Guide, pg. 15.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 11.7 Sonic the Hedgehog's Gameworld (Sega Pico) United States Parents' Guide, pg. 18.
  12. Sonic the Hedgehog's Gameworld (Sega Pico) United States Parents' Guide, pg. 19.
  13. Differences between North American/Japanese versions. The Green Hill Zone. Retrieved on 1 October 2008.
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