The Sonic fan games we’re most looking forward to in 2021

Gotta go fast.

Sonic fan games
The most impressive remake since Resident Evil 2.

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With hit indie game releases coming out of the blue hedgehog’s fan community like Spark the Electric Jester, Freedom Planet and even SEGA’s own Sonic Mania, it should come as no surprise that the Sonic fan game and rom hack communities continue to create genuinely incredible experiences starring the fastest thing alive with their free time.

With SAGE (Sonic Amateur Games Expo) 2021 on the way, we figured we’d take the time to tell you about our most anticipated upcoming releases from the somewhat underground game development scene. Here are the Sonic fan games that we’ve decided to give the Gaming Verdict spotlight.

Sonic Triple Trouble 16-Bit

Sonic Triple Trouble 16-Bit
Don’t worry everyone, it has the loop-de-loops.

 

Developed by Sound Designer Noah N. Copeland, Sonic Triple Trouble 16-Bit aims to remake 1994 Game Gear release Sonic Triple Trouble (also known as Sonic & Tails 2 in Japan) in the style of the landmark AAA Mega Drive classics of the franchise. With intro scenes that set up the remake as the direct sequel to Sonic 3 & Knuckles, this is as close to a real Sonic the Hedgehog 4 as we’re going to get. (We don’t talk about SEGA’s one.)

Sonic Triple Trouble 16-Bit has completely redone art, music, level design and boss battles that try to faithfully stick to the limitations of SEGA’s 16-Bit consoles as closely as possible. You could be forgiven for looking at this clearly reverent piece of software and thinking you’d found a lost prototype that had been thrown out back in the day upon the announcement of the SEGA Saturn.

Sonic Galactic

Sonic fan games
Nack the Weasel or Fang the Sniper, depending on who you ask.

 

Sonic Galactic is for every Sonic fan that looked at Sonic Mania and said “more, please”.

Starteam aims with Sonic Galactic to create the 2D platformer for the SEGA Saturn that never was, creating a full on adventure with five distinct playable characters and several brand new zones to explore.

Making sure they’re being as authentic to what SEGA would do as possible, this game introduces a new animal friend character called Tunnel the Mole, who is fun to play, but we sort of wish they’d just added official characters like Amy Rose, Mighty the Armadillo or Ray the Flying Squirrel instead.

This one also has one of the nicest pieces of menu pixel art that we’ve ever seen, for what it’s worth. It’s clearly a nod at Dragon Ball Z Budokai 3, but we don’t mind that at all.

Sonic Chaos Remake

Sonic Chaos Remake
An improvement on the giant Motobug boss from the original.

 

Sonic Chaos Remake takes another one of the 8-Bit Master System and Game Gear Sonic the Hedgehog games and brings it up to speed with it’s 1990’s Mega Drive contemporaries. This time it’s 1993’s Sonic Chaos (or Sonic & Tails, in Japan) which was the first game to let you fly around as Tails the Fox.

Unlike Sonic Triple Trouble 16-Bit, the small team behind Sonic Chaos Remake have chosen to take cues from Sonic Mania and go for a high fidelity “retro plus” look. The Crimson Engine’s game physics are spot on, highlighting the fact that the new level design and twists on boss fights are generally pretty interesting. Sonic Chaos Remake’s updated graphics and music remixes that still manage to include the crunchy synth sounds of the SEGA Master System could easily make someone believe this was a legitimate SEGA release.

This one won’t be at SAGE 2021, but lead developer A+Start has recently confirmed on Twitter that development steadily continues on the project.

Sonic Classic 2

Sonic fan games
Tails getting himself into trouble, just like in the classics.

 

This Sonic fan game is the one that has been in development for the longest time on this list, as work started on it in 2012. Sonic Classic 2 is the sequel to (would you believe it) Sonic the Hedgehog Classic, a complete game released in 2011 by Sonic Retro forum user Hez. Sonic Classic was basically an alternative take on Sonic the Hedgehog 4, so this one would be more or less equivalent to Sonic the Hedgehog 5.

Classic 2 starts when Dr. Robotnik kidnaps Tails the Fox and Knuckles the Echidna. Thankfully, Sonic can still access their powers by smashing special monitors, which puts him in onesies that look a bit like he’s wearing them. (Try not to think about it too much and just appreciate the special powers.)

Along with it’s new power ups, the game has new zones, new bosses and a funky new chiptune soundtrack by composer Karl Brueggemann of Sonicesque fame. It also includes a full remake of Sonic the Hedgehog Classic on it’s new engine. Sonic Classic 2 was going to come out as recently as October 2020, so we expect it any day now —but we’ll wait patiently for as long as it takes to arrive.

Brock Crocodile

Brock Crocodile
Gotta whip at an average speed? We’ll keep workshopping it.

 

No list of Sonic fan games would be complete without a project that starred an ‘original character (do not steal)’ or two from the fandom. While the Sonic influence on Brock Crocodile is obvious, it also has visuals that also remind us of Mega Man and gameplay that gives us classic NES Castlevania vibes.

Despite being a bit of a melting pot of late 1980’s and early 1990’s influences, DigiCroc have managed to tie all of it together in a way that feels like more than just a collection of pieces of other things. With fun dialogue, solid art and music direction and decent game feel, Brock Crocodile is a full on indie game I am chomping at the bit to play more of.

Spark the Electric Jester 3

Spark the Electric Jester 3
Loop de loops… in 3D!

Spark the Electric Jester was a Kickstarter success, but it always feels a little bit overshadowed by contemporaries Freedom Planet, Sonic Advance and Sonic Mania when fans talk about the best successor games to Sonic 3 & Knuckles.

After developing popular fan games Sonic: Before The Sequel (2011) and Sonic: After The Sequel (2013), Feperd Games took what they had learned and decided it was time to make an original property with their skills. Their first outing with Spark the Electric Jester took the classic Sonic gameplay and mashed it up with Kirby’s Adventure and Osamu Tezuka style manga to make a game unlike one that had been seen before. It wasn’t just about going fast —it was about cool super powers and close up combat. It even asked questions about what it meant to be alive. The game was quietly successful enough that a sequel could be created without any need to crowdfund a project again.

Spark the Electric Jester 2 took things in another direction. It retained it’s melee combat and hot-swappable special powers but shifted things to be fully 3D, with expansive worlds that obviously learned clear lessons from SEGA’s anniversary releases Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Generations. Jester 2 was also the first game in the series to be released on a home console, coming to the Xbox One in 2020, despite the original sadly remaining exclusively on Steam.

The third entry in the Spark the Electric Jester series looks like it’s going to be a solid game. It intends to improve on its predecessor in every way, with bigger levels, a higher graphical fidelity and improved overall presentation. We eagerly anticipate it, earnestly hoping that the game takes the relatively unknown franchise to new heights in popularity.

 

 

What did you think of these Sonic fan games? Are there any new ones that should be on our radar? Let us know in the comments below.  Like Super Sonic? Then you’ll probably like Super Saiyans. So why not check out our Dragon Ball FighterZ tier list?

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