Sonic the Hedgehog is a 1991 side-scrolling platform game and companion to the 16-bit Sega Genesis game of the same name for the 8-bit Game Gear and Master System consoles. Ancient—a studio founded by composer Yuzo Koshiro for the project—developed the game and Sega published it to promote the handheld Game Gear. The 8-bit Sonic is similar in style to its Genesis predecessor, but reduced in complexity to fit the 8-bit systems. It was released for the Game Gear on December 28, 1991, and for the Master System around the same time. It was later released through Sonic game compilations and Nintendo’s Virtual Console.

The premise and story of the 8-bit Sonic are identical to that of the Genesis game: as the anthropomorphic hedgehog Sonic, the player must race through levels to rescue the imprisoned animals Doctor Robotnik plots to turn into robots. Gameplay is similar as well; Sonic collects rings while avoiding obstacles, but is paced slightly slower as the 8-bit version focuses more on exploration. While some level themes, such as Green Hill Zone, are borrowed from the Genesis game, others are original. It also features a different soundtrack from Koshiro, which consists of rearranged versions of Masato Nakamura’s tracks for the Genesis game and new material.

I was able to complete the game in one sitting and was even joined on the stream by a representative from SEGA. You can view a replay from YouTube below:

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