Sonic the Hedgehog (SMS) Retro Review

Sonic the Hedgehog is a 1991 Platformer for the Sega Master System developed by Ancient and published by Sega. As well as getting the usual cartridge release it also built into some SMS II consoles.


Sonic The Hedgehog (UE) [!]001


Those of you that are used to the game would remember how the title screen was but I had to admit checking the emulator options to see if something had gone wrong because of the lack of a background. Its not that I don’t like the game because of it but it does feel like somethings missing. At least we get the small jingle.

Its interesting to note that the Sonic in the demo play does absolutely terrible and basically kills themselves. You may not think anything of this but most of the time demo play controls the character via set instructions and getting them wrong suggests the level they built the instructions around was different.


Sonic The Hedgehog (UE) [!]000


Getting into the game I can say that Sonic’s design is a little bit weird but overall it still holds up and so does the music to an extent (I still like it). Controls are super easy to figure out as its literally just run, jump and roll with no homing attacks or special tricks which were added into later games.

There was alot of things that i liked or found odd about the game. First thing would be that rings seemed far easier to get than other games and there’s even special stages you can get into if you get a “!” sign at the end of a stage which are filled with rings and I’ve never really worked out why power ups are stored in what looks like TV’s. The shields sprite works in a weird way too, instead of cloaking the player it is actually continuously swapped with Sonic’s sprite super fast since if you pause it you’ll only see one of the other.


Sonic The Hedgehog (UE) [!]002


Another thing I liked was the small secrets in the game. No Easter Eggs to be seen but if now and then you could walk through walls to find things like extra lives and the first special stage had “SEGA” written in rings for example.

As for bosses I found the choice for the first one quite odd that didn’t really have an attack at all and was literally just Eggman in his well known flying thing. However while the other bosses were decent it only caused another problem to appear, if you die you obviously lose your rings and the boss levels don’t have any. This means if you lost against a boss once then it can basically an instant game over unless you can get a lot better at the game. Luckily most of them are easier once you work out their pattern.

Overall its still a good game though, some parts of it have aged but its mostly the graphical aspects that have while the gameplay itself is still fun. I like games like these that don’t have false difficulty yet can still be challenging.


2 thoughts on “Sonic the Hedgehog (SMS) Retro Review

  1. The 8-Bit Sonic games were certainly different from the 16-bit titles we all knew and love. They really seemed to have a fun time making them, however, as some details in the games show that people really tried with the limitations of the Master System.

    Something cool to check out is the music for Scrap Brain Zone in this version – it’s an amazing track. The level design is also completely different, but looks similar – almost like a maze reactor core, more than anything else.

    Glad I could suggest this to you man.


  2. Yeah, i quite like the game. Sometimes games these days try to be too complicated with tonnes of special abilities and stuff while simplistic things can as still be quite fun.


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