- Publisher: Sega
- Developer: Polygames / Sega interActive
- Game Gear: September 1994
- Master System (Europe only): January 1995
- Genre: Action
- Game Gear: Very common (US$1-5)
- Master System: Rare (US$10-30)
|Chaos Emeralds control your progress.|
The pinball segments, which comprise 95% or more of the game, use buttons 1 and 2 for the flippers. Getting Sonic to where you need him to go doesn't rely entirely on luck or traditional pinball wizardry; you have the limited ability to steer Sonic in midair with the D-pad... in theory. In practice, the midair "controls" are a little floaty and, while better than what you'd expect an after-touch ability in regular pinball to be, don't always get Sonic to hit the target you wanted to. The real trouble lies in the general ball physics; sometimes Sonic will stick along walls when it seems he should've bounced off them, and on certain rare occasions you can even pass through objects.
|On-foot controls are just horrible.|
In the audio/visual department, Sonic Spinball does little to stand out, for better or worse. The graphics are par-for-the-course by Game Gear standards, although the smaller size of Sonic's sprite in this game is a blessing in disguise, since it gives you the illusion (?) of seeing farther ahead. The music is even more boring than the Genesis version's already non-catchy (albeit screechy) score. Speaking of which, as far as all the Sonic ports on Game Gear go, this one bears the greatest similarity to its big brother. Not only are all four stages shared between the two, but the map layouts themselves are rather similar, too. Of course, I can't really give any props to the developers for going the extra mile in that direction, not when the rest of the game is so flawed. It would be holding-your-hand easy if not for the atrocious physics and frustrating, luck-based navigation methods. For anyone wishing for pinball action on the go, you would be far, far better served by tracking down the real thing - by which, of course, I mean a real pinball machine.
+ A faithful port of the Genesis version.
+ You're given a lot of lives and continues.
- Nigh-broken physics engine.
- It's tough to control Sonic to where you're supposed to.
- The soundtrack is not up to the series' catchy standard.
Control: 1 Chaos Emeralds out of 5
Design: 2 Chaos Emeralds out of 5
Graphics: 2 Chaos Emeralds out of 5
Audio: 2 Chaos Emeralds out of 5
The Call: 30% (F)