The first of several games to feature Sonic, Sega’s most famous hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog was released in 1991. It’s a platform game with side-scrolling, but there’s one key difference: speed. Sonic can move across levels at an astounding rate, enabling him to navigate obstacles such as loops and jumps with relative ease.
The storyline of the game is not overly complicated. Many of Sonic’s animal buddies have been imprisoned in robots by the nefarious Dr. Robotnik, who has taken them all captive. To everyone’s relief, Sonic can save his friends by using his spin attack to decimate the robots. In the meantime, Dr. Robotnik is attempting to exert his will over the all-consuming chaos emeralds. Sonic must get them in the three-dimensional bonus levels that rotate before he does.
The spin attack is Sonic’s primary attack; it allows him to destroy enemies simply by touching them while he is in the air. Throughout the many platforming stages, Sonic will have the opportunity to gather several rings. If an adversary strikes Sonic, all the calls he holds will drop to the ground and disperse in all directions. Sonic will have a brief window of opportunity to retrieve the rings before they are lost forever. If Sonic gets hit while not holding any calls, he will be defeated and die. Gaining an extra life for Sonic requires him to collect 100 rings. In addition, the invincibility benefit shields Sonic from any assaults for a short period.
The game is broken up into several “zones,” and each of these “zones” has three separate stages. In the boss encounter at each zone’s conclusion, Sonic battles Dr. Robotnik.