European cover art
|Series||Sonic the Hedgehog|
Sonic Labyrinth (ソニックラビリンス Sonikku Rabirinsu) is a puzzle-platform game developed and published by Sega for the Game Gear, released in 1995. It is also playable on Sonic Adventure DX and on the PC, PlayStation 2 and Xbox editions of Sonic Mega Collection Plus. The game features isometric 3D gameplay similar to that of the SegaSonic the Hedgehog (1993) arcade game and Sonic 3D Blast (Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island outside of North America), released one year later. Sonic, Dr. Eggman and Eggman's Robots are the only characters present in the game.
Players control Sonic by maneuvering him around a pinball-like arena, using his ability to roll into a ball to defeat Badniks and pick up keys in order to exit through the GOAL door to clear each stage. The only move Sonic can use in the game is the Spin Dash, as Dr. Eggman has secretly replaced his famous red shoes with another pair: the Slow-Down Boots, which have taken away Sonic's abilities to run fast and jump. They cannot be removed at all without the use of Chaos Emerald energy. Although Sonic retains his walking and learn the Spin Dash ability, there is a time limit in each stage, so one must move quickly to complete stages before the timer runs out.
In Sonic Labyrinth, there are a total of four Zones, each containing three acts and a boss battle. The goal in each stage is to help Sonic collect the three hidden keys and then head to the GOAL door.
Throughout the stages are many enemies waiting to attack Sonic, so the player must remain aware of their surroundings. Sonic is only able to collect rings during Boss fights (and before each of these fights as he rolls down a steep incline toward the Boss) but the player will lose a life if Sonic is hit twice regardless of how many rings he possesses. If Sonic is not holding any rings, he will only take one hit. Whilst holding the keys, Sonic can withstand a few enemy attacks.
When released, Electronic Gaming Monthly rated Sonic Labyrinth a 4.8 out of 10, commenting "Why not just follow the same Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball routine instead of pretending he [Sonic] can actually move while on his feet?", adding that the repetitive gameplay creates boredom. Famicom Tsūshin gave the game a score of 22 out of 40 as judged by a panel of four reviewers. Not all reviews were so negative, however. GamePro's The Unknown Gamer, though remarking that the controls take adjusting to, the small screen presents difficulties, and the sound effects are poor, found it "the most interesting" of the three Sonic games then coming out for the Game Gear.
In 2012, Sonic Labyrinth was ported to the 3DS Virtual Console.