The Sonic the Hedgehog fan base is an incredible one. Passionate, dedicated creatives have brewed up stunning tributes. From fan-games to fresh Sonic engines, music covers to jaw-dropping CGI – the fandom is beyond talented! We’ve had a fair share of Sonic games in almost 30 years, and fans have been hard at work creating their own. We’ve picked out 5 impressive Sonic fan games and engines to try and download today.
Be sure to check out the creators behind these projects, too – ever dedicated to the blue hedgehog!
Sonic 3D in 2D
Do you remember Sonic 3D Blast? SEGA’s very first experiment into a 3D style Sonic back on the Saturn. It was interesting – incredible for its day but an absolute pain to play. Isometric, trippy designs.
One indie developer Sotaknuck decided to re-imagine the entire thing a classic 2D platformer! You can play as Sonic, Tails and Knuckles and zip through these gorgeous side-scrolling levels. Sonic 3D in 2D has the charm of the but with the precision of the old Mega Drive games. It feels very much on the Sonic & Knuckles side in controls and physics, with spiralling, following levels and those classic power-ups. It is worth a go as it feels like a fresh but familiar Sonic experience!
Sonic Islands (Physics Preview – WIP)
Sonic’s always been a bit hit and miss when it comes to 3D. Whilst we love Sonic Adventure, the game is riddled with sloppy controls and weird glitches. But we keep grinding through, because, well, it’s Sonic. Now imagine what classic Sonic could feel like in the big, vast 3D space? Check out Sonic Islands, a gorgeous demo created by Steve Taylor for SAGE 2019.
The demo pops a familiar blue hedgehog into an experimental world to test out the physics engine and it simply feels great. Sonic feels tight and precise. You truly do feel like you’re in control and not running around and hoping for the best! It would incredible to see a full game using this engine – all about that platforming!
Sonic Speed Course
Remember Kirby’s Dream Course? You can play it today on the Switch Online service. You’d send the little puffball around cute isometric stages and try to collect little stars. Super challenging but addictive at the same time! Developer Sharb wanted to create a similar game with your favourite blue Hedgehog and did just that! Introducing Sonic Speed Course – a gorgeous tribute with classic SEGA flair!
Sharb did the impossible and create a charming little demo in less than 10 days for SAGE 2019. The controls feel tight and sonic zips around as if on the hunt for chili dogs. It’s an impressively designed demo and has all the heart and feel of Sonic – well worth a go. You can download the demo from the link below.
Another take on reworking the Sonic 3D engine comes from Yacker. Sonic’s no longer on an adventure, he’s now on a Journey. It’s Sonic Journey! Like Sonic Islands, Journey tries to tighten up the 3D Sonic controls that we’re all used to. In the demo there’s a familiar level from Adventure with its tropical beach vibes and, dare I say it, it feels far more enjoyable to control. Beyond that, there’s a hover-boarding Sonic stage set in Twinkle Park, and a more experimental ode to classic Sonic.
It’s incredible to see just how much work and effort goes into these games and original engines – and it truly shows with Sonic Journey!
Sonic 2 HD
The last Sonic fan game we tried had to be Sonic 2 HD. An unofficial reimagining of the Mega Drive game that a lot of us grew up with. Sonic Mania took us back to the 90s with its impressive sprites, but Sonic 2 HD tries something different. Rather than pixels, it takes on more drawn and animated approach. This is how a modern and updated Sonic game should be done.
Just look how incredibly detailed it looks – but not clunky and over-rendered. Refined, full of the classic SEGA charm with neat little touches. The current demo has three stages and it feels perfect. Like a chili dog with the right amount of toppings – not overdone, just exactly like Sonic 2 in HD should feel.