- Original Release: Unreleased (Development around 1991)
- Developer: Tiertex
- Publisher: U.S Gold/Sega
- Original Platform: Master System
A game that was in development at British developer Tiertex in 1991. This was in development as an official Sonic game with an agreement between Tiertex, US Gold and Sega. While it was officially licensed, it was never granted publishing approval so ended up being cancelled. This game was still in early development, but the main portions seem to have been completed.
As the name suggests, this is Educational Software starring Sonic. It was designed for the Master System. As the developers didn’t know what sections of Sonic would become series staples, it has no rings (you collect stars instead). You walk around a map screen, which actually looks really nice, like an isometric Green Hill zone, selecting activities to play. These are usually maths or spelling challenges.
In these, you will race against a challenger by answering questions. For the maths ones, it will ask you a maths question and you select the answer from a list of possible answers. If you get it right, Sonic will move one step forward, while if you’re wrong the opponent will do. Half way through the quiz you’ll get a different question where it asks for a multiple of X and it will scroll through some numbers, and you have to hit the right one.
The spelling challenges give you a list of up to 8 letters, you have to work out what word they spell and select them in the right order to spell the word. In the middle of these, there will be a challenge where you have to press A when you see two of the same letter (although it is possible that it will time out before actually showing you a correct answer). The words in the challenges are based on different topics like transport, food, animals and hobbies/sports.
I was quite impressed with the amount of options for setting difficulty, with 7 different levels for question difficulty and speed (although putting both on full makes it virtually impossible for the spelling challenges), and on the highest setting I struggled with a few things. I think it’s a pretty solid educational tool, and I’m quite surprised that it was never rethemed and released as a lot of effort seems to have been put into it.
The “rewards” for progressing are not so good, though, as the game gives you three simple minigames. There’s one with a half-pipe and a balloon which just didn’t work, a trampoline game which is a very basic version of Game & Watch Fire and an auto runner platformer which had obstacles which were difficult to see. I think these were at a very early point of development.
I think Sonic’s Edusoft is quite an interesting bit of Sonic’s history, it’s not a game I would choose to play, but it seems very well made for an educational game.
Where to get:
- ROM Status: Available
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