Sega CD Reviews

Sonic CD

Genre: Platformer Developer: Sonic Team Publisher: Sega Enterprises Players: 1 Released: 1993

Sonic CD was released in 1993. A side-scrolling action game like most of the other Sonic games, the famous hedgehog’s first CD outing contains some of the fastest and most engrossing gameplay ever. Your goal in the game is to defeat Dr. Robotnik; not only because he turned your animal friends into robots (for the 3 millionth time) but because he has also kidnapped Amy Rose, Sonic’s girlfriend (I think she is anyway, damn the game’s ambiguous storyline.)

The graphics in Sonic CD are breathtaking. The characters are all quite large; what makes this even more amazing is that each character features fluid animation. The character designs are all quite original and help to continue the Sonic legacy, they are very creative. The game’s many backgrounds are all very original and are quite detailed. The game features an animated opening cinema that is remarkable, it has an anime-esque look and feel to it that comes off very well and the quality of the animation of it is second to none, which really helps set the tone for the rest of the game. All in all, the graphics are excellent, the game features imaginative characters with superb animation.

The music is another feature that sets this game apart from the rest. The music is very well done. It has a techno feel to it that fits the action perfectly and really helps bring out the mood of the game. The music also fits the themes of the individual levels perfectly. SCD‘s many sound effects are well done, sounding crisp and clear and taking advantage of the use of Q Sound. You need to play this in stereo, plain and simple.

If you’ve never played a Sonic The Hedgehog game, I’ll give you a brief description of the gameplay. Your universal goal in each of the game’s levels (as well as the other Sonic games) is to free your friends, who have been trapped in metal containers at the end of an Act. There are three Acts in each level, the third Act is the Boss Act, the Boss for that level is at the end of the level. All of the levels have different settings, they are all very unique, and they are well laid out and are quite diverse in style. A new time-based element was added to Sonic CD, you can play a level in the past, present, or future if you hit a marker with the time name on it, the levels design is identical in each, the time element does add different enemies and changes the look of the level to correspond with the time zone. This is a very welcome addition to the series, it helps to keep the game fresh.

The Sonic series has been known for its need of only one button to perform attacks. This tradition continues in Sonic CD. You can perform a plethora of techniques in this game to help you vanquish your foes; the two main techniques involve jumping on your enemies (done by pressing either A, B, or C, and aiming towards your opponent), and spinning through them (done by holding down on the D-Pad and pressing either A, B, or C). One all new spinning technique has been added to the game, it involves peeling out into your opponent.

The presentation in Sonic CD can’t be beat; everything fits the game’s theme perfectly. The character design is among the best ever in video games. The level of difficulty progresses gradually as you get through the game, much like all of the other Sonic games. For the most part, it’s not too difficult, except for the last few levels. The replay value, much like all other Sonic games, is endless. Sonic CD a timeless Sega CD classic that you’ll want to play for years to come, if you can find it.

This is undoubtedly the best Sonic the Hedgehog game ever. The graphics are unparalleled on the Sega CD, or any other platform for that matter. It stands the test of time better than most games. Even after all these years, the game still seems new and refreshing. It added quite a few new features to the series. This game stands tall as one of the few bright spots in the Sega CD library and is possibly the system’s finest game.

This game is a true classic. If you’re a fan of any of the Sonic The Hedgehog games, you need to buy this game. You won’t regret it. The gameplay is top-notch, as is virtually every other aspect of the game. The time travel element adds a nice twist and increases its longevity in my opinion.

SCORE: 9 out of 10



  1. I agree with one of the earlier comments – some of the levels look almost broken, or like they were designed by a 5 year old.

    Having had Sonic 1, 2, 3 and Knuckles long before I finally got Sonic CD, I was so excited when I got this game, but it’s probably the one I enjoyed the least. I’ve never understood where it gets this rep from as being the best game on the Sega/Mega CD. I just couldn’t get into it. It felt “older” than Sonic 1 to me, and I think that’s why.

  2. it’s tough to rate this game when compared to the other Sonic titles available on the genesis. it’s different, but still the same sonic fun. i agree that the level designs aren’t the best, but if you’ve played the crap out of sonic 1-3 then this still a great experiene. If i had to rate all sonic games in order, i’d put this one 3rd in between Sonic 2 & 3. i’d give it a 10/10.

  3. Sonic CD’s uniqueness in the time travel system, great special stages, and cool FMV combined with good music and good graphics make for an overall solid entry in the 2D Sonic franchise. And while the game’s level design in places leaves a little to be desired, it makes up for it in challenge, something not really found in the other iterations of the series.

  4. What a fantastic game! There is something special about the graphics and sound (Japanese version ONLY!) that go hand in hand to create an atmosphere unlike anything else. I love to see how the different zones “evolve” in the time periods. The eerie special stages are my favourite in the series and thankfully challenging. The only downside is the level design, which is too unstructured, but since there are four designs of each stage I forgive.

  5. A definite masterpiece, this is by far the best game on the Sega CD and it is every bit as fun as the Genesis Sonic games. Beautiful graphics, fun gameplay and really cool levels make this game one of the best things to come out of the 90’s.

  6. “undoubtedly the best Sonic the Hedgehog game ever”…. yeah, sure.
    Sonic CD only had the FMV, CD music and the bonus stages going for it back in the day.
    When you play it you will notice the level design is really bad, and even the three time periods can´t save that. A style over substance trainwreck imo.

    All 4 true Sonic games on MD are better than this, and so are the SMS and GG Sonic games.

    Sonic CD is a nice concept horribly executed.

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