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September 21 2019

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  NGP - Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure · ©Sega 1999

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Game Stats
1 or 2 players
(with link cable)


16 Megs

Japanese Name:

Sonic Pocket Adventure


Does NOT work with Neo Geo Pocket mono version! Color Only!

Reviewed By:
Top Reviews By This Author:
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Se-ga...! When I first heard of the Neo Geo Pocket and planned to buy one, that's the last word I thought I would be hearing/seeing on it. However, Sonic Pocket Adventure is Sega's first Neo Geo Pocket game, and hopefully won't be the last they will produce.

Hearing the familiar "Se-ga" sound when I first turned this game on really brought back memories of playing Sonic in the good old Megadrive/Genesis 16 bit days. Although I never owned a Sega system back then (I was a SNES freak :) I used to spend lots of time playing it on other peoples machines, along with Streets of Rage and many other classics. This NGPC version is basically very similar to the old Sega Game Gear version of Sonic 2, except it also has a few extras of its own.


I'm sure everyone already knows how Sonic plays. For those who don't (the words "Were you hiding under a rock during the 16 bit years?" springs to mind :-) the aim is similar to pretty much any other platform game, only Sonic has always been VERY fast and this version is no different. Sonic's woodland friends have been captured by the evil Dr. Robotnik and he must save them by making his way through all stages and defeating Robotnik. There are 6 zones to play through, each with two levels, plus the final confrontation with the last boss (plus a secret stage).

Along the way you can collect rings. If Sonic touches any bad guys or falls into any hazards like Lava etc along the way while he doesn't have any rings in his possession, it means instant death ... however if you DO have some you don't die, instead you drop all of them. You still have a few seconds to grab a few of them before they disappear though.

At the end of Act 1 of each zone, if you have more than 50 rings you get the chance to play on a bonus stage, where you race down a tunnel collecting rings. If you collect enough, you win one of the seven Chaos Emeralds (see the FAQ below for more info on this). The bonus stages are very simple, but although they start off easy they become difficult later on, with more and more obstacles, which cause you to lose coins if you don't avoid them. These sections look fairly impressive graphically for a handheld game.

Graphics & Sound:

In fact, the graphics are very good throughout Sonic. They are very colorful and move along at a cracking pace. One advantage Sonic has on the NGPC over the Game Gear version is that the screen is better and it doesn't blur as much. In fact, the NGPC version doesn't really blur at all! Its not all good however; there is some slowdown that happens occasionally - mainly when you get hit and there are lots of rings flying around the screen. It doesn't ruin the game and I soon forgot about it after I had been playing the game a while. I can remember some slowdown even on the Genesis/Megadrive version anyway, and it never ruined it back then :-)

This is one of the handheld games where I like to keep the music turned up while I play. In some games the music can get annoying so I turn it down, but in this one I think that the music is cool. The one piece of music I do find annoying is the bonus section music... but those sections don't last for long anyhow. I thought that the sound effects were well done and I liked the little bit of speech I mentioned earlier, which is surprisingly clear for a handheld.


Although it's quite straightforward to play through the game and complete it, there are a few extra things to do. First off, there are two endings to see, to get the second one you have to collect all the Chaos Emeralds I mentioned earlier. There are also "puzzle pieces" scattered around all of the levels, which can be arranged into a picture during the "puzzle room" mode. There are LOADS of these to collect and finding them will take you a LONG time... exploration is the key! While its fun to rush through each act for the fastest times, looking around each level is fun too. Apparently some of these have a "pleasant" surprise if you finish the picture according to the manual... I'm still trying to find them all at the time of writing, so I'm not sure exactly what they do.


If you are looking for an example of a great fun platform game then this is one of the best handheld platformers that money can buy. The only problem is the slightly short lifespan, as it's very easy to complete. Even with its faults, Sonic Pocket Adventure is worth every penny. While it may be easy to finish, exploring for all the puzzle pieces will keep you going for a good while, and its also great to keep trying to beat all of your fastest times on each stage using the time trial option. If you have a friend with a NGPC then the two player competitive mode is also great fun!

Right now, there isn't a lot of choice when it comes to NGPC platform games (apart from Metal Slug). However I think it's a quality/quantity thing because this game is great and deserves a place in anyone's collection.

Graphics: 9/10
Sound: 8/10
Game play: 8/10
Replay Value: 7/10

Overall Rating: 8/10

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