Sonic Labyrinth is an isometric puzzle-platform game developed by Minato Giken and published by Sega and released for the Game Gear in 1995. It is the eleventh game in the Sonic series to be released for the Game Gear.
Frustrated by his latest defeat, Dr. Robotnik sneaks into Sonic's house while he's sleeping and replaces his shoes with special "Slowdown boots" that make him unable to run. Sonic is then taken to Robotnik's labyrinth where he needs to find the Chaos Emeralds to get rid of the boots.
Why It's Too Slow
- The biggest offender of this game and what makes it so infamous is that Sonic walks at an atrociously sluggish speed due the slowdown boots (which makes you have to use the Spin Dash, which is difficult to control). To top it off, he can't even jump, in a platforming game.
- Nonsensical plot: Dr. Robotnik sneaks into Sonic's house and replaces his shoes. This makes no sense: If Robotnik really wanted to defeat Sonic, he would've just killed him, even though that might not sit well with fans.
- Horrible controls, as the Spin Dash is hard to control, and Sonic cannot jump at all.
- Influxes of flashing effects that can potentially cause a seizure. However, this wouldn't be an issue if you're not triggered to seizures since the Game Gear's screen is a bit small. Thankfully, it was fixed in later releases.
- Terrible level design in which it's common to get lost.
- The graphics, although they are not terrible for a Game Gear title, look very dull and mediocre, as there are some levels that can have very bland colors. Compare other Game Gear Sonic games, such as Sonic Drift, which look a bit nicer.
- You have to collect keys to finish a level, which becomes repetitive too quickly.
- Repetitive grid backgrounds can cause you to get confused on where you are in the level.
- Incredibly underwhelming final boss.
- You can beat the whole game in less than 30 minutes (which could be a good thing in retrospective, considering the Game Gear's terrible battery life).
- Every stage has a very tight time limit. Fortunately, you can use the yellow triangles power-up to increase your time.
- In a level, it's possible to find two teleport portals which connect only the top and bottom of a ramp.
- There are rings, but you can only collect them in boss battles or the Bonus Stage.
- Sonic can only move in four directions, in an isometric game.
- Unlike Sonic 3D Blast, where the Flickies move around when scattered, the keys stay in one place. Also, there are only three keys per act, as opposed to ten or fifteen Flickies per act.
- The soundtrack can be catchy, albeit forgettable.
- Even if the graphics are generic at times, they're still not bad for a Game Gear title.
| "What were they thinking?"|
When released, Sonic Labyrinth received mostly negative reviews from critics. The game was heavily criticized for its lack of speed and clunky control, as well as the repetitive gameplay which creates boredom.