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Sonic Labyrinth is an action and puzzle game developed by Minato Giken and published by Sega for the Game Gear in 1995. The game features Sonic the Hedgehog exploring maze-like stages from an isometric perspective. Dr. Robotnik has robbed Sonic of his trademark speed, so Sonic walks slowly but can roll into a ball and dash across the stages. Critics thought the game was a unique addition to the Sonic library but flawed by convoluted controls and repetitive gameplay. It has received harsher criticism in retrospect and is considered one of the worst Sonic games ever.

Gameplay

Sonic Labyrinth is an action and puzzle game with pinball elements. It is presented in an isometric perspective, and has been compared to Marble Madness. Dr. Robotnik has tricked Sonic the Hedgehog into wearing special shoes designed to rob him of his speed, so Sonic must collect the Chaos Emeralds to release the shoes from his feet.

The player controls Sonic, navigating him through maze-like stages filled with enemies and obstacles that hinder his path. Sonic walks uncharacteristically slow, but can roll into a ball and dash across the levels to take out enemies and avoid danger. This spin dash move can be charged for extra speed and damage. Sonic must collect three keys in each stage and bring them to the goal to advance to the next level. Sometimes the keys may be hidden within enemies. The game has four zones, each containing three stages. After each set of three stages, there is a bonus round of collecting rings and a boss battle. Collecting 100 rings in the bonus round will net the player an extra life. After finishing the game, a time attack mode is unlocked.

Plot

Dr. Robotnik was in a foul mood since he came to expect Sonic to stop his plans, but then he had an epiphany - what if Sonic's speed can be removed from the equation preemptively? One day, Sonic woke up from a nap and put on his trademark sneakers to find that something was not quite right - their heaviness hurt his mobility, and he could not even jump. On the sole of his shoe was the mark of Dr. Robotnik, and Sonic looked up to see the smug face of Robotnik laughing. His invention, the Slow-Down Boots, was manifested with raw energy of the Chaos Emeralds. As nothing is more powerful than a Chaos Emerald, it could only be removed from Sonic's feet with the use of the Emeralds. There was now nothing stopping him from keeping the six Chaos Emeralds of South Island, so Robotnik imprisoned Sonic in his labyrinth which is under construction. Fortunately, the Slow-Down Boots have no effect on Sonic's Spin Dash, so Sonic realizes that he must rely on it in order to escape the labyrinth in one piece.

Reception

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