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Penguin (Fantail imprint) -- United Kingdom
Complexity Level : Advanced (Full Game System)
Format : Paperback
Game System : Combat
Game System : Inventory Management
Game System : Randomization Method : Dice
Game System : Scores
Genre : Humor
Genre : Science Fiction
Licensed Property : Video Game Tie-In
Target Age Group : Older Children
Writing Style : Present Tense
Writing Style : Third Person
This series is inspired by the Sega video game line of the same name, in which Sonic the Hedgehog and his friend Tails battles the ever-scheming Dr. Robotnik and his evil robot creations. The rules are very much inspired by their electronic predecessor. In each book, the reader has six attributes to deal with: Speed, Strength, Agility, Coolness, Quick Wits and Good Looks. The values of these attributes are determined by the reader, who must assign five points to one attribute, four points to another, three points to a third and two points to the remaining three. To complete various tasks (including combat), the reader must roll a single die, add the roll to the relevant attribute and compare the result to a target number. Failing at an action frequently leads to Sonic losing all of his accumulated rings (which are found throughout the books) or one of his three lives (if he has no rings left to lose). Collecting one hundred rings gives Sonic an extra life, but this is generally not an easy task. In addition to collecting rings, various inventory items can be found and used in the books. In most books, the reader has control only of Sonic, with Tails showing up from time to time to help out. In the second book, however, Tails has a more active role (and his own character sheet complete with attributes and inventory), and the narrative frequently switches between the two characters.
A different series with the same name was also released by Ladybird, aimed at younger readers.
Gamebooks1. Metal City Mayhem
2. Zone Rangers
3. Sonic vs. Zonik
4. The Zone Zapper
5. Theme Park Panic
6. Stormin' Sonic
To an extent it could be argued that the "Sonic the Hedgehog Adventure Gamebooks" are among the most woefully inconsistent series of gamebooks ever written. Each pair of titles is written by a different team/solo writer, much to its detriment considering how passably the first two titles pull it off while the later ones are anything but readable. At its best, the books are able to invoke the basic feel of the earliest Sonic video game titles (a time capsule for sure!), and are cheeky and decently creative despite the oftentimes strange usage of the source material. At its worst, the books are lifelessly uninspired in the writing and art, unreasonably difficult, illogically put together in the gameplay, and so unabashedly amateur that it's impossible to follow along let alone play for fun. It is unfortunate that even at its high points the series never crosses over into recommendable territory; while the first two titles have definite strengths, for the most part this is a series that hopeful readers should steer clear from.