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Educational games in the Sonic series facts for kids

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As the Sonic the Hedgehog series of platform games has grown in popularity, its publisher Sega has expanded the franchise into multiple different genres. Among these are several educational video games designed to appeal to young children. The first attempt to create an educational Sonic game was Tiertex Design Studios' Sonic's Edusoft for the Master System in late 1991, which was canceled despite having been nearly finished. When Sega launched the Sega Pico in 1994, it released Sonic the Hedgehog's Gameworld and Tails and the Music Maker for it. Orion Interactive also developed the 1996 Sega PC game Sonic's Schoolhouse, which used a 3D game engine and had an exceptionally large marketing budget. In the mid-2000s, LeapFrog Enterprises released educational Sonic games for its Leapster and LeapFrog Didj.

Games

Sonic's Edusoft

  • Release date: Unreleased (developed in 1991)
  • Developer: Tiertex Design Studios
  • Planned publishers:
  • Platform: Master System

Sonic's Edusoft would have been the first educational Sonic game, the series' third entry overall, and the first Sonic game that was not developed in Japan. The game was aimed at five-year-olds and centers around a series of minigames that feature math and spelling questions. Minigames are accessed from an isometric hub world and more non-educational games can be unlocked after a certain number of educational ones are beaten. The game was virtually unknown until one of the game's programmers created a Wikipedia page about it, which was deleted after being deemed a hoax. The programmer later emailed screenshots to Sonic fansites but was unable to prove it was real. Edusoft was confirmed to be real after its ROM image was eventually leaked.

Sonic the Hedgehog's Gameworld

  • Release date:
    • JP: August 1994
    • NA: October 29, 1996
  • Developer: Aspect Co.
  • Publisher: Sega
  • Platform: Sega Pico

Sonic the Hedgehog's Gameworld was the first of two Sonic games to be released for the Sega Pico. The game takes the form of a picture book and changes the set of tasks the player must accomplish when a page is turned. Aimed at children ages four to seven, Gameworld stars Sonic, Tails, and Amy and features 13 minigames that are designed to teach the player problem solving.

Tails and the Music Maker

  • Release date:
    • NA: September 1994
  • Developer: Appaloosa Interactive
  • Publisher: Sega
  • Platform: Sega Pico

Tails and the Music Maker was the second Sonic game to be released for the Sega Pico. It features Tails and is designed to teach children ages three to seven about making music. Tails and the Music Maker uses the same picture book form that Gameworld uses. The game features several minigames, including "Travels with Tails" (in which the player guides Tails through three levels) and "Percussion Pinball" (in which Tails is placed in a pinball environment).

Sonic's Schoolhouse

Sonic's Schoolhouse is aimed at children aged five to nine and takes place in a 3D environment viewed from a first-person perspective. The gameplay has been likened to Doom (1993), but the primary difference is that players must solve spelling, math, and reading questions in several difficulty levels based on age group. Sonic is not playable, instead acting as a guide.

Sonic X

  • Release date:
  • Developer: Torus Games
  • Publisher: LeapFrog Enterprises
  • Platform: Leapster

Sonic X is based on the anime series of the same name and was released by LeapFrog Enterprises for the Leapster handheld game console. It stars Sonic and Chris Thorndyke, a character created for the anime series, who must save Tails, Amy, and Knuckles from Doctor Eggman. The player must guide Sonic through three levels, periodically stopping to answer math questions. The three levels, Station Square, Angel Island, and Eggman's base feature sequencing, addition, and subtraction respectively.

Sonic the Hedgehog

  • Release date:
  • Developer: Realtime Associates
  • Publisher: LeapFrog Enterprises
  • Platform: LeapFrog Didj

The Didj version of Sonic the Hedgehog is a side-scrolling platformer similar to the original Genesis Sonic games, but has numerous minigames that are designed to teach spelling. It is aimed at children ages seven to ten.

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