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The Ambitious Sonic Mobile Game That Never Saw The Light Of Day

These days, it's essentially impossible to find a device that plays games and doesn't have at least a few "Sonic the Hedgehog" titles on it. Originally serving as Sega's exclusive mascot, the blue blur platform-jumped to the competition after Sega's biggest mistakes led to the company bidding farewell to the hardware business in 2001. Suddenly, Sonic was appearing everywhere, whether it was on Nintendo's consoles, Sony's PlayStation platform, Microsoft's Xbox lineup, PC, and yes, even mobile phones.

Nowadays, Sonic has a fairly strong presence on smartphones, with games like "Sonic Dash," "Sonic the Hedgehog 4," and even remasters of a few of the classic Sega Genesis and Sega CD games available to download on major platforms like iOS and Android. However, what even some hardcore "Sonic" fans may not know is that the chili dog-loving speedster very nearly had another original mobile adventure that would have been a collaboration between Sega and one of the most beloved indie developers in the biz.

Nitrome's Sonic game is fascinating

If you played computer games around the late 2000s, chances are you know Nitrome. A renowned indie developer, Nitrome developed numerous popular browser games and is known for its pixel-art-styling and chiptune music. In recent years, the team has also dived into the mobile game market, delivering experiences like "Bomb Chicken." However, one mobile-focused effort that the company couldn't get off the ground was actually a "Sonic" spin-off.

According to Nitrome, the indie giant pitched a "Sonic" mobile game to Sega in 2018 and even created a functioning demo. The game would have entailed players controlling 16-bit Sonic as he platforms through vertical zones filled with obstacles and enemies. Players would compete for the best score on a brand-new level each day and earn daily Chaos Emeralds in order to become Super Sonic at the week's end.

As Nitrome put it, "Sadly the #SEGA gods did not see the potential," and the project never moved forward. However, it wasn't a total loss for the developer, as they employed some mechanics in their game "Super Leap Day." Nitrome also went on to produce a successful collaboration for a different retro-styled blue platforming hero, serving as one-half of the developer duo for 2022's "Shovel Knight Dig" alongside Yacht Club Games.

Nitrome's "Sonic" game is a fascinating look into what could have been an ambitious new adventure for the iconic character. Perhaps it could be revisited one day. Nitrome itself is certainly keen on the idea.