Sonic The Hedgehog Spinball opens up with the game showing off Dr.Robotnik new base, “Veg-O-Fortress” The base of Dr.Robotnik’s robo operations, and much more. Our heroes, Sonic and Tails catch wind of the news, and set out to stop and shut down Dr.Robotnik’s base.
But as they get close to the “Veg-O-Fortress” Sonic and Tails get shot down before they can do anything, Sonic jumps into the water, under the base which allows him to sneak in with Robotnik assuming he got rid of Sonic. Tails flies off to repair the plane. While Sonic is inside. he must deal with the traps, robots, saving others and animals from being roboticized, and dealing with the “Veg-O-Fortress” Pinball defense system in order to get to DR.Robotnik to stop him in his tracks.
After working his way up from Toxic Caves to the machine, Dr.Robotnik finds out that Sonic is alive, and close to stopping him. He takes off in his spaceship to escape Sonic but Sonic managed to catch up and have his “final” battle with Dr.Robotnik and ending the game as Sonic and Tails fly away as Dr.Robotnik blows up in his base.
Fun fact. Sonic spinball has characters based on the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog show.
With the story out of the way, it’s time to talk about the game itself. Sonic The hedgehog Spinball, is a pinball based game that has more focus on Pinball than platforming, more often then not, you will be at the mercy of each table and the gimmicks you must use to get the chaos emeralds to open up the boss room.
With this being a spin-off game, Sonic’s ground control is very basic but Sonic’s main control focus has been placed into Pinball controls, and for the most part, they work well enough to get the job done.
The game has 4 stages, I should talk about them. Might be a good idea.
Toxic caves is the first stage. Our cave-like sewers themed stage
The main gimmick of this stage is the minecart, It is used to get the other emeralds.
I feel that Toxic caves is a pretty okay first stage to help the player get used to the controls and learn of the game’s “cause and effect” This will get the player ready for the later stages.
As the name says, “Toxic caves” is a cave filled with toxic waste, Barrels full of toxic waste, and mutated animals affected by the waste
When starting off, Sonic is at the base of Veg-O-Fortress where you must uncork the drain to open pipes that block access to the second level where the toxic waste lies with a empty Barrel that is used to get a Emerald
However, should the player get all the emeralds in Toxic caves, the boss room will be open, and the only time this happens is Toxic Caves, the barrel in the toxic waste will be moving, in a sense, removing a “safety net”
Toxic caves has non-linear ways on how you can get to the top, from clearing out pipes that are blocked with barrels holding toxic waste or using a worm loops to get to the top.
Getting to the boss room, you are up against Scorpius, a easy first boss. It will shoot or rather, drip out toxic smile to knock you back. Just jump inside to damage Scorpius and that is the fight really.
After beating the first Table, it’s off to the bonus table, where you can save SATAM characters from Dr.Robotnik’s capsules. Again, “Cause and effect” is the game here. Free all the friends to be able to damage Dr.Robotnik
If, you win or lose, you will still head off to the second stage “Lava Powerhouse”
Lava Powerhouse is the second stage.
Our Lava / fire themed stage
Off the bat, the first table in lava powerhouse offers no safe area to stand on. There are 3 ways to get to the top table. Bust open the door by using Sonic, Using the cannon to launch at the door, hitting the 4 Targets to skip the first room or try to get past the enemy above the cannon.
For the most part, you will be breaking corks and using Steam to get the emeralds.
Once you get all the emeralds, you will face the “Roboiler” A somewhat pretty fair boss. You goal is to get inside the roboiler to attack the heads. Each head takes 5 hits.
You also have steam acting as a make-shift barrier to keep you from getting inside, and the steam powered platforms that will drop you if you don’t jump inside.
The Roboiler has some strong knockback, where if you hit the heads, Sonic will fly out
The only real danger is falling down the center of the Boss area, which will trigger a mini game to escape the lava, however, this can be done 2 or 3 times before the chain breaks.
But The Roboiler and Lava Powerhouse offers a fair challenge
After beating a boss, you are given a chance at a bonus game again. After Lava Powerhouse is a bonus stage, where you must hit the odd looking Dr.Robotnik’s teeth before you can clear the bonus stage.
After clearing the bonus stage, the next stage is “The Machine”
Here is where things start ramping up with “The Machine” Now there are 5 emeralds, and “cause and effect” has a “bigger” role here. Once you start the stage. there are new gimmicks here. power chambers and flipper catch
There are moving wheels that hold a emerald, and to get said emerald, you must use the power chamber to stop a moving wheel to allow Sonic to get the emerald.
For the flipper catch, you have to hold Sonic with the flipper, and you will go up. With this flipper catch you need to use it to get a emerald hidden in a chamber.
The only real danger is the gears at the start of the “The Machine” Once you get higher up you will be fine.
Once you get all the emeralds, you will find the boss “Veg-O Machine” And power for Veg-O-Fortress. To take it out, you must destroy the tubes connected to the Veg-O-Machine in order to take out the boss
Once you have Done that. All you must do is go inside the Veg-O-Machine to destroy it.
And Like always but however, this is the “last” bonus stage that features A capsule, and Scratch from the AOSTH. To win, you need to get rid of the Scratch’s clones and break open the capsule to win.
A cut-scene is showed after the bonus stage, Dr.Robotnik is getting away and it leads up to showdown…
Showdown is the last stage
Showdown is a lava themed based level
No gimmicks to get emeralds. Showdown is all “cause and effect”. To go here, you must active this, To get this emerald, you must hit these switches to destroy blocks blocking the emerald. The game spikes in difficulty is high
2 of the 5 emeralds work on cause and effect
Showdown, is the stage where you will game over or come close to a game over. Mainly due to knock back from the table’s bumpers
But after getting all the emeralds, it’s the final fight with Dr.Robotnik but it’s a easy one but all of them are easy if, I’m being honest.
Dr.Robotnik needs 10 hits to take out but he has socks and claws blocking the way. Lucky for us, there is a huge button that disables his “traps” And 10 hits later, Dr.Robotnik is done
Sonic is saved by Tails and they escape while Dr.Robotnik meets the lava.
I should talk about rings.
Rings, as you no doubt seen. This game has rings, what do they do? Nothing special. If, you collect all the rings in a stage, you unlock another Bonus Stage to play. It has no relevance here for this “revisit”
Sonic The Hedgehog Spinball, is your ok Sonic spin-off game that gets the job done. While I didn’t run into issues I had with the game before. Pinball is not my cup of tea. And spinball is a ok pinball game, and there are much better pinball games to play
Showdown does still have it’s issues and I feel that Sonic was not meant to be a “pinball” due to how fast he goes, that sometimes, you will clip into a area sooner then planned or fall through the flippers.
I have mixed feeling about Sonic Spinball. The game has “good ideas” that work on paper but feels rushed or is was rushed. But I will try to leave this on a good note.
I do love the AOSTH and SATAM throwbacks and the art style but the music is not too bad.
Do you like Pinball and Sonic?
If so, this may be the game for you. It’s the best of both worlds
Only like Pinball but don’t care for Sonic?
Then it may not be a fun game for you. :P
Just don’t like either?
No point in getting it.
Again, I’m no pinball lover, and Sonic Spinball does not do it for me. It’s a ok game that gets the job done.
If you want to pick up Spinball for yourself or a friend, just go here and give someone the best/worst gift for Xmas for 5 bucks. Wait till it goes on sale, it’s not worth 5 bucks, maybe 3 bucks at best, for the lack of content.
Sonic spinball at best is a okay game to play, and at it’s worst is an unfinished Sonic spin-off game that leaves a lot to be desired, and it’s lack of content.