Sega’s beloved speedy blue protagonist, Sonic the Hedgehog, has met his demise in the new release, The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog. Unlike other Sonic titles, this game takes a visual novel format and follows Amy Rose’s murder mystery party celebrating her birthday, as Sonic dies on the Mirage Express. As the player, it’s up to you to identify Sonic’s killer and uncover the ensuing secretive events. The game can be downloaded for free on Steam as an April Fool’s gift, but is it canononical? According to the Steam description, “This is not a Sonic Team title, but we strongly believe in the power of headcanon.”
The game’s opening sees Sonic’s untimely demise taking place on a train, as was easily predictable due to his propensity for speed, and with his death being part of a larger murder mystery tale. The player is tasked to channel their inner Sherlock Holmes to decipher clues, organize the evidence, and identify the perpetrator of Sonic’s murder.
One of the key elements of the gameplay in The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog is the visual novel style. Players read through conversations and descriptions while observing the surroundings to point out points of interest, items, or environment changes that they feel are suspicious.
The game presents a limited number of dialogues or scenarios. Hence, the final gameplay time varies from ten minutes to under an hour, depending upon how quickly the player can uncover the clues leading to Sonic’s murderer’s discovery.
The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog’s soundtrack, composed of upbeat and cheerful music, a hallmark of Sonic’s legacy, combines with an intensifying atmosphere throughout the investigation, thus enhancing the gameplay experience.
The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog has received plenty of praise for its exciting murder mystery narrative, with players particularly appreciating the visual novel format. However, due to the game’s origin as a jokingly-made April Fool’s Day creation, the title’s longevity is being called into question by several game reviewers.
The Future of Sonic
Although The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog is not a Sonic Team title, Sonic Frontiers’ first DLC has just been announced. The first wave of DLC includes two new Challenge modes, Cyber Space Challenge and Battle Rush, and a new photo mode. This marks the beginning of the three-part DLC for Sonic Frontiers, with the next two waves of DLC expected to arrive soon.
With this DLC launch, Sega is assuring Sonic’s fans that Sonic the Hedgehog is still alive and kicking, albeit only figuratively speaking.
After decades of playing Sonic, his “death” shocked fans around the world when the title was initially released. While The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog may be an April Fool’s joke, it provides ample evidence that the blue hedgehog is beloved worldwide and reinforces the franchise’s 30-year legacy. While Sonic may be gone, his legacy and memory will live on for arguably as long as video gaming remains popular.