This article was guest-written by Sonic Talk co-host Chris Xenn.
Grab those rose-colored glasses, because Tiger Electronics is back! Yes, the overly simple, occasionally surreal handhelds you got because the man at the store said this was just as good have returned by way of the Hasbro nostalgia-mining machine, and Sonic’s along for the ride.
As reported by The Verge, Fall 2020 will bring the release of reproduction Tiger Electronics games “inspired” by four actual game handhelds, including The Little Mermaid, Transformers: Generation 2, X-Men Project X, and of course, Sonic the Hedgehog 3, each for $14.99.
For those of you too young to remember what not owning a Game Boy was like, Tiger Electronics handhelds were LCD-screen video games (like a calculator or watch) where the entire display was made of black “sprites” that could be cycled on and off, but never overlap or move. Developers needed to be rather creative to turn such simple technology into engaging, fun, and animated games that replicate the experience of other 90’s consoles and handhelds.
Unfortunately, the actual legacy of Tiger Electronics handhelds is that they were repetitive, shrill novelties. Sonic 3 is certainly among the more complex examples, taking Sonic through six “stages” of dodging badnicks, searching for Chaos Emeralds, and battling the combined efforts of Robotnik and Knuckles. However, if your interest is piqued, treat this as a collector’s novelty and not an actual game worth your time or money. Pre-orders are currently only available at Gamestop.