On January 12, Adobe will be killing Flash Player after more than two decades of support, when they officially begin to prevent the player from running anything. When this happens, hundreds of Sonic animations and video games will become inoperable in their original form, including more than a dozen official games from SEGA itself.
These games were primarily made in the mid-to-late 2000s to promote various games, from Sonic Mega Collection to Sonic Rush Adventure, among others. These games cover a variety of genres including match-three puzzle games, jigsaw puzzles, platformers, and even a Break Out clone made to promote Sonic 06 (which is arguably more polished then the actual game). None of these games are masterpieces, but they are obscure bits of Sonic’s history, from a time when Flash was the best way to release bite-sized gaming experiences to the masses
Since its heyday in the 2000s, Flash has been slowly dying, as video streaming services have become more advanced and as smart phone app stores and digital storefronts began taking over distribution of the kinds of games Flash excelled at. Flash also became infamous for its numerous security holes, which is one big reason why everyone, including Adobe itself, is encouraging people to uninstall it.
But even as Flash finally fades from existence, its content won’t be lost, at least not for long. A team of developers have been working on a program that emulates Flash for months now, called Ruffle. This program can be installed in a browser or run as its own standalone program, and will eventually be able to run just about any Flash file. You can find the website here.
Unfortunately, its compatibility with Sonic’s official flash games is currently quite poor. The only game I can currently confirm to be compatible is Sonic the Hedgehog Chaos Crush, the aforementioned Sonic 06 game. Hopefully, it won’t be long before all these games are compatible. Once they are, you will be able to download all of Sonic’s official Flash games here.
Of course, I’d be remissed if I didn’t also mention what might be Sonic’s most famous flash game, Ultimate Sonic Flash. This is a fan made Sonic game from 2004 that many have fond memories of, and it’s already compatible with Ruffle and available to play through Archive.org. You can check it out here.
I regret I couldn’t get this article up earlier and do more for these games while they were still easily accessible. Provided I can get everything working, I plan on hosting a stream of all these games on Sonic Stadium’s Twitch account tomorrow. Keep an eye on our twitter for an exact time!
Until then, if you want to check out these obscure, strange pieces of Sonic’s past for yourself before Flash dies on the 12th, I’ve included links for every single game in a list below. Not all browsers still support Flash, and I was only able to get these running on Firefox and Chrome. As a reminder, Flash is infamous for its security holes, so keep that in mind when you play these:
Official Sonic Flash Games List:
- Sonic Mega Collection Plus Mini (2004)
- Sonic Heroes Puzzle (2004)
- Sonic XS (2005, promoting Sonic X)
- Shadow XS (2005, promoting Sonic X)
- Sonic Slider (2005, promoting Sonic X)
- Sonic Snake (2005, promoting Sonic X)
- Shadow the Hedgehog Flash (2005)
- Sonic the Broad Jump (2005, original long jump mini game for Sonic Channel)
- Sonic the Hedgehog CHAOS CRUSH! (2006)
- Sonic Rivals Dash (2006)
- Sonic Maze Craze (2007, promoting Secret Rings)
- Sonic Rush Adventure Flash (2007)
- Sonic X Ring Thing (2008, promoting Sonic X)
- Sonic x Vapor (2012, part of Nike promotion)
- Sonic Boom Link ‘N Smash (2015, can’t get this to work, including it in case anyone else can)
Sonic’s very first flash game, Sonic’s Bonus Game from 1997, no longer appears to be playable online, though is apparently still playable through something called BlueMaxima’s Flashpoint. There is also a flash game for SEGA Superstars based off of the Sonic mini game that is in the download pack I linked to, but I can’t seem to find it online. Two Flash games, Sonic Knight in Training (which was made for Neopets to promote Black Knight) and Sonic the Hedgehog Level Creator are unfortunately lost to time.
Once most of these are playable on Ruffle, expect a follow up article. Until then, check these out while you can!