Stupid of me to make scans. Of course, everyone loves Sonic and so these guys already did it, but they did it one better: they scanned every page, and high quality too. As a blogger I feel like a failure. Still, we must press on and discuss today’s relics of childhood. I was sorting through and binning some old kiddywink stuff at my parent’s house when I came across this old Sonic “adventure gamebook” that I remember fondly.
Sonic Adventure Gamebook 2. And I was surprised to find that in practice that meant an accurate, zone-by-zone depiction of Sonic 2 on the Genesis/Megadrive. There were a total of four of these things, so I imagine they all correspond to the original four Sonic games. The book itself is a Where’s Wally/Waldo riff, with a few spot-the-difference sections, mazes and anagrams. This was a pretty well established formula from Ladybird – they made a number of licenced and unlicenced adventure gamebooks back then, and perhaps even today for all I know?
Supplementing the games, the TV cartoon series and the myriad of other merchandise associated with Sonic, the book is an easy cash-in really. There’s not much to say about it, except that its got a clear target audience, i.e. 6-10 year old me, and a clear purpose – cementing Sonic’s place in history as a well-known, well-liked and well-remembered mascot, and therefore creating a receptive market for the Saturn Sonic game that never was. It’s also well illustrated, with satisfyingly big double page spread images – A3 size pics, in effect.
The fact that this book was essentially Sonic 2 play-by-play was probably lost on me at the time, since I a) never actually owned a Megadrive or Sonic 2, and b) never made it beyond the first few zones of the game when playing the game at a friend’s. Incidentally, that same friend was the only person I knew at the time who owned a Saturn. I realised eventually that the only reason he had one was because his dad was a Sega fan: I remember him talking to us about the Dreamcast launch and Sega being on their last legs financially. It wasn’t so much the fact of him talking about Sega – my dad occasionally spoke about the grave business of console warz – but it was the way he said it, with genuine sadness in his voice that Sega was doing so poorly.
Those memories aside, this book gave me an opportunity as a kid to get to know Sonic vicariously, and that alone was worth something to me at the time since I rarely caught the Sonic cartoon on TV. Another factor was that my access to games at home was limited to the Amiga, and Charlie Chimp was not much of mascot compared with Sonic.
In my recent clear out I also stumbled across a dusty collection of floppy disk games for the Amiga, so alongside Sonic I’ve been indulging in memories of that era, both good and bad. Let’s be honest though, it’s mostly bad. Perhaps there’s another post on the Amiga side of things, but I have little patience for Amiga stuff these days. I’ve got some more pics of the Sonic book and some Amiga diskettes below, and as a P.S. I’m sorry about my recent absence from the blog. There’s plenty of posts (and a podcast episode) in the process of being written/edited – and none of them are about Sonic, you’ll be happy to know – but ironically I’ve not found the time to put that stuff out because I’ve been playing too many games. Ain’t that the truth.