When is a Sonic the Hedgehog game not a Sonic the Hedgehog game? When it toplines Sonic's best buddy Tails! This is Tails' second solo adventure (the first being Tails' Sky Patrol) and this time around Tails is vacationing on a little island he discovered. However, the Battle Bird Armada is afoot and they also claim the island for themselves. It's a fight to the finish for control of the island!

Released in 1995 for Sega Game Gear, Tails' Adventure is not a traditional side-scrolling platform game. While those elements are in the game, there's also a twist of a puzzle game and an RPG. Tails has to collect items and figure out when and where to use them. He retains his trademark flying ability, but now instead of spin dashing or jumping on baddies, he tosses bombs at them, blowing them to bits. Tails can also take a ride in the Sea Fox submarine and use its offensive capabilities to explore new areas.

Tails collects rings on his adventure, however they act as a life meter in this game. Tails starts with 10 rings and for every hit he takes he loses one. Collecting rings replenishes the meter, and rings are earned by blowing up baddies.

Also unlike Sonic games, Tails' Adventure includes a map screen that allows Tails to revisit past levels and to explore new ones in any order he likes. The game reminds me of Super Adventure Island 2 for the Super NES.

Speaking of levels, here are the different zones in the game...

  • Tails' House Zone
  • Polly Forest Zone
  • Volcanic Tunnel Zone
  • Polly Mountain Zone
  • Caron Forest Zone
  • Green Island Zone
  • Cavern Island Zone
  • Lake Rocky Zone
  • Lake Crystal Zone
  • Battle Fortress Zone

In closing, don't expect a traditional Sonic game in this cartridge. This is a more slow-paced game with puzzle and RPG elements that combine for the perfect way to kill some time. While you could search used game stores for the original cartridge, you're better off getting Sonic Adventure DX, for it includes the game as a hidden bonus.

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