Name: Sonic Jam
Developer: Sonic Team
Publisher: Sega
Platform: Sega Saturn (also the Tiger
Genre: Platformer
Regions of Release: Japan, US, and Europe
Year: 1997 (Saturn version), 1998 ( version)
Players: One Player
Rarity: Easy to find secondhand

Sonic Jam was released on the Sega Saturn console in 1997. It is a compilation of most of the Sonic the Hedgehog games that were released on the Sega Genesis / Mega Drive, namely:

Sonic the Hedgehog,
Sonic the Hedgehog 2,
Sonic the Hedgehog 3,
and Sonic & Knuckles.

Each of these games can be accessed from the main menu, and a number of different options can be set for each game. For instance, you can choose to only play the Special Stages, remove the 'Time Out' feature that kills Sonic after 10mins in a single Act, or even allow Sonic to spin dash in the original Sonic the Hedgehog game. Also, Sonic 2 and Sonic 3 can be played in conjunction with Sonic & Knuckles, replicating the Lock-On technology that S&K used on the Genesis / Mega Drive (in which another cartridge could be inserted into the S&K cartridge, or 'locked-on').

All the games also feature digital manuals from the European, US and Japanese versions of the game. The Japanese manuals are filled with wonderful art, which is lacking from the Western manuals, so are well worth a browse regardless of whether you know how to play the game or not.

Sonic Jam also features Sonic World: A 3D Sonic 'level' in which the player can control a 3D Sonic, and access a huge amount of Sonic information, from various exhibit buildings dotted around the landscape (and it's the closest you'll get to an actual 3D Sonic game on the Saturn):

Character House: This archive features portfolios for both the good and evil sets of characters in the Sonic games.
Music Shop: Listen to all the wonderful BGM and SE music from the games featured in the various games.
Movie Theater: Watch some of the various Sonic adverts and clips from Sonic cartoons in this building. Also features the Sonic CD introduction and ending animations.
Art Gallery: View some of the gorgeous Sonic artwork from over the years.
Hall of Fame: One of the most extensive features in Sonic Jam, a comprehensive history of Sonic the Hedgehog, featuring loads of information and images.

Sonic World also has some minigames called World Missions, in which you are required to collect a certain amount of rings, or hit red and blue 'points', or touch Miles 'Tails' Prower (ho ho). Completing all of these tasks unlocks a special surprise, apparently (haven't done it myself).

Although the games are practically the same as the originals, there are some minor musical differences (how the music starts and ends, very minor stuff). All in all, a wonderful collection, and a must for any Sonic fan.

Sonic Jam is one of the two Sonic games released on the Saturn, the other being Sonic 3D. The Saturn's 'proper' fully 3D Sonic game, Sonic X-treme, was never released.

You can view all the digital manual pages on a PC - they're all in .tif format. Also, there is an 'Extra' directory on the CD, which contains some nice artwork. Also, if you check the 'Sonic12' directory, some of the sound is in .aif format. Some of the movie files seem to be in .avi format, but will not play, sadly.

Servo5678 says re Sonic Jam: Don't forget to mention the pack-in promo item in the Japanese release: a jar of fruit jelly called "Sonic Jam". It came in Sonic blueberry, Knuckles strawberry, and Tails orange.

A version of Sonic Jam was also released on the Tiger Game.Com, but is highly cut down, only featuring two levels from Sonic 2, Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles, and is pretty slow and sluggish, in black and white, and only has two Special Stages, and three bosses. It was released in 1998, and failed to save the already flagging system.