There’s no arcade game show out there like California Extreme. Taking place this weekend in Santa Clara, California, the annual event has become home to a number of hit pinball and arcade machines. But it’s also an interesting place to see some unreleased and rare titles, such as Atari’s multiplayer Star Lords, which is getting huge attention this weekend.
But one game that stands out is yet another unreleased Sonic the Hedgehog game, one that was made around 1992 for arcade play. It’s different from the likes of Sonic Xtreme though. Instead of a platformer, SegaSonic Bros. is a puzzle game for two players. You can check out the tweet below, which gives you a good look at its title screen.
Some videos have also resurfaced over at Resetera, showing the game in action. Based on what we’ve seen thus far, it looks to be a rather curious combination of the classic Sega puzzle game Columns and the Taito arcade classic Qix.
Here are the notes from the Resetera post, along with the videos beneath it.
SegaSonic Bros. is a Sonic the Hedgehog arcade puzzle game designed by Fukio Mitsuji, the creator of Bubble Bobble.
SegaSonic Bros. was developed for Sega System C2 and was originally set for release in 1992. However, the game failed its location test in Japan and subsequently did not see a nationwide release.
A few years ago is showed up with some collectors, and now it's been playable at California Extreme, so we have some footage!
It's a super weird mix of Columns and QIX - you have to make a line or merger of colors that surround other colors to get them away. Connecting to the 'wall' of the arena can also get you big points. If anything, it's also a bit like a mixture of the Q? Entertainment games Gunpey and Lumines.
Also has two additional Sonics - Red and Yellow. It's quite a complicated game, and in 1991 / 92 the Arcade puzzle scene changed quite a bit with the release of Puyo Puyo, which added story and fighting elements that were not in games like this and Columns / Tetris.”
We’re not sure why the game didn’t get a release. Sonic was a popular name at the time, after all, thanks to his debut on the Sega Genesis. Perhaps Sega just didn’t quite have the confidence in it after its location test failure. Still, better to see it playable here than not at all.
Maybe Sega will give it another chance someday. After all, the Sega Ages lineup is coming to Nintendo Switch (including the first Sonic the Hedgehog), and a game like this might draw a great deal of attention. We’ll see.
If you’re at California Extreme, stop by and see the game before it’s too late!