Released in 1988, the Sega Mega Drive (also known as the Sega Genesis in North America) is one of the most popular retro consoles around. The console sold more than 30.75 million units around the world and over 900 games were released.
When people think of the best Sega Mega Drive games, they think of titles such as competitive fighting game Street Fighter 2, side-scrolling beat ’em up Streets of Rage 2, and the over the top sports simulation action of NBA Jam. But the console was also known for its adventure games with their ability to transport players to fantastic and incredible worlds full of interesting and iconic characters. Here are some of those games.
Sonic the Hedgehog
In 1990, Sega set out to create a new mascot for its company. Sonic the Hedgehog is the mascot that it settled on. The lightning blue animal, famous for his super speed has become one of the most well-known characters in all of video games and it all started with the first Sonic the Hedgehog game, released on Sega Mega Drive in 1991.
A 2D side-scrolling platformer, Sonic the Hedgehog sees Sonic run at incredible speeds in order to collect rings, complete vertical loops, jump on springs and bypass obstacles such as pits, spike, and enemy robots. Dr. Robotnik is the antagonist of the game and aims to steal the Chaos Emeralds. The game’s story and concept is quite simple but it is compelling enough for fans to follow it decades later.
Ecco the Dolphin
While dolphins are known as relatively docile and fun-loving creatures, in action adventure game Ecco the Dolphin, the titular dolphin is anything but. Ecco goes on an adventure to rescue his fish friends after a waterspout appears to suck them all up, literally out of the blue.
Ecco the Dolphin has inspired many games since its 1992 debut, with online slots like Dolphin Gold Stellar Jackpots featuring a similar sort of vibe, with lobsters swimming in the background and marine life such as seahorses, manta rays, tropical fish, and sea turtles being featured too. Over the course of the game, Ecco finds himself visiting the lost city of Atlantis, looking for an ancient blue whale and learning songs from flying reptiles, and this is why so many people still love Ecco today.
Rocket Knight Adventures
Like Sonic the Hedgehog, Konami’s side-scrolling platformer game Rocket Knight Adventures also featured a bold blue character when it was released in 1993. The main character is named Sparkster who is able to run and jump, attack with a sword and even fly into the air by using his rocket pack.
The game is fantastical and pits Sparkster up against Axel Gear, a rogue Rocket Knight and Emperor Devligus Devotindos who attacks Sparkster’s kingdom. Rocket Knight Adventures was a reasonable success, spawning a direct sequel on the Sega Mega Drive and a title called Sparksters on SNES.
Sega is planning to release the Sega Mega Drive Mini later this year, banking on the nostalgia of titles like these in order to sell units. It’s unclear whether the likes of Rocket Knight Adventures will be featured on the mini console, but given the quality of these adventure games, many fans will be hoping so.