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Sonic & Knuckles is a 1994 platform game developed and published by Sega. It is part of the Sonic the Hedgehog series and the sequel to Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (1994). The story follows the player characters, Sonic the Hedgehog and Knuckles the Echidna, in their quests to save Angel Island; Sonic tries to prevent Doctor Robotnik from relaunching his orbital weapon, the Death Egg, while Knuckles scuffles with Robotnik's minion, EggRobo. The game takes place across six levels in which the player collects rings and fights bosses.
The Japanese members of Sega Technical Institute developed Sonic & Knuckles simultaneously alongside Sonic 3. The two were intended to be released as a single game, but time constraints and small cartridge sizes forced Sega split the project in two. The Sonic & Knuckles cartridge features "lock-on technology" that allows the game to connect to the Sonic the Hedgehog 2 or Sonic the Hedgehog 3 cartridges, combining elements from either game. This feature was implemented so the game could be experienced as intended.
Sonic & Knuckles was released for the Sega Genesis on October 18, 1994. It sold 1.24 million copies and received positive reviews; critics were impressed with the replay value and lock-on technology despite its similarity to Sonic 3. It has been rereleased through various compilations and on digital platforms such as Xbox Live Arcade and the Wii's Virtual Console, while it was bundled with Sonic 3 as intended on Steam.
Since Sonic & Knuckles and Sonic the Hedgehog 3 were initially developed as one game, their gameplay is similar: both are 2D side-scrolling platformers with similar level design, graphics, and game mechanics. However, in Sonic & Knuckles, unlike in Sonic 3, the player chooses either Sonic or Knuckles at the title screen, Miles "Tails" Prower is not available to select, and the player cannot control two characters together. There is also no multiplayer mode or save feature.
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Sonic & Knuckles System Requirements
- Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP
- Processor: Pentium 75 MHz
- RAM: 16 MB
- Video Card: 8 MB
- Hard disk space: 20 MB