Tag: Sega PC

Sonic & Knuckles Collection: Back when Sega published PC games.

Back in the mid ’90s, when Sega slowly was losing its competitive edge against veteran Nintendo and newcomer Sony, they were also publishing a fair share of their games on Windows PCs. This isn’t as well known as their other stuff, considering most of them were ports of existing Genesis and Saturn games now running on the Windows 95 PCs of the era.

Most of the ports were of somewhat lesser-known stuff like Comix Zone and Tomcat Alley. Eventually they started releasing more iconic games, some even in compilations. But then a certain blue hedgehog burst onto the PC scene, and for real this time, rather than fan games made by Sonic diehards in Klik’n’Play.

Featuring The Best Sonic Game. Anyone who says Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is the best Sonic game is a liar.

Sonic & Knuckles Collection was released in late 1997 for Windows 1995, and was the second major Sonic game to reach PC, the first being two different ports of Sonic CD. Though the Hedgehog was branching out to other ventures, including the educational Sonic’s Schoolhouse, this was probably one of the biggest gets for PC gamers who didn’t really dabble much in the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive library.

I was strictly a Nintendo kid pretty much until the late ’90s, when I got my first PC. A Windows 3.11 Packard Bell machine. While I did own other platforms, including a Genesis, I never really got to really experience the platform’s greatest stuff until many years later, thus I never got to play Sonic 3 & Knuckles until this PC release.

Well, that infamous platform jumping section through rising water in Sonic 2‘s Chemical Plant Act 2 traumatized me pretty bad when I was younger. I ended up getting Sonic 3 not long after it came out in 1994, but when I got to Hydrocity Zone and realizing it was involve a lot of water, I got so scared that I shut off the Genesis and asked to return the game. While it doesn’t bother me nearly as much these days, I can still get a bit of a twinge whenever I hear that damn drowning music when playing a Sonic game. Damn you Yukifumi Makino, making a 10 second ditty that haunted kids for generations!

Nooo don’t send me down there

Over the years I have procured one, not two, but three copies of this dang game. The first one I got was part of a Jack in the Box promotion in 1999, which was part of a kid’s meal promotion the restaurant had around that time. had a few other Sega PC games such as Sonic 3D Blast, Bug! and the original Ecco the Dolphin. The others were a complete-in-box copy I found at in the bargain section at an office supply store, and a CD jewel case copy that was part of a Sonic three pack with Sonic CD and Sonic R.

They do say that you can never have enough of a game, but I think three copies is a tad much. But hey, it’s kinda hard to get rid of stuff like this, y’know?

The menu where you choose what game you want to play. I like the fairly random “2-PLAY OK” on the side.

Sega Swirl: The puzzle game time forgot.

Sega in the late 1990s to early 2000s was a weird time, at least here in the United States. After bungling the Sega Saturn, there seemed to be some hope for the company with the blue hedgehog as they released the Sega Dreamcast in 1999, being a modestly successful system. But then Sony’s PlayStation 2 came out the following years and steamrolled over all competition, forcing Sega to abandon games console production and go into full-time game publishing instead. As time rolls on, the Dreamcast era seems to be more fondly remembered, alongside many of the games that came with it. But there’s one game Sega heavily pushed during this era, one that has been slowly forgotten to time.

While Sega was mostly known in the console space, they did have a middling PC division during those years. Most of them ports of legacy games like Sonic & Knuckles Collection, but there was one game they released around 2000 that was a unique, interesting idea. It was a game that would absolutely dominate my middle school years in terms of its simplicity and fun factor.

What the heck kind of company is
What the heck kind of company is “Sega of America Dreamcast” anyway?

Introducing Sega Swirl, a fairly simple puzzle game released by Sega, loosely inspired by the Dreamcast logo swirl. This came out as a freeware game from around 1999-2000, and while the title screen is incredibly basic, there’s a lot more to it than you think.

The swirls almost look like colored cinnamon rolls. Damn, now I’m hungry.

The gameplay is fairly simple: You’re given a grid of swirl colors, and your goal is to find groups of colored swirls for points. Removing them shrinks the playfield down, making it easy to build up combos. However, removing a single swirl will result in you losing points. In the standard “Level mode,” you must complete five goals to finish the stage, thus chaining swirls together for massive points is the end goal. It’s a fairly simple game, but still fun even in spite of its basic looks.

A shame this came out in 2000, before esports were a thing. I would totally watch a Sega Swirl tournament.

There’s also a Versus mode, where up to four competitors start taking enemy swirls for massive points. The goal is to knock your opponents out by eliminating that player’s swirls from the field. Like before, clicking a single swirl makes you lose points, but since your goal is to eliminate your opponent, it’s a good strategy to grab one swirl just to knock them out of the game faster. It’s a fun, competitive mode.