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Game Maker Games - Sonic Zone
Sonic Zone by Effeser
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Review by Mocha Man
When I was new to Game Maker, and I played the demonstration games on the official site, I was very impressed with Sonic Zone, which is a Sonic spinoff platformer that takes you through four worlds and five bosses before you finish.

In my opinion, Gameplay is the strongest part of Sonic Zone. Effeser, although not around any more, is renowned for his very clean, well polished platform engines, and this one is a prime example. Velocity collisions, variable jumping, horizontally moving platforms, and one-way blocks are all flawless features demonstrated in this game, which was programmed in a much older version of GM. At no point during the course of SZ did I encounter any sort of physics or collision-related bug, which is very impressive for a platform game. There were, however, some simple code omissions that detracted ever so slightly from the game. Namely, you can "fall off" a level by running off the left or right edges of it, and much less important, there are some issues with stopping or restarting the MIDIs.

Sonic Zone is sexy, colorful, and exceptionally eye-pleasing. Screenshot fodder. No brownie points here, however, because none of the significant graphics are original. The most prominent custom graphic, the GUI bar, misspells "Lives". I also noticed that the highscore list is the default GM one. Perhaps, then, Effeser had a good reason for not making graphic design his focus in the game.

All of the tracks in Sonic Zone-- one for each world and a couple boss themes --are MIDI approximations of the original tunes. Some are better sequenced than others, of course, but none are original. Not that it isn't a rare occasion to see a GM game with original music. The SFX, too, are ripped, and these twisting mechanical blips and whirrs combine with plasticine, colorful graphics to create the classic arcade-ish sonic feel.

Whether or not you're a fan of ripped resources, this game remains worth checking out because it's addictive and entertaining. Its smooth learning curve, clever level design, and quick load times make it all the more worth playing through, and it's not difficult to understand why this game is kept on display on the official Game Maker site.

Highs: Exceptionally well done platform engine, decent level design, essentially bugfree
Lows: Largely ripped resources

Download Sonic Zone (EXE, ~2.6 MB , Suitable for everyone )

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Opinions about Sonic Zone

Overall: indifferent

Recommendations: The 5 people who like Sonic Zone also like the following games.
Comments (Add your own):
2007.05.31 Sonicguy123
Rating: 10

This is FREAKEN awesome i can't belive you made this it is amazing.You have all of the old sonic genesis stuff and brilliant gameplay.

Fab work.
2006.09.20 Trogador
Rating: 7

this game sucks. it's a good platformer, but you'll only play it 4 a few minutes before getting bored. (oh and even the down + SHIFT cheat doesen't make things better.)
2006.08.17 dorksRus
Rating: --

can u help me with my game man. cuz im haven troble with my game.
2005.11.21 blah
Rating: --

You know, if someone wants to make a 3D, NETWORKED, TIME TRAVEL, SPINDASH, SUPER PEELOUT, GOOD, WITH RINGLOSS, PLEASE do so. See if the Park Racer guy can do the 3D.
Call it Sonic Zone XD. New levels please. Sonic-y level design, also.
2005.11.21 blah
Rating: 7

Okay. Here is a REAL review from me:
Graphics: 10/10
Gameplay: 9/10
Ending: 2/10
Music: 8/10
The ending got such a low rating because it sends you to the credits, after which you... GAME OVER!? Then you just go back to the menu... WITH THE ENDING MUSIC STILL PLAYING!
Overall, this game is a 7.
2005.08.29 Dr_baconman
Rating: --

For all who review beyond me, listen carefully:
It spoils it for the others, and makes gameplay too easy. Let the other players find themselves what happens when you press suchandsuch key.
(This also happens a lot with Newgrounds games. Now stop it!)
2005.06.24 gamekids
Rating: 10

Exellent graphics and good gameplay.But I have it would be better for a Sonic game if you add acceleration or a t least a title screen with a menu.Anyway it is an exellent game so I give it a 10!
2005.06.15 Orionzero
Rating: --

And spelled wrong... :P

Anyhow, the best part of the game was probably the Riverside Zone. All the bosses were too easy.

I wish more sonic games included the famous Spin Dash and Ring Loss.
2005.06.08 keko_keko
Rating: 8

in the review the images are said to be all ripped, but all the level tiles were completely new and drawn...
2005.01.15 ImSneaky
Rating: --

I have a secret.
If you press shift you can skip the level.
2004.12.16 Feet First
Rating: 5

I am not really a fan of 'fan games' such as sonic zone. So assuming sonic zone is based on sega's Sonic the hedgehog I will not rate this a well as if it wasn't a 'fan game'. Why you may ask. The answer is your making a great game worse and it's unoriginal graphics and theme. Pretty boring repetitve and painful instant death.
2004.11.24 GameFreak
Rating: 7

If u press shift, it skips the level :P
2004.11.23 Takagi
Rating: --

The level design is not so Sonic. There isn't much 'speed' in it really. The one hit and you're out thing really ticks me off.
2004.11.22 Zaron
Rating: 6

OK, yes, very nice. Probably the best Sonic clone I've played, but it lacks a major thing: you can only take one hit! Whatever happened to staying in the game so long as you hold on to that one last ring with a desperate grip? The level design, while not bad, just didn't seem to have that Sonic feel to it, either, often feeling very linear.

All in all, not bad, but had just a couple factors that made it go down my scale quite a bit.
2004.10.14 8overtkill8
Rating: 9

Wow, this is so much of a good game, I cant imagine it to be any better. Addictive.
2004.09.09 Dr_baconman
Rating: 9

Very nice. Very nice. Good graphics, music, enemies, and mostly everything. I did happen to spot a few flaws, though. For one, it is usually impossible to collect 100 rings in one level for an extra life. This is why I has to use the 'Lives Cheat'. For you lot who haven't seen it yet, look around. Anyway, great game, few donfalls. 9.
2004.08.25 Yackemflaber
Rating: --

is it like the original sonic games for genesis? or is it a nintendo ripoff?
2004.06.16 happy
Rating: --

For once Im happy!!
2004.06.05 Clay
Rating: 8

This is an awesome quality game that is a lot more interesting than those game boy color games I've been playing for comparison. It has a variety of cool levels ranging from RIVERSIDE zone to NOCTURNE zone. It has nice bosses and suprises to find. I gotta give this one an 8.
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