Sega has well and truly killed Sonic, and you can solve his murder in this new free game

The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog
(Image credit: Sega)

Sonic the Hedgehog is dead. That's the premise of The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog, a free visual novel officially released by Sega today.

The new game was announced and released today, and you can go download and play it for yourself over on Steam.  As you'd expect, this is an April Fool's Day gag, but like all good April Fool's goofs, the result is something substantial you can actually enjoy. Surprisingly substantial, even - you've gotta play through like 20 minutes before Sonic even dies.

The setup has you assisting with a murder mystery party aboard a luxury train, so there's a decent chance that Sonic isn't actually dead here. But hey, the story does include some proper mysterious happenings alongside the party, so maybe some real murder is happening along with the game. It's the perfect setup to a mystery story, in any case.

Honestly, I'm struck by how, uh, well-executed The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog is. This is a complete game with custom art, loads of dialog, a fun premise, and more fully-featured mechanics than just clicking through endless text screens - there's even a 2.5D scrolling minigame that channels the series' old secret stages. Lead dev Michal Shafrir says the team spent the past year producing and developing this thing, and it shows. 

"You know what they say: everything is canon," the devs note in the Steam page. Though they do add a parenthetical: "This is not a Sonic Team title, but we strongly believe in the power of headcanon!"

We might have a new candidate for one of the best Sonic games of all time. Either way, it'll be a good stopgap for fans awaiting that Sonic Frontiers follow-up.

Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.