Footage of a lost Sonic game called Sonic Kart 3DX has appeared online.
Unless you’re one of Sonic’s most diehard fans, there’s a good chance that you’ve never heard of Sonic Kart 3DX. It was a mobile game featured in Sega’s Sonic Cafe service during the early 2000s. Since the service was exclusive to Japan, the vast majority of the titles released on it never saw release anywhere else, and most were thought to be lost when the service shut down in the late 2000s.
But now footage has appeared online showing someone playing Sonic Kart 3DX through what appears to be an emulator.
There is a whopping 18 minutes of gameplay in this video, which was posted up by a Japanese Youtuber called 動画投稿をする人【仮】 (which amusingly translates roughly as “person who uploads video”). The gameplay is pretty simple and appears to be more like an early Ridge Racer game more than anything you’d normally associate with Sonic. Look at that speedometer for one thing, he’s topping out at like 160kph, which is basically walking speed for Sonic.
The footage was actually posted back in December 2020, but due to the relatively unknown nature of the channel, it’s taken until now for the wider Sonic fanbase to spot it. Until now, it was thought that a few screenshots was all that remained on Sonic Kart 3DX.
Sonic Kart 3DX was a cart racing game that launched onto Sonic Cafe in 2005. It was actually the sequel to Sonic Racing Kart, another Sonic Cafe exclusive title from a couple of years prior. Now you might be looking at this game and thinking “games did not look like that in 2005”, but you have to remember that mobile games did. This was before the days of the iPhone or smartphones in general. The Motorola Razr V3 was about as good as phones got in those days, hence the N64 style graphics and tiny square screen.
While this game may have faded into obscurity, Sonic is still alive and kicking in 2021. We're expecting multiple Sonic games to release this year as he heads towards his 30th anniversary, and the Sonic movie sequel is confirmed to be on the way too.
There aren't any confirmed Sonic titles on the release schedule yet, but E3 2021 is just around the corner and that's where we expect to see our blue friend next.