SAGE 2021: Hands-On with Sonic Triple Trouble 16-bit

Yesterday we were given the exciting opportunity to reveal an exclusive first look at one of Sonic Triple Trouble 16-bit’s new levels, and now that we’ve gotten our hands on the demo for SAGE 2021 this year, we’re more hyped than ever! The sheer love put into this game is absolutely astonishing, and it’s evident in the attention to detail in this great fangame.

Sonic Triple Trouble 16-bit (henceforth referred to as Triple Trouble for brevity) has one major goal in mind, and it’s to feel and play just like a 16 bit classic. Whether you grew up calling it a Mega Drive or a Genesis, Triple Trouble goes for gold in its authenticity; and that’s really the best way to describe this fangame: authentic.

Your adventure will start in the Great Turquoise Zone, something much more interesting than a Green Hill knock-off

This demo gives you access to three zones, starting with both acts of Great Turquoise. If you’ve played the demo from last year, you may notice marginal changes, but not much else. It looks like a cross between your garden variety Green Hill and the first act of Angel Island! Either way, you’ll be treated to lush retro graphics and the natural ebb-and-flow of speed and platforming that Classic Sonic games are known for. The boss of act 2 is more challenging than your average first level boss fight, so you definitely don’t want to let your guard down.

Look y’all, it’s Sonic in a minecart- wait, I’m being told it’s a Spin Coaster. Distancing ourselves from Sonic 4, are we?

After a rigorous boss battle, you’ll find yourself in a seamless level transition, sent careening down a steep incline into the Sunset Park Zone, one of the more famous stages in any Game Gear Sonic game. You’ll find yourself spin-dashing inside Spin Coasters to maneuver around the tracks, flipping switches, grabbing onto metal cranes and running across exploding bridges to get to the boss of the first act: Knuckles.

This version of Knuckles both chuckles AND flexes his muscles… and actually uses them. Watch out!

BEHOLD, the most challenging Knuckles fight in the history of anything Sonic related. Unlike his underwhelming show-off in Sonic 3 & Knuckles’ Hidden Palace Zone, this Echidna isn’t taking any of Sonic or Tails’ guff. From powerful charged punches to earthquake-inducing drill-drives to actually throwing bombs at you, Knuckles is actually a threat in this game. You’ve been warned.

Meta Junglira Zone has a weird name. And explosive basket barrels.

Unfortunately, we’ll have to skip Sunset Park Zone’s famous second half (darn, I love the train chase sequence) for now, as the demo takes us to the Meta Junglira Zone. This stage was present in the demo last year, but has really grown into it’s own here, complete with a boss fight against Fang the Sniper at the end. You can expect to find some tricky platforming challenges and plenty of muddy pits to jump across, but there’s still that ever-present steady sensation of speed that makes this such a fun romp.

And unfortunately, that’s where the demo ends. We’re told that the game is coming along smoothly to completion, and if it’s anything like what we’ve played so far, Triple Trouble is shaping up to be one of the stand-out fangames that’s absolutely worth downloading. It’s a love-letter not only to the Game Gear classic, but to fans of the original Sonic games overall. It’s the most authentic experience we’ve played in years, and we can’t wait to see the rest!

Stay tuned for more from SAGE 2021!

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  1. I want this on a reproduction cart… that was an amazing rendition of triple trouble. I like fangames like this. Keep up the good work!

  2. So far this project’s been hitting all of the right notes for me, and this demo was no exception! Sadly, there aren’t Special Stages in this one, so I’m betting those are currently being revamped.

    Protip: starting at C4 in the sound test, you can hear some of the game’s music, including some for zones that haven’t been playable in any of the demos yet! And I’m not sure yet what triggers it, but if you load the title screen enough times you might get a surprise…

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