- Steam users can play “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” for free until Oct. 19
- It’s part of the 60th anniversary celebration of Sega, which started as a slot machine maker
- “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” is famous for introducing the world to two-tailed fox sidekick Tails
In celebration of Sega’s 60th year, a beloved sequel from the glory days of the Sega Genesis is now free to play on Steam.
“Sonic the Hedgehog 2,” first released in 1992 as a sequel to the first appearance of the furry, blue hedgehog, is free on Steam until Oct. 19. This classic had most of the elements from the previous game with one crucial addition, namely Tails, the twin-tailed fox who serves as Sonic’s sidekick.
Since Tails’ debut, he has appeared in several more video games and comics, as well as on Sonic’s adventures as an animated character. Miles “Tails” Prower is Sonic’s most trusted ally and best friend, a sweet-natured and humble fox who Sonic relies on in his battles against Dr. Robotnik.
Sega was founded by Americans Martin Bromley and Richard Stewart as Nihon Goraku Bussan in 1960 before it acquired its predecessor and the basis of its current name, Service Games of Japan. The company began as a maker of coin-operated slot machines before entering the game console market in 1982.
The rise of Sega as a maker of video games was evident when it created the Sega Mega-Drive in Japan in 1988, which was marketed as the Sega Genesis in the U.S. during the 8-bit and 16-bit era of gaming.
The popularity of Sonic the Hedgehog, particularly in the 1990s, made him an easy choice as the company mascot and someone to rival Nintendo’s own Mario during that generation of console wars. Sega continued to produce consoles such as the Sega Saturn and Sega Dreamcast before concentrating on games after 2002.
While a recent Tweet about Sonic’s image could hint at a new game (or more) from Sonic next year, the free game will give old school fans a taste of what gaming was like in the early 1990s.
GameSpot notes that this is a port of “Sonic the Hedgehog 2,” however, not an upgraded version like one gamers will find in “Sonic Mania.” Still, the game is free on Steam until Oct. 19 alongside a big Steam sale.