Released in 1991 The hard to find game Sonic Patrol Car, or “Waku Waku Sonikku Patokaa“ in Japanese, has been made available to play through the MAME computer emulation program.
Until now the game has only been available in places like arcades and shopping malls and not on Sega consoles like the other Sonic titles.
The arcade machine is designed as a mini car with a steering wheel to control the game. Unfortunately, not many functional cabinets exist for the game.
Fortunately, according to Kotaku, Will Medved was able to find one of the Sonic arcade machines and he made a back up copy available for computer emulation. To buy and import the machine from Japan cost Will Medved close to $5500, and most of the cost came from import charges and shipping.
Thanks to him we have this game to play. He has preserved a part of video game history, had he not perhaps this game would have been lost forever.
Unlike the other Sonic games of the early 90’s, this game features voices for the characters, rare for a video game in 1991. In the game, Sonic, dressed with a police cap, rides a police car along the road and shifts lanes to pass cars in traffic and stops at crosswalks for animal pedestrians. Later in the level Dr. Robotnik appears in his own car ahead of sonic, tossing bombs behind at Sonic’s car. The player must dodge by shifting the car side to side to avoid the bombs and make Sonic jump up into a ball and smash into Dr. Robotnik’s car until it explodes, and then the evil Doctor runs away.
The Sonic Patrol Car Rom software is available to play on the MAME emulator program. You won’t be able to get the full experience of sitting inside the car arcade machine and using the steering wheel but at least it is available to play.
Check out Kotaku for more info and pictures of the original Sonic patrol car cabinet. Also take a look at these videos.