Sonic Jam is a Compilation Rerelease of Sonic the Hedgehog games released for the Sega Saturn in 1997. It includes remakesnote of Sonic 1, 2, 3, and Sonic & Knuckles as well as the Lock-On capabilities, meaning the full Sonic 3 & Knuckles, Blue Sphere, and Knuckles in Sonic 2 are also playable. Each game has some difficulty options which changes or removes some levels and there is also a option to enable Sonic's Spin Dash in the first game.
The game also has a short 3D level called "Sonic World", in which Sonic can complete a few fetch quests, interact with some items and enter some rooms where the player could listen to the games' music and view things like videos, concept art, game manuals and various bits of trivia, similar to the early Namco Museum games. Needless to say, it was the closest Sonic got to being in a 3D platformer in the 32-bit age, as Sonic X-treme was never finished.
Not to be confused with the Game.com Sonic Jam game, which is simply a collection of levels loosely based on some from Sonic 2, 3, and Sonic & Knuckles, and is regarded by many fans as the worst Sonic handheld game in history, if not of all time.
In 2022, these classic games, plus Sonic CD, would be compiled again in Sonic Origins.
For the animated short featured in this game, see Sonic the Animation.
This game contains examples of:
- All There in the Manual: The strategy guide and in-game galleries had lots of interesting info about the games' stages and characters.
- Compilation Rerelease: Of previous Genesis games along with the Lock-On games from the Sonic & Knuckles cartridge. Something to note is that these games aren’t just basic emulations; they’ve been rebuilt to run natively on the Saturn’s hardware.
- Concept Art Gallery: There's some artwork, a large majority of the Japanese advertisements, and full-screen FMVs for Sonic the Hedgehog CD. It also featured a promotional trailer for the Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie and a clip of the unreleased Sonic Ride.
- Easter Egg: By inserting the game's disc in a PC, four wallpapers can be found in the extras directory.
- Easy-Mode Mockery: Playing the classic games on the Easy difficulty gives you an heavily abridged version of them that only features one act per-zone, cutting off a large chunk of the game's content, such as the other acts, cutscenes, music and many of the bosses in the process. Wing Fortress Zone (and by extension, the cutscene between it and Death Egg Zone) is also absent in the Easy difficulty for Sonic 2.
- Green Hill Zone: The Sonic World takes place in what is recognizably Green Hill Zone with a number of museum features dotted around.
- Idle Animation: Sonic has a large amount of animations in "Sonic's World" for such a small game. He has almost thirty. Sonic Adventure reused a handful of the animations.
- Musical Nod: Sonic Pocket Adventure on the Neo Geo Pocket Color, Sonic Classic Collection on Nintendo DS and the 2022 Sonic Origins use the music from Sonic World in their first zone and main menus respectively, which is something only fairly longtime and committed fans might notice (since Sonic's presence during the 32-bit era was limited to this, the Saturn version of Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island, and Sonic R).
- Museum Game: The game had an actual museum for Sonic to explore, with a cinema for the Movie area and a large art gallery area for exactly that.
- Never Trust a Trailer: The In Name Only Game.com version had its footage sped-up in commercials. The actual game is very slow.
- No Ending: After clearing all missions in Sonic World, all you get is a credits roll.
- Product Displacement: Averted; the North American instruction manuals for Sonic 1 and 2 respectively featured advertisements for Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck on the back covers. This is because Sega had the license to publish Disney games for their consoles during the Genesis era. They retained that license well into the Saturn era, when they re-released Castle of Illusion and Quackshot Starring Donald Duck on a compilation that was released exclusively in Japan, which is why the ads for Castle of Illusion and World of Illusion remain on the manuals for Sonic 1 and 2 in this game's digital manual section. However, it's played straight for every Sonic compilation released since Jam that features a digital manual section; by the time Sega left the console wars in 2001, they lost the Disney license, which is why said Sonic compilations have censored out the ads for Castle of Illusion and World of Illusion.
- Screen Crunch: The Game.com version had assets taken straight from the Genesis Sonic games—big sprites and all. Because of this, you'll often find yourself taking a Leap of Faith, hoping you survive (or not, given the quality of that specific release).
- Tech-Demo Game: Sonic World is basically a showcase of what a 3D Sonic game could be like on the Saturn, showcasing all the famous Sonic elements (Rings, springs, Star Posts and Tails) in what was then cutting edge 3D. While a 3D Sonic game on Saturn never came to be, most of the DNA for the later Sonic Adventure is very much present here.
- Updated Re-release: Contains the four main Genesis Sonic games with a few changes. Each game in this collection features Difficulty Levels: "Easy", which removes certain stages so the game can be beaten easily; "Normal", which changes some things with the level design and added some extra rings in some areas; and "Original", which plays as close to the original releases as possible. It also features a Time Attack mode, a Special Stage mode, a save feature for the games that lacked this feature, added the option to remove Time Outs, and in the case of Sonic 1, implements Sonic 2's Spin Dash as an option and restores the unused skid marks when Sonic stops to a halt when running.