Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood



Speedster hedgehog ventures forth into RPG-land.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Sonic and his pals can be sassy and snarky, but their hearts are in the right places. They are trying to save the world.

Violence & scariness

Various powerup moves called POWs during bloodless battles. Kids see punching between characters until one is knocked out.

Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is not the typical Sonic game and it's far more complex than the usual platform game. This E-rated game has some cartoon punching. Because of some repetitive gameplay, it may bore younger players.

What's it about?

When you think of Sonic the Hedgehog, Sega's fleet-footed mascot, you think of speedy platformer games full of running, jumping, and rushing crazily about like a roller coaster gone off the rails. But Sonic, who's been around for 17 years now, is now venturing into a new video game genre. By mixing Sonic's mythic backstory into a role-playing format, Sega has created SONIC CHRONICLES: THE DARK BROTHERHOOD, a fairly deep DS offering centering upon a simple premise: someone or something has kidnapped Knuckles, Sonic's sometime pal and sometime rival. It's up to Sonic and ten of his pals to find the sharp knuckled, short-tempered Knuckles.

Sonic Chronicles shines as an entry-level role playing game that has at least 20 hours of game within, all of which is played via the touch screen. As you play as a Level 1 Sonic, you're given a generally understandable tutorial which tells you how to move Sonic by touching a spot on the lower screen to which you want him to travel. You're told to talk to everyone by touching icons above them and you're shown how get powerups by simply running into them. The battle system, which at one point not only has you fighting but chasing down a drone, is also explained in the too-long tutorial.

Is it any good?


BioWare, the game developer, impressively put a lot into a game. The graphics and cut scenes are full of personality and panache. The characters and story become really interesting one-third of the way through. And the battle system comes with a variety of ways to combat enemies by using all of Sonic's pals. But by trying to do everything their way, some elements were left out.

After a few hours of play, you'll find that battles take too long and can get boring, despite the variety of so-called POW moves, which are implemented via the touch screen. You do have to play a mini-game to make sure you hit your opponent with the POW move, but these sometimes don't have enough diversity in them. As with many RPGs, you must do a lot of exploring for not much payoff. Plus you meet a lot of the same enemies when backtracking. And yet, you have to applaud this detailed effort that's often brilliant. For instance, you'll like discovering Chao eggs, which, when put in your garden, grow up to be powerful helpers in battle. You can trade Chao wirelessly, too, if your pal has another Sonic Chronicles game. So while the new Sonic isn't perfect, overall, it's joy to play.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the various powers Sonic and his pals have. Which power would you like to have in real life? Of all the Sonic characters, which is most like you? This is the first Sonic role-playing game. Would you like to see more? Why, or why not?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo DS
Available online?Available online
Developer:Sega of America
Release date:September 30, 2008
Genre:Role Playing
ESRB rating:E for Mild Cartoon Violence

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byChrisH. November 25, 2014
What other families should know
Easy to play/use
Too much swearing
Kid, 12 years old July 26, 2013

One of my favorite RPGS from when I was REALLY young

This game is mostly harmless but the dark atmosphere and style might scare kids. But for me, I loved to play a game with a deep story and gameplay with more than just jumping on platforms. This is one of the best DS games I've played, and although I've chosen Sony for my games, it still stays in my memory.
Kid, 12 years old August 2, 2011

love it

Love it!


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