Sonic 3 Bubble Gum Mini-Game

In Brief

  • The Sonic 3 mini-game uses the seven principles effectively.
    • It creates a mini-game that holds much irresistibility

Description of mini-game

A bubble gum machine, filled with power-ups is suspended in a vertical shaft over an exit. Touching the dispenser releases a bubble gum power-up in the direction of the exit.

The shaft is lined with yellow bumpers that hold the dispenser in position. Sonic is dropped in the space in between the machine and the exit and has to jump-off the bumpers to avoid falling down.

Each time a yellow bumper is touched, it disappears. If two adjacent bumpers disappear, the dispenser will drop down one level reducing the space between Sonic and the exit.

The seven mini-game principles in action


The player must be careful not to fall through the exit when chasing a power-up.
Skill is needed to move between the bumpers in a parallel fashion. This will ensure that the bumpers disappear evenly, which will reduce the rate at which the dispenser moves towards the exit.
classic_good.png Hence, the mechanics are easy to grasp but difficult to master.


Collecting the bubble gums rewards the player with power-ups, rings and extra lives.
classic_good.png The rewards are visible from the moment the player enters the stage, which will motivate the player to master the game.

Time limit

The dispenser acts as a time limit, as each time a yellow bumper is pressed, it gradually pushes Sonic closer to the exit.
classic_good.png The dispenser acts as an ‘invisible’ time limit, which creates suspense as the player never precisely knows when the game will end.


Collecting the falling bubblegum balls creates a gambling situation, as it increases the risk of exiting the stage. Some power-ups have a negative effect and serve to waste the already limited time the player has in the machine.


classic_good.png The game is an extension of the jumping and gravity mechanics found in the main game


classic_good.png The gum ball elements are fascinatingly unusual. The jumping mechanics add familiarity.


To access this level, the player must collect at least 50 rings and find a star post.
classic_good.png This gives the player a strong motive to explore the stages for both star posts and rings.
classic_good.png The star posts usually occur in slow sections of the main level, which prevents the mini-game from interrupting the flow of speed.

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