Sonic and the Secret Rings is an adventure game in the Sonic series and is Sonic's first game on the Wii. Unlike the other 3D Sonic games, the story revolved completely around the blue blur, although other characters were playable in the Party mode.
Shahra, a mystical genie of the ring, appeared to Sonic one day as he was taking a nap. She informs him of an evil genie called Erazor Djinn, who resided within the Arabian Nights storybook and was plotting to destroy the timeless tales. If he contiuned to ruin the stories, he would gain enough power to leave the book and unleash havoc on the real world. It's up to Sonic to enter the Arabian Nights book and thwart Erazor's evil schemes.
Throughout most of the game, the player holds the Wii Remote like a standard Nintendo gamepad and tilts it to the left or right to steer Sonic through the levels. The 2 button is used for jumping, and the 1 button is used for braking and making Sonic travel at slow speed. During a jump, thrusting the Wii Remote forward activates a homing attack which can be used on the enemies. A level called the Lost Prologue will train players on how to use the basic controls of the game. Along the way, Sonic can pick up new abilities such as the Speed Break. In certain parts of the game where Sonic travels sideways such as when he is hugging close to walls, tilting the Wii Remote to the left or right will cause him to move to the left or right, with the speed determined by how much tilt the player gives the Wii Remote.
Party mode is a four player feature involving many minigames that can be unlocked during gameplay by collecting fire souls. If less than four humans are playing, computer players would fill their slot. Sonic, Knuckles, Amy, and Tails are the characters available to play from the start. Four other characters remained to be unlocked by collecting fire souls. Once all of the players have selected their character, the map screen will appear, giving you 6 different options:
- Exit- returns you to the main menu.
- Library- Allows you to play any party game individually or view party game records.
- Treasure Hunt- A board game like mode in which your ranking in party games determinds how far you go. A treasure is selected at the beginning, and players must reach the treasure boxes to try and find the chosen treasure. If you find anything other than the chosen treasure, you are not allowed to keep it, but if you do find it, you gain one point and the chosen treasure changes. The first player to reach 3 points is the winner.
- Genie's Lair- A mode where first place players can select a treasure box in the hopes of getting lots of points. If two or more players tie for first place, nobody can open a box. The game ends when all of the boxes have been opened, and the winner is the one with the most points. Beware, for some treasure boxes contain booby traps that make you lose all of your gathered treasure for that round.
- Pirates Coast- Your ranking in the party games determinds how far you'll go in this board game like race. The objective is simple: be the first to reach the Pirate's Coast! From time to time you may land on an event space that may help or hurt your chances of winning. The events you may get range from a boost from a helpful fish to a storm that blows you backward!
- Tournament Palace- Players will be randomly paired together to face off in party games that decide the ultamite winner! Only two players play party games in this mode at a time.
As a launch window game for the Nintendo Wii, Sonic and the Secret Rings was essential to show some third-party support from long-time rival SEGA. The ending result was generally positive, with the highest score coming from Nintendo Power, scoring an 8.5/10. While several cases of quirky controls and dodgey programming were reported, the game was praised for next-gen graphics, dream-like settings, and refreshing gameplay.