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Dr Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine

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Console: Sega Master System

The Sonic-and-friends reskin of uber-addictive puzzler Super Puyo Puyo changed nothing where it counted. Arrange-the-falling-objects games were as thick on the ground in those days as today’s shuffle-the-gridded-shinies titles, so for a title like this to make the kind of waves it did was something special.

The secret may have had something to do with the game’s high degree of strategic play, forcing you to shore up combo after combo of those ever-tumbling beans faster than your opponent. A roster of oddball enemies taken from the Sonic cartoon were a pleasant novelty, but couldn’t compete with the game’s scope for multiple humans to match wits in epic bean-counting contests for the ages.

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