Sonic Party 4 is the fourth game in the Sonic Party series and the first for the Nintendo GameCube. Developed by Hudson Soft and published by Sega, the game was initially released first in North America in October 21, 2002. It retains the basic gameplay aspects from previous Sonic Party titles, where up to four players roll dice to move around a board, earning coins from landing on Spaces, events, or winning minigames played at the end of every turn to buy stars. Features introduced in previous Sonic Party games such as the introduction of the usage of items from Sonic Party 2 to assist players against their opponents and the ability to carry up to three items from Sonic Party 3 return. New elements introduced in Sonic Party 4 include the ability for players to team up in pairs in Party Mode, creating a custom minigame pack selected entirely by players of the game, and the first Sonic Party game to introduce side-collectibles in the form of presents. The game is notable for introducing boards fully rendered in 3D, though the navigational board space layout remains flat until Sonic Party 5.
Sonic and company are enjoying the outdoors when a mysterious cloud forms in the distance. As the cloud moves closer, a giant bag appears to be floating in the sky. The bag opens up to reveal Omochao, Hero Chao, Dark Chao, Orbot, and Cubot, who invite Sonic and the gang to party in the Party Cube.
It's the player character's birthday and each host wants to give a present, but the character must play in each host's board and win a special minigame to get the present. The player character manages to get every single present from each host, but Dr. Eggman shows up and threatens to steal every present the player has, unless the player agrees to go to Dr. Eggman's board and win, and the player accepts Dr. Eggman's challenge.
The player manages to win and Metal Sonic congratulates the player for winning, but Dr. Eggman tricks the player into believing that he took all of the player's presents and the two fight in a final battle. The player manages to beat Dr. Eggman and he runs away and leaves one present behind. Metal Sonic explains that Dr. Eggman never took the player's presents.
Omochao then appears and said that there is still someone who didn't give their gift to the player. The lights suddenly turn off, cuing a spotlight, then Omochao points to the sky and a Chaos Emerald is seen, zipping across the sky revealing a constellation of the character's winning pose.
The epilogue shows the five hosts without their costumes, following after the moving Party Cube. After a few seconds, the Party Cube blasts off into space, never to be seen again.
Sonic Party 4 retains the board gameplay from previous Sonic Party installments. Four players take turns to navigate around a digital game board using a Dice Block that randomly rolls numbers 1-10, within a set amount of turns. Prior to starting out on a selected board, the four players need to roll a Dice Block that determines the order they will play in. Players who roll higher numbers in the beginning will start out earlier, and their HUD displayed on the corners of the screen are corresponding to what order they roll in. The overarching goal of the game is to purchase as much Chaos Emeralds with collected rings as possible, within the limit of turns; players first earn 10 rings to start out with. These chaos emeralds cost 20 rings to purchase, and they are found in various, set locations on the board. Once a star is purchased, the star migrates to another location on the board, where players then need to navigate there to purchase again. Once all players have moved, a turn is passed and a mini-game is randomly selected from a roulette of mini-games and played; initially mini-game names are blocked out with question marks until they have been played at least once. These mini-games involve players doing actions with very specific rules under short time limit to outperform their competition. If the players are successful by beating their opponents, they earn 10 rings as a reward, though mini-games classified as Ring mini-games (mini-games that have their text colored yellow) has the potential of players earning more rings, and they keep those rings regardless if they collected the most or not.
Spaces of various types are scattered across the board and give several effects when landed on. The most common space, the Blue Space, gives players out 3 rings if they landed on it. On the other hand, landing on a Red Space deducts 3 rings if landed on. Other spaces include Happening Spaces, Warp Spaces, Mushroom Spaces, etc. that all have their own special effect. When a space is landed on, the player panel turns to whatever color the space they landed on was. The color of the player panel dictates the type of mini-game that will be played at the end of the turn. For example, if all players land on a Blue Space, a 4-Player type mini-game will be played. If two players land on a Blue Space and two land on a Red Space, they will play a 2-vs-2 mini-game, being paired with the character who has the same color as their player panel as each other. 1-vs-3 mini-games are played if three players land on the same-colored space and one player lands on a different-colored space. If players land on a green-colored space, their player panel color will change to either blue or red randomly. Other types of mini-games are played under only special occasions; for example, Battle mini-games can be played only if players land a Battle Space and Dr. Eggman mini-games can be played if players land on a Dr. Eggman Space and Dr. Eggman decides to play the mini-game.
Main Party Characters
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Miles "Tails" Prower
- Knuckles the Echidna
- Princess Sally Acorn
- Cream the Rabbit
- Amy Rose
- Shadow the Hedgehog
- Rouge the Bat
Other Friends Party Characters
- Hero Chao
- Dark Chao
- Metal Sonic
- Dr. Eggman
- Ryan Drummond as Metal Sonic and Sonic the Hedgehog
- William Corkery as Miles "Tails" Prower
- Scott Drier as Knuckles the Echidna
- Tara Strong as Princess Sally Acorn
- David Humphrey as Shadow the Hedgehog
- Lani Minella as Omochao and Rouge the Bat
- Jennifer Douillard as Amy Rose
- Sarah Wulfeck as Cream the Rabbit
- Deem Bristow as Doctor Eggman