Sonic Party 7 is a party game from the Sonic Party series, released for the Nintendo GameCube console. It is the seventh Sonic Party home console installment, the fourth and final Sonic Party installment for the Nintendo GameCube, and the eighth installment in the Sonic Party series. It was first released in North America and Japan in late 2005, before being released in Europe, Australia, and the United Kingdom in early to mid-2006. This was the last Sonic game released for the Nintendo GameCube in Europe and Australia. In Japan and North America, Sonic The Hedgehog Strikers holds this distinction. Like previous Sonic Party installments, the game is laid out as an interactive board game, where players use Dice Blocks to advance in the board, while also playing various minigames. In this game, Sonic and the gang, using the MSS Sea Star, go vacationing to locations based on landmarks on Earth. However, Dr. Eggman is not invited on the cruise and decides to cause trouble for Sonic and his friends.
Up to four players can enjoy the most of the game's modes; however, a special mode that this game introduces to the Sonic Party series allows up to eight players to participate in a party. Players are required to share their controllers, and thus, controls are simplified in such modes. The microphone, first introduced in this game's predecessor, Sonic Party 6, can also be used in certain modes.
Sonic Party 7 features game boards on which players and CPU characters move around on spaces similar to a board game. Players roll the Dice Block with numbers from one to ten to advance on the board. At the beginning of the game, players can hear an explanation of the board's objective, as well as various other quirks the board may have. The turn order is then determined by a Dice Block roll, with the higher numbers going sooner. Each player starts off with ten coins, and the number of coins is affected by the spaces that the player lands on after their turn, as well as multiple other factors. For example, landing on a Blue Space gives a player three coins, while landing on a Red Space takes three coins away. The boards feature a variety of spaces that have different effects, and players can collect items known as Orbs (a feature returning from Sonic Party 6) from Orb Spaces, buying them at Orb Huts, or winning them from Green Spaces. The items can be used to have different effects, which help players or hinder an opponent's progress.
After each player has completed his or her turn, a minigame is played. The type of the minigame is determined by the colors of the spaces that the players ended their turn on. When all colors match, a 4-Player minigame is played, otherwise there is a 1-Vs-3 or a 2-Vs-2 minigame. In Sonic Party 7, minigames might involve clearing action courses, solving puzzles faster than the other players, or fighting against each other, but all rules and controls vary between minigames. Several minigames use the Nintendo GameCube Microphone that is shipped with the game and plugs into Memory Card Slot B. Players can play microphone minigames without the device by adjusting the game settings. Winning players earn ten rings, however, some minigames are dependent on their category, such as the special Bonus minigames (which are mixed in with the normal minigame categories, they are marked by a yellow name), Battle minigames, Duel minigames, Big the Cat minigames, and Dr. Eggman minigames. Various minigames have specific conditions to play in them: Battle minigames occur at random, rare intervals where players have their coins put at stake and the reward is dependent on how well the player has done. Duel minigames are triggered by Duel Spaces, where players can win Duel minigames for a prize dependent on a roulette, a change from the two preceding installments, Sonic Party 5 and Sonic Party 6, where players are required to put rings and Chaos Emeralds at stake to play. Big the Cat and Dr. Eggman minigames occur when players land on their respective places; a new feature exclusive to Sonic Party 7 is that single player Big the Cat and Dr. Eggman minigames are thrown into the mix of multiplayer DK and Bowser minigames. Once a minigame after every turn is completed, the game is saved and players resume their turns on the board.
At the last four turns, the Last Four Turns Event occurs. Dr. Eggman appears to give Metal Sonic the current standings, while also inviting the last player or team to spin the bonus wheel. Some of the effects can help or hinder the players on the board, where one of them triples rings earned on Blue and Red Spaces while others involve Dr. Eggman Spaces being placed on all Red Spaces.
The main objective of any Sonic Party game is to gain Chaos Emeralds that are located at a special location in the board. In Sonic Party 7, each board offers its unique way to obtain chaos emeralds, unlike most preceding games in the Sonic Party series where there is only one way to obtain chaos emeralds. At the end of every game, Omochao announces the game's current Chaos Emerald count and final ring count. After that, there will be three Bonus Chaos Emeralds for the players who did the best during the course of the game. The player with the most Chaos Emeralds overall, wins the game. If there is a tie for Chaos Emeralds, then the winner will be decided with rings (Dice Blocks if the final ring count is the same).
A new addition to the board gameplay is Dr. Eggman Time. After each turn, a special gauge representing Dr. Eggman's head appears on the screen to tell the player when that time comes; the meter fills up every turn. When the gauge is filled, Dr. Eggman Time is initiated. During this special event, Dr. Eggman comes to the board and cause trouble in various ways, some are general while others are specific to the board being played on. This special event happens every five turns; in the Last Four Turns event, the gauge stops appearing after every turn.
After every session, whether on board gameplay in Party Cruise or playing minigames in Minigame Cruise, Cruise Mileage Points are earned. These are used to spend on various items at the Duty-Free Shop.
One change has been made to Tag Battle in Sonic Party 7. Unlike previous installments, where both players in a team move separately, both players in a team move at the same time by hitting two Dice Blocks from 1-5. Also, both players may be able to participate in certain board events by landing on a Green Space. Players alternate between the leader every turn, where initially, the first leader is determined by the controller order. Leaders make the decisions such as using Orbs, visiting Orb Shops, or making choices in board events. If a player is partnered with a CPU player, that player is always the leader.
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Miles "Tails" Prower
- Knuckles the Echidna
- Princess Sally Acorn
- Cream the Rabbit
- Amy Rose
- Shadow the Hedgehog
- Rouge the Bat
- E-123 Omega
- Espio the Chameleon
- Charmy Bee
- Vector the Crocodile
- Knothole Village
- Green Hill
- Emerald Hill
- Angel Island
- Seaside Hill
- Ocean Wave
Sonic Party 7 has 88 minigames, the most of any Sonic Party game to date. These include the traditional 4-player minigames, 1-vs.-3 minigames, 2-vs.-2 minigames, duel minigames, and battle minigames. Similarly to its predecessor, it employs the Nintendo GameCube Microphone for several 4-player and 1-vs.-3 minigames. Unique to this game are 8-player minigames. This game also includes Big the Cat minigames and Dr. Eggman minigames, both of which have three each of single-player and four-player minigames. Finally, there are two rare minigames and one boss minigame, which is categorized as a Dr. Eggman minigame.