|Release dates (GBA)||JP December 20th 2001|
NA February 3rd 2002
EU March 8th 2002
|Release dates (N-Gage)||NA October 6th 2003|
EU October 7th 2004
Sonic Advance was the second Sonic game to be released on a Nintendo console, only just behind Sonic Adventure 2: Battle. It was also the very first handheld Sonic game on a Nintendo handheld, and birthed a new sub-series of the franchise. The game was later ported to the Nokia N-Gaga under the name Sonic N.
Co-developed by DIMPS (a new developer for the series) and Sonic Team, Sonic Advance's gameplay is very reminiscent of the original Mega Drive titles, in it's pacing, level layout, end of level signposts and capsules, and boss fights. It was also the very last Sonic game to feature Sonic's original legspin animation from the original Sonic the Hedgehog.
The gameplay mostly stays true to classic Sonic games, whereupon the goal is to reach the end of the Zone, each split into 2 Acts, followed by a boss fight at the end of the second Act. There are 6 Zones in total, as well as the final boss areas, X-Zone and Moon Zone, the latter of which can only be reached by having all 7 Chaos Emeralds and completing the X-Zone as Sonic.
Special Stages are activated by jumping upon hidden springs throughout a level. As always in Special Stages, the goal is to gain a targeted amount of rings by the end of the stage. If this is completed, the player is awarded a Chaos Emerald, and the required amount of rings for the next special stage is doubled. (note, unlike most other Sonic games, all Emeralds gained with any character are shared between them; eg. if Sonic find 3 emeralds on a playthrough, Tails find 2, and Knuckles and Amy find one, you will have all 7, although there is only one Emerald per stage)
The game features 4 playable characters, Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Amy Rose. All 4 characters have separate abilities that vary the gameplay of the stages, all of which can been in previous titles (ie, Tails can fly and swim, Knuckles can glide and climb)
- Neo Green Hill
- Hidden Base
- Casino Paradise
- Ice Mountain
- Angel Island
- Egg Rocket
- Cosmic Angel
- X Zone
- Special Zone
- Egghammer Tank
- Spring Striker
- Twin Hover Ships
- Cavern Clinger
- Sphere Speeder
- Wrecking Ball Bomber
- Drill Trooper
- Lunar Egg Droid
- Numerous tracks of music within the game are remixed versions of music from the original Mega Drive games.
- Special stages themselves are very similar in design to the Special Stages within Knuckles Chaotix.
- There was a later release of the game, which was packaged with Sonic Pinball Party.
 Chao Garden
The game also includes a Tiny Chao Garden. To hatch your Chao, simply move the hand cursor over the Chao Egg and press the A button to rub it. Sooner or later the Chao will hatch. It will have name already when it hatch, but the player can change it by moving the cursor over the name and pressing A.
 Chao Games
In the Garden, there are two Gameboy Advance systems landing on the ground. Click on one of them with the cursor to play a game. By playing games, the player can earn rings to buy things for their Chao.
- White GBA - Rock, Paper, Scissors, this is a standard game of Rock, Paper, Scissors against the players Chao. 1 Ring is awarded for each match won, there are 5 chances and a time limit of 30 seconds.
- Purple GBA - Matching Game: Just like in the old Chao Adventure games, match one card with another. This time however, the Chao sometimes moves the cards before its time to play to confuse you some more.
 Chaos Abilities
During regular play, the rings the player collects can then be spent in the Tiny Chao Garden on food items to feed to the Chao.
- Normal Fruit - 30 Rings
- Blue Fruit - 60 Rings
- Pink Fruit - 55 Rings
- Green Fruit - 50 Rings
- Purple Triangle Fruit - 30 Rings
- Yellow Fruit - 55 Rings
- Red Fruit - 70 Rings
- Chao Egg - Free
- Blue Chao Egg - 7000 Rings
- Green Chao Egg - 10000 Rings
- Horn - 1000-3000 Rings
Not all items are available at the same time, and the price of the horn fluctuates. Feeding your Chao different fruits makes its stats raise up in a different way.
Music from the game features in the following CD soundtracks: