Just do it in an app
Back in my day, our 3D Sonic games had Chao Gardens. OK, so maybe it was only really for Sonic Adventure 2, and anyone who was caught in that web at the time just eternally associates Chaos with Sonic (ha). To be fair, they have appeared in various games as mascots of sorts, and as several higher-ups in Sega have pointed out: they are present in spinoffs like Team Sonic Racing. Sadly, Sonic Frontiers continues the trend of not having an in-game Chao Garden. But I think it’s time to change that.
I know some of you are probably sighing at the idea of digging up an old 3D Sonic trend, but there’s so much potential here. Most people liked the Chao Adventure gimmick with the VMU, right? While not quite a “garden” per se, the idea of getting a whole extra game within a game was mind blowing at the time. I mean, the VMU was way ahead of its time too, but learning that you just bought Sonic Adventure and got a free digital Tamagotchi pet was insane: and part of the reason why the Dreamcast earned its reputation as a quirky and enduring console. All of that can be done within an app now, which can interact with any given future Sonic entry.
Funnily enough, producer for Sonic Frontiers, Takashi Iizuka, laughed when asked about Chaos earlier this year. Game Informer spoke to him with a “rapid fire” question format, and asked “is there a Chao Garden in the game,” he replied firmly with a “no.” The next rapid fire question was “are Chaos just extinct at this point?” which he also replied with “no,” while laughing. You can find that segment here at this timestamp (4:50).