Sonic Labyrinth is known for being a different kind of game in the series--other games like Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 3, and Sonic & Knuckles focused on one thing: speed. Sega decided to try something new with Sonic Labyrinth. Previous Sonic Game Gear games may have been a little slow for the Mega Drive/Genesis Sonic fans, but Labyrinth actually focused on being slow.
The story went with the evil arch-enemy of Sonic, Dr. Eggman, switching Sonic's shoes with heavier, slower ones, that were impossible to have removed simply. Sonic is forced to forget his speed and destroy Eggman's labyrinth before the completion of Eggmanland.
The spin-dash used to be just a quick move to get up a hill or give a blow to Eggman's enemy on the ground, but in Labyrinth, the spin-dash is a completely necessary move--if you run out of time, it's a game-over, and Sonic trudges extremely slowly without the spin-dash. In every level, you have to collect three keys to open the door to the next level. The badniks reappear (as always) to help stop Sonic, as well as a boss for each world.
It may be a surprise that in Sonic's eleventh Game Gear game, the element of speed is suddenly taken out, but it produces a new twist to the building franchise.