Spinning Wheels are gimmicks which have appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II. These blue and yellow colored half-circles are seen half-hidden in the ground. When rotated through the use of the Spin Dash, it changes the nearby landscape, thus facilitating the player's progress through the Zone.
Sonic the Hedgehog 3
In Sonic the Hedgehog 3, this object can be found at Marble Garden Zone. In order to use the gimmick, the player must perform the Spin Dash whilst making contact with the object. Doing so causes doors to unlock or platforms to rise from the ground, allowing the player to progress further.
In Marble Garden Zone Act 2, rope reels of pulley are seen being attached to Spinning Wheels on steep hills. When the player picks up the pulley ring, the wheel will begin to pull him up until he/she has to let it go and jump to the other side.
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II
The spinning wheel obstacle appears once more with an identical function in Sylvania Castle Zone from Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II. This time, the player is given a visual prompt to perform the Spin Dash at the left side of the half-circle. Spinning wheels serve to open rock doors and hatches in the Zone.
In Sonic the Hedgehog 3, should the player jump on top of this obstacle and then Spin Dash on it, the character will be thrown backwards into the air, still in Spin Dash position.
It is possible to complete both acts of Marble Garden Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 without using this gimmick.