Super Monkey Ball

Here are some impressions of this game that I wrote for my main site back in 2002. Amazingly, the game still holds up very well after all this time. The thing about the game is that on the face of it, it’s super simple, the only control you have is the analog stick. But the game quickly taxes your reflexes, your resolve, and your understanding of physics. It’s polish is masterfully done.

In fact, watch the video below. It’s pretty amazing what you’re able to do within the boundaries of the game.

Apologies for the quality of the movie, but it’s the only one that I could find without an obnoxious soundtrack dubbed over the top of it.

Where do I begin? Super Monkey Ball is a very peculiar game. To take a quote from the manual, you have to “guide the monkeys in the balls to the goal.” That simple description really is all there is to the game, but the game it really a lot more fun than that sounds.

The controls are very similar to those Labyrinth games where you have to roll a marble through a maze, only you control the maze instead of the marble. The same is true here. The only controls you need are the control stick and the A button to control the zoom on the handy little map in the corner.

Although the control scheme is simple enough, this game is HARD. They suck you in by putting some pretty easy levels on Beginner mode, but once you start on Advanced, the levels ramp up in difficulty fast. I tried Expert just to see how hard it was, level 6 defeated me and all my continues (I even took the warp from level 1 to level 5), and that mode goes all the way up to 50.

To sum up, this game is a lot more fun than you might expect because of the cute graphics, but it is not easy. If you grab yourself a copy, be prepared to engage in some stress reduction exercises. This game is maddeningly difficult.

One Response to “Super Monkey Ball”

  1. [...] original Monkey Ball game was simplistic, but was a blast to play. So, a sequel makes its way out a few years later, and [...]

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