Super Monkey Ball (Series) Review
Posted: 3 weeks ago.
Play involves tilting the world to control the speed and trajectory of the ball. The goal of the main game is to reach the goal gate before the timer runs out, and without falling off the floor. You can collect extra points via the bananas on the stage.
In addition to the main reach-the-goal mode, there are a number of party games.
- Monkey Race: Up to four players race around six courses divided into three difficulty levels a little like Mario Kart.
- Monkey Fight: Up to four players simultaneously engage in combat by rolling in any direction with the analogue stick and using the A button to punch opponents.
- Monkey Target: Up to four players take turns rolling their monkey down a ramp, launching it into the sky to land closest to the target.
- Monkey Billiards: Up to two players take turns competing in a game of nine-ball pool.
- Monkey Bowling: Up to four players take turns competing in a game of ten-pin bowling.
- Monkey Golf: Up to four players take turns competing across 18 holes in a game of golf with stroke play scoring, or two players compete using match play scoring.
The game has been released in a large number of iterations on most consoles and gaming platforms. Where these offer tilt controllers, like the Wii, Switch or smartphone, this is used to control the rolling of the ball. Most recently Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania will bring an updated collection of the main games to PlayStation, Xbox and Switch.
Early games use traditional controllers to play while many recent titles utilize modern technology, such as the accelerometers of the Wii and iPhone titles. The gameplay is similar to Atari Games' 1984 arcade video game Marble Madness.
The iOS version in 2008 was one of the first games on the App Store and was the best selling app on launch day.6 A 2006 study conducted by the Beth Israel Medical Center found that surgeons who played Super Monkey Ball for 20 minutes prior to performing a surgical drill finished slightly faster and made fewer mistakes.7 In 2009, Edge ranked the first Super Monkey Ball #39 on its list of "The 100 Best Games To Play Today", stating "Seeing its sturdy physics model being used to perform incredible acrobatic feats shows just how finely honed it is."8 Writing in 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die, Christian Donlan described Super Monkey Ball as "one of Sega's grade-A triumphs."9 An enhanced engine of the Gamecube games was used in F-Zero GX,10 which was critically acclaimed11 and Nintendo considered a step forward for the franchise.12 The developers of Super Monkey Ball went on to make the Yakuza series.13
When commenting on the differences of the franchise between the Gamecube games and the Wii entries with Banana Blitz and Step & Roll in a Tokyo Game Show 2009 interview, Toshihiro Nagoshi stated that they were made easier for kids and families. However, he stated that if they got the chance, they definitely would like to go back and make a game in the style of the old games that particularly the fans overseas want.14 Due to the older demographic of the PlayStation Vita, the difficulty for Super Monkey Ball: Banana Splitz was made more on par with the Gamecube entries.15 The voice behind the game's narration was uncredited. However, on December 7th 2019 YouTuber Nick Robinson published a video which reported that the narrator had been Tokyo-based voice actor Brian Matt. 16 The 2020 battle royale game Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout has been described as "Super Monkey Ball for the Fortnite generation" by Tom Wiggins of Stuff magazine.17
Content Rating: PEGI 3
Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds
Release Date: 23/06/2001, updated in 2021
Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Android, DS, PS Vita, PS4, PS5, Switch, Wii, Xbox, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and iOS
Genres: Physically Active, Platform and Puzzle
View our choice of games like Super Monkey Ball. This game is good if you want to:
Super Monkey Ball 3D
Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania
Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania Digital Deluxe Edition
Super Monkey Ball Banana Splitz
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD
Does not offer in-game purchases, 'loot boxes' or 'battle/season passes'.
Rated PEGI 3. Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz has additional information. At the end of each world a boss battle occurs. Players need to roll into a certain body part to defeat the boss, which only results in comical, very mild violence. There's also a mini-game where players fly a spaceship and need to shoot stars at incoming enemies. They explode when defeated. While this violence is a bit more frenetic than the rest of the game, the child-friendly setting mitigates the violence and makes it very mild.
Most Monkey Ball games are rated ESRB EVERYONE. Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz is rated ESRB EVERYONE 10+ for Mild Cartoon Violence and Suggestive Themes. At the end of each world, players can hop on and roll into boss characters to defeat them; one boss character shoots missiles at players, while another slashes at players with a sword. A blue, fish-like boss character is depicted with exaggerated-sized breasts that jiggle.
Skill Rating: This game is enjoyed by 10+ year-olds as it's a good match for their ability and maturity. Although it seems like a game for really young players, the level of control required (and the frustration when you fall) makes it more suitable for older children.
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