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Super Monkey Ball

aka: Monkey Ball

[ All ] [ Arcade ] [ GameCube ]

Critic Reviews 84% add missing review

Game Zero (23.5 out of 25)

I'm going to have to say that for me, this was the best launch title for the system, with the most long-term play factor. Take the best of Marble Madness and put a monkey in the marble... that's how this game feels.

Dec 2001 · GameCube · read review

SegaFan.com (9.4 out of 10)

Resumiendo, un grandísimo juego que engancha como pocos y una excelente compra para los poseedores de una Gamecube, en especial si les gustan los retos difíciles.

Sep 17th, 2002 · GameCube · read review

games xtreme (9.2 out of 10)

The game is a brilliant launch title which will help give people a reason to buy the Game Cube, though it won't be much fun if you're a Billy no mates.

May 7th, 2002 · GameCube · read review

NGC Magazine (92 out of 100)

We've trembled, sweated and sworn at it, but still keep coming back for more. it's an ideal mix of what makes a great arcade-style game - it grabs hold of you instantly, but has enough depth and difficulty that you'll never be able to tear yourself away.

Dec 2001 · GameCube · read review

GameSpy (91 out of 100)

Super Monkey Ball is the best arcade-style action / party game to come around in ages, and an excellent start to Sega's GameCube publishing efforts. Highly recommended to those who seek a fun challenge.

Nov 20th, 2001 · GameCube · read review

GamePro (US) (4.5 out of 5)

Super Monkey Ball is much more than an arcade port, cleverly adding ingenious and addictive multiplayer games that everyone can enjoy.

Nov 16th, 2001 · GameCube · read review

Nintendo Life ( )

Super Monkey Ball is a great game that shows off the Gamecube's graphical abilities whilst being one of the most fun multiplayer party games available. Even if the main play mode doesn't appeal we're sure the other play modes will appeal to you. Its arcade roots mean the game is of the pick-up and play variety - great for a quick blast before going out.

Jan 2nd, 2006 · GameCube · read review

The Age ( )

At last, a children's game that breaks the mould and delivers an original gaming experience. The concept is simple: monkeys are encased in transparent bubbles that are controlled by the analogue stick. In the main game mode it's your job to spin the monkeys along, collecting as many bananas as you can in the time available. Sounds simple, but there is a catch. The mazelike paths you must negotiate are suspended in midair, they move and are quite often full of holes - timing can be everything. If you fall out of the course, you are placed back at the start. Three fallouts and the game's over. There are three levels of difficulty, and thinking this would be child's play we made the mistake of heading straight to the hardest one - we soon turned back.

Jun 20th, 2002 · GameCube

Edge (9 out of 10)

Super Monkey Ball is defined by the emotions that surround every player in every game, emotions as unrefined and angular as the mazes aren’t. Every second brings another jagged spike of highrise elation or freefall despair, and that’s what makes the game so superb. So it’s simple, unassuming, and it demands persistence. And at times it’s frustrating and sickeningly difficult, but when you finally beat a maze on your 15th try, on the last life of your last continue, it’s all worth it. If that experience could be distilled into a single word, it would be euphoria; reducing Super Monkey Ball to one word is simpler. It’s genius.

Oct 8th, 2001 · GameCube · read review

Gamereactor (Sweden) (9 out of 10)

De flesta spel har några brister eller liknande. I fallet Super Monkey Ball kan jag dock inte komma på en enda och jag tvekar inte att kalla detta för kubens starkaste spel vid släppet av konsolen. Det är roligt, lätt att komma in i och utmanande samt passar alla. De är snyggt och det har enorm hållbarhet samt att det är riktigt roligt även på flera deltagare. Tack vare de välgjorda småspel som finns så kan man dessutom variera sitt spelande på ett mycket trevligt sätt. Att de rara aporna sedan är de raraste spelfigurer jag sett på år och dag gör heller inte saken sämre. Att Nintendos tidigare ärkerival Sega ska vara de som ståtar med det bästa spelet vid sjösättningen av Nintendos nya konsol är givetvis ironiskt, men sådan är spelmarknaden idag och det är bara att vänja sig. Köper ni en kub och kommer hem utan Super Monkey Ball till så har ni faktiskt bara köpt er en halv konsol, så bra är det!

May 8th, 2003 · GameCube · read review

GamersMark (9 out of 10)

Sega couldn’t have chose a better game to launch on the game cube, giving Mario Party a good run for its money. Definitely worth picking up.

Nov 28th, 2001 · GameCube · read review

GameSpot (8.8 out of 10)

As gaming has matured, games have grown in complexity. Complex games have their place in the market, but sometimes you just feel like something different. Sega is one of those companies known for fairly regular treks into the "something different" zone. As the company shifts to multiplatform development, it seems to be in fine, quirky form with Super Monkey Ball, its first GameCube release. An enhanced port of developer Amusement Vision's arcade title Monkey Ball, the game makes a strong case for the power of simple yet incredibly addictive gameplay.

Nov 7th, 2001 · GameCube · read review

Gamesmania.de (88 out of 100)

Super Monkey Ball macht seinem Ruf als DER Geheimtipp schlechthin alle Ehre. Selten zuvor hat mich und natürlich auch meine Mitspieler (die für den vollen Genuss zwingend notwenig sind) ein Spiel dermaßen schnell in seinen Bann gezogen. Die anderen Launch-Titel wurden teils ungeöffnet links liegen gelassen und am Release-Tag fast nur Super Monkey Ball gezockt. Einige Kumpels überlegen sich sogar extra für den Titel ein eigenes Pad zu kaufen, obwohl sie nicht einmal einen Cube besitzen. Wer den ultimativen Mehrspieler-Zock sucht, liegt hier goldrichtig.

May 5th, 2002 · GameCube · read review

4Players.de (88 out of 100)

Auch ich war anfangs ein wenig skeptisch, was die rollenden Affen betraf. Nach den ersten Missionen musste ich mich aber eines Besseren belehren lassen und habe immer mehr Parcours erfolgreich beendet. Durch die Vielzahl der Spiele ist für jede Menge Abwechslung gesorgt und der Multiplayer-Modus bringt weitere Motivationsschübe. Würde die Grafik die Fähigkeiten des GameCubes noch ein wenig besser nutzen, hätte Super Monkey Ball sicher am Platin-Award gekratzt. So ist es ein super Geschicklichkeitsspiel für die ganze Familie!

May 16th, 2002 · GameCube · read review

NGC Magazine (88 out of 100)

Uncommonly difficult and yet strangely compelling, there's nothing else on the horizon from Sega, or any third party, that's likely to match the star quality and quirky charm of Super Monkey Ball.

May 2002 · GameCube · read review

Gaming Target (8.8 out of 10)

From the visual point of view, Super Monkey Ball is like many of Sega's games, very colorful. Using the GameCube hardware capabilities in full swing, Sega is able to define their vision of quirky little monkey characters rolling around in transparent balls quite accurately. The game's four individual monkey characters (Aiai, Baby, Meemee, and GonGon) all have their own motion pattern and post-level animation. In the midst of gameplay, you can clearly catch a glimpse of how a glossy reflection veers off of the ball. Little nuances, like the sparks that fly when the ball goes from slow to faster speeds, make the seemingly unbelievable become believable.

Apr 19th, 2002 · GameCube · read review

64 Power / big.N / N Games (86 out of 100)

(Japanese version)
Was als simple Spielhallenumsetzung angekündigt wurde, entpuppte sich nach Veröffentlichung als eines der innovativsten Geschicklichkeitsspiele der letzten Jahre - zwar wird der Solo-Modus relativ schnell langweilig, die zahlreichen Bonus- und Multiplayer-Spieler sorgen jedoch für Spielspaß ohne Ende. Wenn du gerne in Gesellschaft zockst, geht an Super Monkey Ball kein Weg vorbei!

Sep 2001 · GameCube

64 Power / big.N / N Games (86 out of 100)

(German version)
Super Monkey Ball ist schnell verstanden und ein optimales Spiel für zwischendurch. Nicht unbedingt für 10-Stunden-Sessions am Wochenende. aber immer wieder für das ein oder andere Stündchen nebenbei oder auch mal für 15 Minuten, wenn die Kumpels oder die Freundin auf sich warten lassen.

Apr 2002 · GameCube

Game Informer Magazine (8.5 out of 10)

The game is basically a twist on the old arcade/NES classic Marble Madness. Your monkey is in a hamster ball, and you must guide him through an endless series of platforms, hairpin turns, and past numerous obstacles to reach the goal. But, instead of directing your monkey, you tilt the playing field to manipulate his movement. It’s a simple, yet brilliant, concept that harks back to the earlier days of video games, when all that mattered was pure gameplay.

Nov 2001 · GameCube · read review

Consoles Plus (84 out of 100)

Un principe qui n'est pas sans rappeler les grands jeux des années quatre-vingt, mais relookés par la puissance graphique de la Game Cube.

Nov 2001 · GameCube · read review

IGN (8.3 out of 10)

Sometimes a videogame comes out that makes gamers question what drugs the designers were on when they first thought of the idea. Sega's Super Monkey Ball for GameCube is such a title. The offering can loosely be called an action-puzzler, but that hardly describes it. The odd project plays and looks like a mixture of the classic Marble Madness turn 3D and doused in Sega craziness. And with both its finely tuned single-player experience and addictive multiplayer one, Super Monkey Ball has sleeper hit written all over it.

Nov 16th, 2001 · GameCube · read review

Game Revolution (B+)

Super Monkey Ball is an action party game that takes a family of four monkeys in hamster balls on a wild ride through mazes, billiards tables, golf courses, and more. The main game plays much in the same way as the classic game Labyrinth. The monkey you choose is essentially a marble placed into a gigantic maze. You control the "ground" and try to tilt the monkey all the way to the goal before he falls off the edge of the world. It's easy in theory, but pretty tough to execute. Three levels of difficulty offer from 10 to 50 mazes, which can be played both in single and multiplayer modes.

Nov 2001 · GameCube · read review

Edutaining Kids (B+)

This game can quickly become addictive as players feel compelled to keep trying to better their last performance. However, most children will find the game too challenging on higher levels. A seasoned 11-year-old tester could not make it past the twelfth stage of the Expert level's 50 stages, for example. The game is great to have on hand for multi-player fun, however, and is best played occasionally (it gets monotonous with overuse).

Apr 2002 · GameCube · read review

The Video Game Critic (B+)

This single-player mode plays like those old marble games where you tilt a board on both axis to navigate a maze. You have to traverse some very perilous platforms without falling off. The first few stages aren't so bad, but the advanced levels are like walking a tightrope! Opening the mini-games soon becomes a major chore, and you'll be looking up and down for a cheat code. Other than that major flaw, Super Monkey Ball is a fine package that will keep you and your friends occupied for hours on end.

Mar 1st, 2002 · GameCube · read review

Sliced Gaming (GameBiz) (82 out of 100)

SMB is another worthy title to add to your collection. It may not appeal to the lone player but it will do so for anybody looking for a game to play with friends or family. The main mode is original and fun, albeit often frustrating. The multiplayer games are exceptionally fun and will keep you coming back for more. In summing up, SMB is a clean, fun and original game that is a great purchase for the multiplayer appeal and worth at least a look for others.

Apr 15th, 2003 · GameCube · read review

N-Zone (81 out of 100)

Bei kaum einem anderen Spiel liegen Siegestaumel und Frustration so eng beieinander wie im Solo-Modus von Super Monkey Ball. Da neigt man den Analog-Stick nur einen Hundertstelmillimeter zu weit zur Seite und schon stürzt der Primaten-Ball ab und man darf den Level von vorne anfangen. Daneben machen die Party-Games aber mächtig Laune. Wenn ihr auf die Schnelle mal ein lustiges Multiplayer-Game braucht, könnt ihr mit Super Monkey Ball nichts verkehrt machen.

Jul 6th, 2003 · GameCube · read review

Digital Press - Classic Video Games (8 out of 10)

In all Super Monkey Ball provides a lot of entertainment in one package. The graphics are very polished, but these are the kinds of games that make you forget about graphics in a hurry. The most important features are game play, control, and variety, and the SMB scores very highly in these areas. At the very least DP readers should give this a rent. You might well discover that you'll want to spend more than a weekend with it.

Dec 13th, 2003 · GameCube · read review

Bright Hub ( )

You've probably noticed that this review is shorter than your average Bright Hub review, and there's a good reason for that. It's because there's just not a lot to talk about with Super Monkey Ball. The game's minimalist approach to things means that there's no epic plotline to discuss, no complicated controls to go over, none of these other elements that many games have come to rely upon. Ultimately, though, that's the beauty of this title. It's simple pick-up-and-play fun, challenging at times but never unfair, and it works. The game was popular enough to earn Player's Choice status from Nintendo and spawn several sequels and ports, many of which took the basic concept, added fancier control schemes and more detailed stories, and absolutely ruined it. If you want to see Super Monkey Ball in its heyday, make sure you check out the original, especially since it can be played on the Nintendo Wii with a Gamecube controller.

Nov 24th, 2008 · GameCube · read review

Gamezone (Germany) (8 out of 10)

Um für Abwechslung zu sorgen, hat Sega noch den Party-Modus eingebaut, in dem man vor drei komplett andere Aufgaben gestellt wird: Im Race-Game saust man nach Sonic-Manier durch Rennstrecken gegen seine Mitspieler. Im Fight-Game ist jeder Affe mit einem Boxhandschuh ausgestattet und versucht seine Gegner von der Plattform zu stoßen. Dabei gibt es diverse Extras mit denen der Boxkampf nochmal richtig aufgepept wird. Im Target-Game schießt man sich von einer Rampe und versucht eine Punktgenaue Landung im Ziel. Wer genug Punkte gesammelt hat, kann diese dann gegen Mini-Games eintauschen. Monkey Ball ist ein Pflichtkauf für Puzzle-Fans! Wer gerne mit Freunden daheim an den Joypads hängt wird vom Party-Modus begeistert sein!

Oct 5th, 2001 · GameCube · read review

Press Start Online (16 out of 20)

Monkeys and games have traditionally fused together well, as can be seen from the likes of Timesplitters 2, Metal Slug 3 and Ape Escape. Rather than be an exception to this rule, SMB is the definition. It may be the only game of this generation to require just one finger (well, a thumb) to play, but AV have created a beautifully simple - and fun - game that is a true delight to play.

Jul 15th, 2006 · GameCube · read review

Game Informer Magazine (7.75 out of 10)

This game has really opened my eyes. I mean, why don't we put all our monkeys in plastic spheres? Super Monkey Ball's plethora of game options is great, yet I still wonder how it will be viewed when there's more than a handful of GameCube titles available. I say it's a fun launch game that becomes a forgotten one a year from now.

Nov 2001 · GameCube · read review

Retroage (7.7 out of 10)

Super Monkey Ball mogę śmiało polecić, gdyż jest to „salonowa” gra i wszystkich miłujących się w tego typu rozgrywce na pewno nie zawiedzie. Dzięki „klęsce” Segi na rynku konsol, możemy cieszyć się właśnie tego typu produkcjami na sprzęcie Nintendo (i nie tylko), a skoro jest okazja – to trzeba zagrać!

Nov 13th, 2009 · GameCube · read review

Jeuxvideo.com (15 out of 20)

L'univers coloré et « enfantin » de Super Monkey Ball cache en réalité un challenge très difficile à relever mais aussi un soft très fun à jouer. A plusieurs, c'est l'éclate totale grâce à tous les mini-jeux variés et rigolos.

Jun 4th, 2002 · GameCube · read review

Officiel Nintendo Magazine (7.5 out of 10)

Avec un mode Solo complet et efficace, et des mini-jeux admirables, Super Monkey Ball est un véritable petit bonheur ludique.

May 2002 · GameCube · read review

Nintendo Difference (15 out of 20)

Avec Monkey ball c'est le plaisir de retrouver les vieux délires d'antan qui renaît. Un soft bourré de magie et de fun qui apporte enfin un peu d'air frai aux jeux vidéo. Les bruitages et les graphismes sont toutefois trop limités.

Dec 11th, 2001 · GameCube · read review

UOL Jogos ( )

Se você está procurando um jogo que ofereça satisfação rápida e diversão garantida, e não se importa com o fato de que esse não é um game para longas sessões... Super Monkey Ball é mais uma obra-prima da Sega que exibe excelente valor de produção e é acessível por gente de todas as idades e gostos. Não se deixe enganar pela nota - se você curte esse estilo, esse é o jogo certo para você.

Jan 31st, 2002 · GameCube · read review

Player Reviews

Sega bring us yet another brilliantly playable and original arcade game.
by Sycada (191)

The Good
I'll forgive you for voicing any misgivings you may have about a game in which you guide encapsulated monkeys around floating mazes in order to get to the exit, because I was once like you. Then I decided to give it a go. "It has to be good! It's Sega for crying out loud!" said I and suddenly I was a changed gamer. Okay, okay so I didn't undergo some kind of bizzare rebirth into the light of monkeys but I did find myself unable to put down the Gamecube controller until hours later and constantly drawn back to it's simple charms.

Super Monkey Ball (SMB) plays a bit like marble madness on steroids but much more addictive. You simply must guide your encapsulated monkey around various courses in a bid to reach the exit before the time runs out. The big catch is that each course takes place over a bottomless pit and if you fall off then it's back to the start. There are 3 challenges, the first being the 10 stage 'Beginner' which is a cakewalk, however things soon hot up with the next mode: 'Advanced' in which there are 30 stages, all far more difficult than those on offer before and finally there is the suicidally difficult 'Expert' mode which features 50 insane stages. Of course if you're able to clear each mode without losing a life then you get extra stages to complete and if you can beat Expert on one credit (good luck!) then there's 'Master' mode. Needless to say, Master mode is ridiculously hard but you'll keep coming back no matter how many times you send the controller flying through the TV.

All this sounds far too hard I'm sure and when you first start playing it seems that way but that's the great thing about SMB. It's one of those games where you just keep getting a little better each go and before long, courses you used to wrestle with become a breeze (to a point). Of course you can play with friends and try to beat each others scores but the real multiplayer fun comes in the form of the six mini games that are part of the package. Each one is a lot more fleshed out than your average bonus games and include Monkey Billiards, Bowling, Mini golf, Boxing, Racing and the pilot wings-esque, Monkey Target. Each game has a lot of replay value and is a vastly different experience from the main game, what's more is that many of the mini games support 4 players simultaniously, providing endless fun.

The music is highly suitable and bops along to the action in an approapriate and inoffensive manner and the graphics are very pretty despite their simplicity, running a slick 60 fps.

The Bad
Of course the game can get infuriatingly frustrating at times but that's to be expected given what sort of game this is. In fact I would go as far as to say SMB gets a little 'too' hard at times with some stages so insane that only a few people will ever get through them. Basically though, as long as this kind of thing is your cup of tea then the game is near flawless.

The Bottom Line
A simple but fiendishly addictive arcade game with loads of stages, bonuses and replay value. The perfect party game. Try it regardless of whether you think you might be interested or not. You'll probably be pleasantly suprised.

Oct 16th, 2002 · GameCube

Great multiplayer game, lacks story
by Da-Flea (32)

The Good
Lots of mini-games for up to 4 players means this is a good game to play with your mates also there is a great range of mini games to play including mini golf, bowling and monkey race to keep everyone occupied.

The Bad
The story in the 1player mode is basically none existent meaning it needs a great deal of patience to keep yourself occupied before you even get the mini games. Also the last few levels on expert mode end up being next to impossible for example I used 84 lives on the 43 level.

The Bottom Line
Great puzzle/action game for up to 4players as long as you can cope with the boring story mode and insanely hard last levels.

Nov 8th, 2004 · GameCube

Plus 59 player ratings without reviews

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by jean-louis, Alsy, Cavalary, Tim Janssen, Patrick Bregger, nyccrg, eradix, beetle120, yenruoj_tsegnol_eht (!!ihsoy), lights out party, Wizo, Big John WV, RhYnoECfnW, Jeanne, Spindash, tbxx, chirinea.