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There's a kind of knick-knack you may find in dusty games rooms, a maze through which you navigate a marble by subtly tilting the board, dancing with gravity and momentum, deftly rolling your sphere out of dead ends and around the obstacles posed by holes in the board. Marble Madness explores this theme in a fudged 3-D perspective, Cloud Kingdoms in a flat 2-D one -- both by directly influencing the actions of the ball. The game takes a different approach toward a similar end; instead of moving the ball around the board, you move the board around the ball.

That's right; from the get-go, gravity pulls ever down, down, down on your ball toward the bottom of your screen regardless of board orientation; the task of the player is to rotate the board now clockwise, now counter-clockwise, to further a timely and unobstructed path beneath the ball in its progress toward each level's goal before the timer ticks down to zero. The game might as well have been named "inertia." Many obstacles can be avoided, but some must be engaged head-on: a certain momentum, if not terminal velocity, must be achieved to break through crumbling brick barriers; other obstacles toggle on and off like traffic lights, demanding not only speed but timing. Some influence the ball's direction, and in addition to merely delaying the ball's progress, touching some impediments incurs an additional time penalty -- conversely, some blocks bestow time bonuses, if you can afford the ever-diminishing time needed to take the scenic detour and collect them.


On the Ball SNES A spinning congratulatory message upon completing a set of boards
On the Ball SNES Building a little suspense for the final course...
On the Ball SNES Helpful instructions regarding new obstacles on the board.
On the Ball SNES Expert 5 - France GP.

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Alternate Titles

  • "Cameltry" -- Japanese title
  • "キャメルトライ" -- Japanese spelling

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Fun for a short time, but way too simple and easy Martin Smith (66862) 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars

Critic Reviews

Nintendo Magazine System UK Feb, 1993 82 out of 100 82
Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) Aug, 1992 33 out of 40 82
GamePro (US) Dec, 1992 4 out of 5 80
All Game Guide 1998 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Score Jun, 1995 8 out of 10 80
Play Time Jan, 1993 52 out of 100 52
Power Play Aug, 1992 52 out of 100 52
Video Games Aug, 1992 51 out of 100 51


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Pseudo_Intellectual (61101) added On the Ball (SNES) on Jan 17, 2005
Other platforms contributed by Riemann80 (18962), f1reball (287) and Terok Nor (27273)