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Super Monkey Ball
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Box Front

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Console: Nintendo GameCube
Year: 2001
RFG ID #: U-076-S-02810-A
UPC: 010086610000 (00100)
Developer: Amusement Vision Ltd.
Publisher: Sega
E (ESRB): Mild Violence

Genre: Action/Adventure
Players: 1-4
Controller: Standard Controller
Media Format: GameCube Optical Disc x1
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Collection Stats:

  • 223 of 7561 collectors (2.9%) have this game in their collection
  • 14 of 7561 collectors (0.1%) have this game in their wishlist.
  • 0 of 7561 collectors (0%) have this game for sale or trade.

Think Marble Madness, only there's smaller courses and instead of a Marble rolling around there is a Monkey in a ball. Add six party games, and you have yourself one fun party game.

The back of the box reads as follows:

Hey party animals! Call your friends and warn your neighbors, it's time to have a ball! Go bananas with 90+ stages, multi-player madness, and seven cool ways to play! Equals parts "party" and "game", Super Monkey Ball could be the most "well rounded" game you've ever played!


Who didn't love the classic game Marble Madness? During the NES era it was a game that was truly different than the other games at hand. I played that game a whole lot, trying to beat that last level, the ultimate level. Mind you I was 6 during the NES era, so that game to me was impossible once you cleared the first five levels. I always wished that some company would create a modern adaptation to the game, like Marble Madness 64. How awesome would that have been if there was a new Marble Madness. Sadly, that never happened. Sure there were interesting racers that came about. Who doesn't remember the awesome game Uniracers or the more obscure Iggy's Reckin' Balls? Those sure were unique racers that had some of the aspects of Marble Madness (mainly, the oddity of it), but never was there a game until recently that captured more than just the oddity of Marble Madness

It would appear as though Sega enjoyed Marble Madness, or at least some of the concepts behind it. If you were to mix Marble Madness with some crazy Japanese influences you would come up with the GameCube entry Super Monkey Ball How possibly could something with monkeys in the title resemble Marble Madness. Well, how about we place the monkey in a ball, very similar to what a pet owner would put a hamster into. Next, why not create some levels, each with a goal that the monkey in the ball must be navigated into? Does it sound a little bit more like Marble Madness? I sure hope so.

That is where the similarites between the two games end. While Super Monkey Ball require the player to navigate a monkey to a goal, it does it in a manner that is different that its classic counterpart. Instead of controlling the actual monkey ball you control the level. It's similar to how one would play Labrynth, only instead of it being a maze the level is a three dimensional environment filled with hazards on your way to a goal. The hazards could be anything from how the levels are laid out to actual physical hazards, like solenoids, moving platforms, or ramps. If those hazards make the game sound difficult, I should probably talk about about the layouts of the floors. Floors can really be anything, and since this a three-dimensional environment the floors can go anywhere. Couple that with the fact that the game includes the existence of gravity and inertia, and it makes for some fun and frustating experiences.

Luckily though, Sega and the developer Amusement Vision know that that they would be able to create some rather wicked floor creations. That is why they created the difficulty levels to get you ready for the game. There are initially three difficulty levels, Beginner, Advanced, and Expert. Each difficulty level caters to the individual that it describes.There are also the extra levels and the master difficulty that you can unlock. The layouts of the levels are extremely varied. For example, one advanced level has the player fighting gravity as he navigates over more and more increasingly curve platforms towards the goal. Take caution though, as if you go to too close to the edge of the platform then you will experience a fall out. In another level the player must navigate the monkey ball over a bunch of narrow, curved, moving platforms, where some of them are okay to cross while others have a solenoid on them where if hit will cause the monkey to be knocked out. If the monkey is hit off and experiences a fallout too many times then the player will be forced to use a continue.If you find any of the levels to be especially difficult then you can select the Practice Mode, where you can select the floor and the mode and practice the level that you are not good at until you are proficient in clearing it. There are over one hundred levels, to keep you busy so have fun. However, one thing about the levels is that once you begin to attack the expert mode you'll notice that the game becomes almost impossible. The difficulty almost becomes frustrating. To make the levels less painful, of the four characters you can use I suggest using the character Baby. The tiny nature of Baby's model allows you to easily see the center of gravity of the ball, which is especially helpful since some of the platforms in the more advanced levels are tiny.

On top of the Main Game there are also three mini games and three party games. Like bowling? Excellent, as one of the mini games is Monkey Bowling. Other games include Monkey Target, Monkey Golf, Monkey Billards, Monkey Racing, and Monkey Fight. Each one of the side games are extremely fun. For a party game, Monkey Fight is by far the most enjoyable game. In it each player tries to knock the other players out of the arena using powerups and the default spring-loaded boxing glove. The game is pure pandemonium. All side games can be played with up to four people, and if you decide that you want to play the main game with the friends you also can do that with up to four people. It can be a lot of fun to watch your friends constantly endure fallout after fallout.

Aside from the frustrating difficulty of the floors in expert mode, Super Monkey Ball is an extremely fun game. The levels are orignal enough to make you come back for more, and the mini games, are a welcome and greatly enjoyable break from the main game. Of the GameCube launch games, Super Monkey Ball was one of the best titles at launch if not the best. Give the game a try, I'm sure that you will enjoy it.

RF Generation Review Score


Extra Media:

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Console Reg. Type Title Publisher Year Genre
Nintendo GameCube United Kingdom S Super Monkey Ball Sega 2002 Action/Adventure
Nintendo GameCube Germany S Super Monkey Ball Sega 2002 Action/Adventure
Nintendo GameCube J S Super Monkey Ball Sega 2001 Action/Adventure
Nintendo GameCube U S Super Monkey Ball [Player's Choice] Sega 2001 Action/Adventure
Related Games:

Console Reg. Type Title Publisher Year Genre
Nintendo NES U S Marble Madness [Round Seal] Milton Bradley 1989 Action/Adventure
Nintendo GameCube U S Super Monkey Ball 2 Sega 2002 Action/Adventure
Nintendo Game Boy Advance U S Super Monkey Ball Jr. Sega/THQ 2002 Action/Adventure
Game Trivia:

  • Of the four characters, it is recommended to play with Baby. While every character has the same center of gravity, Baby's smaller stature allows you to see narrower passages and locate the center of gravity easier
  • Playing through the game enough will eventually give you unlimited continues
  • If you are really, really, really good, you can unlock Master Mode
FAQ's/External Links:

Super Monkey Ball Page on Gamerankings.com
Page Credits:

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David Murnan: screenshots, Review, Related Games, miscellaneous data, scans, Overview, Link, Trivia.
Keith Brown (Tan): UPC, Rating
Zagnorch: Photos

Last Updated: 2016-02-11 22:06:23
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