fishdalf's Super Monkey Ball Jr. (Game Boy Advance) review

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I always said those monkey's balls would shrink.

Super Monkey Ball is an addictive puzzle game that offers players the chance they've always dreamed of, putting monkey's in large balls and rolling them around crazy mazes. The aim is to get your monkey through the goal at the end of each course without falling off the edge and it actually starts off pretty easy, with the goal being placed directly in front of you. The further you progress the harder you will find it, navigating your monkey through thin twisting paths with very limited time in which to reach the goal can get rather frantic. It's the simplicity of the whole game that makes the gameplay so addictive, not unlike a small game known as Tetris which is still played by millions today.

This game in a nutshell is a conversion of the Gamecube game Super Monkey Ball, infact almost everything is completely identical. While you may see this as a bad thing if you already have the original nestled in your collection, i can only see it as a step forward in the series. This game looks amazing and could hold it's own against it's counterparts on a much more powerful system, and i can only praise it for that. It's just a shame no new features have been added for the handheld version, it is basically the same 4 monkey's, the same 3 difficulty settings, and the same 69 stages. The game also includes 3 of the mini-games featured in the original, Monkey Fight, Monkey Golf and Monkey Bowling, in addition to these a 4th mini-game can be unlocked when linking up with friends. While only available as a multiplayer game it is still a welcome addition and can bring hours of fun with the right amount of opponents.

The game features a bouncy upbeat soundtrack and a whole host of sound effects that will put a smile on your face. From the over enthusiastic pings and pangs of you flying around the course, to your monkey whimpering at the prospect of pummelling off the edge, it all adds to the zanyness that is Super Monkey Ball.

Super Monkey Ball Jr does have one problem though, the D-pad just wasn't designed for these kinds of games and will see you losing countless lives because of it, this game is more suited for an analogue stick. This is however a great conversion of a game that is so addictive in it's gameplay and has such a great multiplayer that it would be a welcome addition to any handheld collection. If you're looking for a great puzzle game or just want Super Monkey Ball on the go you have come to the right place.

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