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Overview


Super Monkey Ball is a series of puzzle/platforming games featuring cartoon monkeys rolling around elaborate floating levels. Developed by Amusement Vision and published by Sega, Super Monkey Ball is noted for its simple controls (usually only involving an analogue stick), innovative level design, infuriating challenges and unique graphical style. First appearing in arcades as Monkey Ball, the series made its console debut as a GameCube launch title.

Gameplay


The objective of the single-player Monkey Ball is to guide your chosen primate through a goal placed at the end of the level. Between you and simian-success lies a series of fiendish obstacles to negotiate. As the game progresses they grow increasingly abstract and ever-more difficult. There are three difficulty levels: beginner, advanced and expert. Completing the whole game will unlock extra bonus levels which usually take the Monkey Ball concept to ridiculous extremes. Each level in Monkey Ball is littered with bananas (the favored food of the monkey population) which count for 100 points each. Finishing levels quickly also adds points, creating an element of strategy in that the player is forced to make decisions regarding whether the bonus gifted by a remote banana is greater than the time-bonus. Additionally, collecting 100 bananas will grant the player an extra life.

Other features have been added into the series as it has progressed. Super Monkey Ball Adventure relies on conventional platforming tropes for much of the gameplay. Additionally the game introduces a number of special balls such as StickyBall or WoodBall. These abilities are unlocked using chants which the monkey must recite in the correct order. Also, recent iterations have featured the ability to jump to avoid obstacles or get over gaps.

Monkeys


Super Monkey Ball features a number of playable primates, all with slightly different attributes which will affect their progress around the various levels.

  • AiAi: The Mario of the Monkey Ball series, AiAi is your classic all-rounder and serves as the lead character of the series.
  • MeeMee: Wife of AiAi and apparently loved by all monkeys.
  • Baby: The child of AiAi and MeeMee. The smallest character and able to reach high speeds.
  • GonGon: Largest monkey in the game, with aspirations to one day be the most powerful monkey in the land. The slowest of the lead characters.
  • YanYan: Introduced in the Banana Blitz iteration, closest in size to Baby. Has a crush on AiAi which is sure to cause upset to MeeMee, and maybe a fight.
  • Doctor: Brought in at the same time as YanYan, Doctor has impressive acceleration but is otherwise average. Is old and has amnesia.

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