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#458 Super Monkey Ball - Amusement Vision

Release Date: 2001

Original Platform: GameCube

Played On: GameCube

Objective: Guide your monkey safely through the goal to advance to the next floor.

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How it Works: This is a very simple arcade-style game. The only control is the analogue stick, which tilts the entire floor in the desired direction. The monkey ball rolls based on gravity, and you must guide the ball past obstacles/holes and through the goal posts. Upon completion of the level, you move to the next floor. There are 10 Beginner levels, 30 Advanced, and 50 Expert, with bonus stages for completing a difficulty without falling.

The GameCube version also has other play modes: "Party" games include multiplayer racing & fighting while "Mini" games consist of bowling, billiards, and golf using the monkey ball.

Thoughts: Super Monkey Ball's success lies in how easy it is to learn. Anyone can pick up the controlled and figure it out before the end of the first stage. However it also manages to make extremely challenging (read: frustrating) stages by having thin and/or moving pathways and an imposing time limit. I found Beginning and most of Advanced to be passable, but I couldn't even crack the first 10 floors on expert.

Admittedly, I had no interest in the multiplayer modes, so I didn't bother trying them.

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