Video Game: Super Monkey Ball

The four main monkeys from the Gamecube era.

I really love bananas!

Super Monkey Ball is a series of arcade-style platform games created by Sega's Amusement Vision division. Though dating back to an Arcade Game running on the Sega Dreamcast-like NAOMI hardware, Super Monkey Ball was Sega's first major franchise to bypass their own consoles entirely. The gameplay is similar to the famous Marble Madness arcade game, with one important difference: MONKEYS! Oh, and something about tilting the world instead of having direct control of your character. But mostly monkeys.

As mentioned above, the setup is quite similar to Marble Madness, with the player tilting their monkey character through a series of themed worlds. The game's challenge is in the fact that the vast majority of levels have no walls, forcing the player to avoid falling off the edges of the floor. Oh, and a majority of levels feel like they were designed by an insane physics professor.

The series is known for both its cutesy look and the fact that it's essentially the definition of Surprise Difficulty. Think we're joking? Let's just say that you will never think of the phrase "Fall Out!" in quite the same way ever again.

That's not all, however: Monkey Ball games are known for their famous "party mode," consisting of several mini-games. Said mini-games were very well-done on the GCN versions. The Wii version... more hit or miss, with the developers experimenting with a range of control schemes for the then-new Wiimote.

Monkey Ball makes appearances in all four Sega Superstars games; Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing is particularly notorious for the Monkey Ball tracks having the same difficulty as the series they're based on.
The list of Super Monkey Ball games is as follows:

  • Monkey Ball (The arcade game that started it all. Used a banana-shaped control stick and introduced AiAi, MeeMee, and Baby as characters.)
  • Super Monkey Ball (A Nintendo GameCube remake of Monkey Ball. Introduced Party Mode and GonGon as a character.)
  • Super Monkey Ball 2 (Obviously, the sequel to Super Monkey Ball.)
  • Super Monkey Ball Deluxe (A remake of Super Monkey Ball and its sequel, for PS2 and Xbox. It also featured a number of original levels as well as adding brand new levels exclusive to the game.)
  • Super Monkey Ball Jr. (The first mobile version, it featured full 3D graphics...on the Game Boy Advance.)
  • Super Monkey Ball Touch & Roll (Another attempt at a mobile Monkey Ball, this one on the Nintendo DS. Received mixed reviews.)
  • Super Monkey Ball Adventure (A poorly-recieved adventure game with less emphasis on the party and regular modes.)
  • Super Monkey Ball iPhone (retains the look and motion controls of Banana Blitz, using the iPhone's tilt motions. It's gotten mixed reviews.)
  • Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz (A Wii launch title, Banana Blitz featured a new cel-shaded look, motion controls, and tons upon tons of party games. Introduced Doctor and Yanyan as characters.)
  • Super Monkey Ball Step and Roll (Another Wii game, using the Balance Board this time. Introduced Jam as a character.)
  • Super Monkey Ball 3DS (Introduced Jet as a character.)
  • Super Monkey Ball: Ticket Blitz (Another arcade game. Used a trackball for the controls.)
  • Super Monkey Ball: Banana Splitz (A title for the PlayStation Vita. You were able to create your own stages by taking pictures of, well, whatever you wanted.)
  • Super Monkey Ball Bounce (iOS and Android)

This game provides examples of: