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 Ai Ai, Mee Mee, and Baby as characters.)
Super Monkey Ball (A GameCube remake of Monkey Ball. Introduced Party Mode and Gon Gon 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.)
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.)
Battle Tops: An early stage of Super Monkey Ball 2 is called Spinning Top. The sole obstacle in this stage is a humongous top that knocks the monkey completely off the stage if touched due to its spinning. The goal is located dangerously close to where it spins, and 1-up yielding bananas are hung from its edge.
Bonus Stage: A staple for the series. It happens every 10 floors (Or just on Floor 5 if played on Beginner) and does not appear on the Extra or Master stages.
Bottomless Pits: While not technically bottomless, the levels are basically floating in one.
Camera Screw: The camera follows the direction the monkey's rolling, which is great in some stages, and makes others almost impossible without very precise control over your ball.
Cel Shading: This started in Banana Blitz and has been used onward.
Charged Attack: The multiplayer, sumo-like minigame "Monkey Fight" lets you get by with little rabbit punches or charged up massive blows.
Color-Coded Multiplayer: This has been used since Super Monkey Ball onward, with Player 1's ball either being red (for the mini and party games) or green (for the main game on all levels). In Super Monkey Ball 2, you still stay green in the main game but in Monkey Race (Among others), you're still red (P1), blue (P2) yellow (P3) or green (P4). The computer players are light blue, grey, white and pink, among other colors.
Console Cameo: The final level in Master Extra in Challenge Mode of Super Monkey Ball 2.
Creator Cameo: The final level in World 10 in Story Mode of Super Monkey Ball 2
Cut and Paste Environments: In the first game, many floors that show up in one difficulty level get turned up a notch on a higher difficulty level. Some examples include each of the Floor 1s, Beginner 10/Advanced 17/Expert 7/Master 3, and the spinning goal levels in the Extra floors.
The first game had a giant difficulty spike between Advanced and Expert, Advanced was easy, while many people would get stuck quickly on Expert mode.
In Deluxe, the game goes lightly on you with Dodecagon, but goes really rough on you with the very next level. Also happens during the jump from Skeleton to Tracks.
Super Monkey Ball Step and Roll had a giant spike between worlds 6 and 7, world 6 had a lot of easy stages that aren't too hard, but World 7 will kick your butt.
2 ramps it up on Pistons and decides to go nuts once you hit Expert Extra. Conical Slider anyone?
The difficulty spike happens well before that. Reversible Gear, anybody? World 6 in it's entirety? Conical Slider is to be expected since to get to it, you have to go through Expert mode (essentially worlds 5-9) with no continues, so it will likely be among the last levels you will ever see in the game.
Game-Breaking Bug: What is considered the hardest level in Banana Blitz also happens to come with a glitch in which you can fall right through a solid platform near the end. Luckily, this was fixed for the PAL version.
A bigger case occurs with Adventure. Sometimes, while loading up or while you're minding your own business in Monkey Cannon, a Syntax Error occurs for unexplained reasons.
In 2, the game always crashes at World 9 if you play without stopping.
Guide Dang It: Switch Inferno and Labyrinth in Super Monkey Ball 2.
There's also the infamous hidden bananas in Banana Blitz, for which said guide hasn't even been finished yet since they're invisible.
Eternal Engine: Clock Tower Factory, a Clock Tower that downplays this, which contains Expert 11-19. Played straight with Dr. Bad Boon's Base, which has Beginner/Advanced Extras 6-10, Master 6-10, and Master Extra.