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A common gameplay element (or, often, a game's whole premise) involving rolling some sort of sphere from the beginning of a level to the end. The player might be pushing the ball around, inside the ball, running atop the ball, or tilting the level to control the ball.

Many wooden mechanical versions of this game exist, generally having a pair of knobs to manipulate the angle of the field and a large number of holes before the end to get caught in. However, most video game versions have the player manipulating the ball directly rather than tilting the field.


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Examples:

  • Marble Madness is the archetypal video game version.
  • Super Monkey Ball
  • Marble Blast Gold
  • Futurama: The Beast With A Billion Backs features a Blood Sport version.
  • A demo of just this comes with HTC phones to show off the accelerometer.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • The first game's Special Stages evoke this, with Sonic whirling through a psychedelic labyrinth. Hitting certain buttons can control the speed and rotation of the labyrinth itself.
    • That One Puzzle in Sonic 2006.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario Sunshine has the infamous Watermelon Festival mission where you must roll a watermelon safely to a juicer while putting up with some truly janky physics.
    • Super Mario Galaxy has a few levels of this sort; there's a Power Star in the ball, and Mario has to get it to the end of the level to get it out of the ball.
  • Wii Fit has one exercise that consists of this, using the balance board.
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  • Neverball, a free software Super Monkey Ball clone.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • The Mercury series are these, using a blob of mercury in lieu of a sphere.
  • Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex has a couple of levels like this, with Crash inside the ball.
  • Web game Spin the Black Circle
  • The Atlasphere round in American Gladiators.
  • Spyro: A Hero's Tail has the Ball Gadget, which you must roll along a track or path, with Spyro inside like a large hamster wheel, to either get Dragon Eggs and Light Gems, or reach a new level.
  • Ballance
  • Hamsterball
  • The bizarre climax to The Muldoon Legacy.
  • Ōkami has several "push a ball" puzzles, ranging from merely annoying to infuriating. That One Sidequest involves rolling three of them up a hill.
  • Perplexus
  • Oxyd: You control one ore multiple balls by moving your mouse.
  • Enigma: Just like in Oxyd, you control a ball (sometimes several) by moving your mouse.
  • Cameltry (also known as On the Ball) is one of the few video game versions involving manipulating the field instead of the ball.
  • The Special Stages from the first Sonic the Hedgehog game seem to be inspired by Cameltry, the difference being that you control Sonic while the maze spins by itself. Years later, Sonic the Hedgehog 4 also used this type of gameplay and the fields are now rotatable.
  • The Ball, an Unreal Tournament III mod and 2nd place winner of the "Make Something Unreal" contest.
  • Switchball.
  • Assassin's Creed III: Liberation has one of these as a First Civilization puzzle.
  • Overball is a game where you roll a ball through various mazes, making flowers grow to unlock doors and lower bridges in order to progress to the exit. Bottomless pits are an ever-present hazard, as is falling off the edge of the map. Monsters can destroy both your ball and the flowers you're trying to grow.
  • Rock of Ages: The premise of the game. You roll a boulder down a hill, avoid your opponent's traps, and try to crash his castle's gates.

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