Super Monkey Ball Review – Definitive 50 GameCube Game #33

The series so far: The Definitive 50 GameCube Games.

In Super Monkey Ball, you don’t play as one of four selectable monkeys: AiAi, MeeMee, GonGon, or Baby. Rather, you take control of the levels around those monkeys in an effort to tilt, shift, and roll your ball-bound primate to a marked Goal. The levels start out as simple planes, but devolve into increasingly complex and esoteric shapes, requiring ever more precise mastery of physics to complete.

I am unable to determine what the official story of Super Monkey Ball is. From what I can tell, the titular super monkeys have been trapped inside of hard plastic balls, doomed to roll across hovering green coloured platforms forever. They remind me of vending machine toys.

The game boasts 10 Beginner, 30 Advanced, and 50 Expert floors. More levels of even greater deviousness are unlockable. For the more social monkeys, multiplayer is available, as well as a number of entertaining mini-games like billiards and bowling.

Not many people know this, but the Monkey Ball franchise actually started out in Japanese arcades. The monkeys, or rather, the levels around them, were controlled by a banana-shaped joystick. Of course, the series only really took off once it hit the Cube.

Super Monkey Ball has been followed by numerous sequels of widely differing quality. The impeccable Super Monkey Ball 2 expanded upon the formula of the original, and is another stand-out GameCube title absolutely worth checking out. The later Super Monkey Ball Adventure, also available for GameCube, was widely panned.