The Apper
iPhone App Reviewer

Review: Super Monkey Ball

Super Monkey Ball is an app sold through the iTunes’ app store. It was produced by Sega, and made by Other Ocean. It is currently sold for $9.99 (American and Canadian). The objective in the game is to get your monkey (in an invisible ball) to the end of the course. These courses spread from the most basic of designs to to the most complicated designs. You control the game by using the iPhone’s accelerometer to move the stage (you don’t control the monkey). Though, this isn’t the first time Super Monkey Ball has been released on a Cell Phone/Gaming Device (well, the iPhone isn’t really a gaming device). Super Monkey Ball was released on the N-Gage in 2003.

Presentation

As far as story goes, there is none. Unlike previous monkey balls (SMB 2, adventure, & Banana Blitz), the one player does not consist of a villian, stealing bananas. Instead, this game goes back to the roots of the original game. But, this game also has a lot of style from Banana Blitz on the Wii. From the menus, to the stages, all of this, taken from Banana Blitz. Although there is a lack of story, the bright and colourful menus are more than enough for this game.

Score: 8

Graphics

Back at the conference in March, when Super Monkey Ball was announced and shown, everybody had one word “wow”. People asked, “is this a cellphone game?!?!”. And by the time this game was released on July 11th, 2008, the game looked amazing. These graphics are top notch. The pictures in the app store do not do this game justice. Other Ocean did a fantastic job with the graphics. Though, the monkeys themselves, are sprites. This means no 3D models, which is too bad. This game, itself, proves how powerful the iPhone is. And developers, like Other Ocean, have only scatched the surface. But, you can’t judge this game by its cover.

Score: 9

Sound

Again, like presentation, all of the sounds come ported over from Banana Blitz. Full music, from menus to in game, and the same old scream when you fall off. And it’s extremely clear through the iPhone’s speakers. But, it isn’t amazing. The sound just does what it is supposed to do.

Score: 7.5

Gameplay

This has been the topic of debate for many weeks now. Are the controls good, or are they bad? IGN wasn’t too impressed. But, I think, the controls grow on you. At first, even the most basic stages, I would hear the screaming monkeys. But, slowly I managed to get through them. I managed to beat the first hundread stages. But, unfortunantly, I lost my data. Going back through the stages have been much easier the second time around. I now find the controls to come naturally. But, I can see where the complaints come from. The controls are a little too sensitive, and not being able to calibrate the game means your going to be sitting up while playing. This later is a real kick in the teeth. I can’t relax, and lay down while playing the game. Not that I’ll ever be “relaxed” while playing this game. Your always one sneeze away from falling off the edge. Luckly though, we may see an update in the near future.

Score: 8

Value

For $9.99, the price tag is a little high. There is a lack of almost every option (except for the main game) usually found in regular Monkey Balls (mini-games, multiplayer, etc.). $7 or $6 would be a much better justified price point. That is, unless there are updates adding features. At this point, we can only guess, and hope. Mini-games, could easily be added in the near future. As could multiplayer. But, as of now, with the current game, and current price, the price is hard to justify.

Score: 6

Lasting Appeal

Though, 110 stages will keep us entertained for quite a bit, most of us will only get 100. That’s because the last ten are far too hard for the average player to obtain. You must collect every banana to unlock every stage. This will increase the lasting appeal for hardcore Monkey Ball players, but decrease it for the average joe. And, once you beat the 110 stages a couple of times, the game gets a little old.

Score: 5

Overall

If you can get over the price, and get familar with the controls, a lot of fun can be had. Don’t look past this game because of a bad review. The controls can be a lot of fun. But, waiting for an update/sequel is also a good idea too. If they fix the conplaints we have about the game, this could become a must buy.

Presentation: 8
Graphics: 9
Sound: 7.5
Gameplay: 8
Value: 6
Lasting Appeal: 5
Overall: 8.2

What To Do (Buy or Not): Opinion

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