Super Monkey Ball for the iPhone Review
The iTunes App store is up and running and has a packed library of games, gadgets and tools to use on your iPhone or iPod Touch. One of the most popular games released at the initial launch is the addicting franchise Super Monkey Ball, from Sega America.
Super Monkey Ball is based on a simple idea. You have a monkey in a little ball that sits at the beginning of a 3D maze. You tilt the board in any direction to try and lead your Monkey to the goal, while in the process collecting bananas for extra points. This sounds fairly simple, but the accelerometer (motion sensor) built into your iPhone does give it quite the challenge.
This game is packed with courses, 110 to be precise. Each level has it's own share of crazy turns or narrow ramps to cross, all in search of the final goal. It's not hard to get frustrated with this game early on. The controls take some getting used to as they are extremely sensitive. It would have been nice to have an option to adjust sensitivity, but sadly the game lacks that in the preferences menu. Once you play Monkey Ball for a while you will start to get the hang of how much tilting and turning it takes though.
The game offers three different modes: main game, instant play, and practice. Main Game will send you through level after level with each one getting more and more difficult and contains over one hundred different mazes. It most definitely won't get stale very fast. With instant play you are basically thrown right into the game and are given a few lives to go as far as you can. Practice mode gives you five different levels to practice on, each needing to be unlocked by the one before it.
There are a few issues with Super Monkey Ball that can cause some frustration with the players. The difficulty is extremely high, especially at first. The controls, s mentioned before, take some getting used to and can be disorienting at first. With a little practice though, you can overcome this. There is also the issue of the game crashing. As with many of the applications, it seems that it can crash at any time. I mostly found it crashing though at the start up screen and not so much in game. There is also the $9.99 price tag. That seems a little high, but at the same time when you're getting such a lengthy game, it can be understandable.
Overall Super Monkey Ball for the iPhone and iPod Touch is a solid game. It's addicting and challenging, two traits that make a game last. It takes some feeling out, but once you got it down you'll be hooked. It runs for $9.99 in the iTunes store which is a little pricey to just jump into a game. It would have been nice to have the game launched with a demo version so users could get a feel for it.
It is still a fun game and the added motion sensor controls of the iPhone and iPod Touch give it an added sense of realism. If you have the dough to dish out, just give it some time and you'll be a Super Monkey Ball addict in no time.