Guest Author - James Shea
Super Monkey Ball is a classic Nintendo game which has been translated onto the N-Gage. It's a simple matter of sphere-rolling physics - but it becomes great gameplay!
There was a real-life game called Labyrinth which involved a wooden maze that you guided a marble through. You tilted the maze beneath the marble, avoiding the pits and trying to make it through to the finish. The first computer game to simulate that was Marble Madness, and I played many hours on my Apple IIGS, enjoying the marble-rotation.
Super Monkey Ball is in essence the same game, but instead of a marble you have a monkey-in-a-ball, just like those toys you stick innocent hamsters (or iguanas!) into. You tilt the floor, and the monkey ball rolls appropriately down ramps, up stairs, around corners, gathering bananas for points and aiming for the goal.
There's no monsters to avoid or complicated keystrokes. Instead, it's a game of physics and momentum, building up speed where appropriate, offsetting the velocity of the ball with a careful tilt of the game floor.
Because of that, the game is incredibly addictive, because the better you get with real-world physics, the easier the game is to play. You can replay the easier levels for practice and to build up points, which unlocks fun mini-games. There are three different sets of difficulty, each with its own mazes for you to work through.
Even if you "fall off" the level you're working on, you still get credit for the points you earned up to that area, which adds up to your total points for unlocking items. So you never feel your time playing the game is wasted - it's always counted towards the total goal of opening new areas to enjoy.
Great for all ages, Super Monkey Ball is a game that traces its roots back to marble-games of hundreds of years ago - with a cute, fun twist!
The only trick in modern times is to actually find a N-Gage to play it on.
Buy Super Monkey Ball from Amazon.com