- Original release year: 2001
- Consoles: Arcade, GameCube
After Sega finally died as a console maker, I was understandably pretty gutted. You have to understand that I was a Mega Drive kid growing up and I even supported the Saturn in the 32 bit era and loved the Dreamcast. Fortunately, after the death of the Dreamcast, Sega continued to make high quality, unique games that were fun for all the family (albeit, for a short while, before the quality arguably started to degrade). Super Monkey Ball is one of those games that came after the death of the Dreamcast and just had such a weird and bizarre concept, but is just so addictive and fun. Especially if you play multiplayer with some friends.
For those that don’t know, Super Monkey Ball has you controlling the floor beneath a monkey in a ball as you try and move him quickly (yet gently) through different mazes and obstacles, to the finish line. It’s a bit like those old marble maze games, where you try and tilt the object in order to move the marble through a maze and try to get it to the end, only it’s a video game… with monkeys… inside balls. Genius, right?
Super Monkey Ball also features a whole load of mini games and party games that are great for group sessions. In fact, for a lot of people, these became the main attraction. My friends and I spent hours trying to beat each other at ‘monkey bowling’ and ‘monkey target’ in particular’.
There have been a number of Super Monkey Ball games since, but arguably none have managed to surpass the quality of the original game. I personally find the second game possibly does (it has more mini games too!), but not everyone agrees, especially as they changed the formula in some of the mini games (like Monkey Target) and not everyone was a fan of the changes.