Super Monkey Ball (video game)

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Super Monkey Ball
North American GC cover art
North American box art
Developer(s) Amusement Vision
Publisher(s) Sega
Director(s) Toshihiro Nagoshi
Producer(s) Toshihiro Nagoshi
Composer(s) Hidenori Shoji
Haruyoshi Tomita
Sakae Osumi
Series Super Monkey Ball
Platform(s) Arcade
Nintendo GameCube
Windows Phone
Release date(s) Arcade
January 2, 2001[1]
  • JP September 14, 2001
  • NA November 18, 2001
  • PAL May 3, 2002
  • JP October 6, 2003
  • WW September 27, 2008 (2008-09-27)
Windows Phone
  • WW March 18, 2011 (2011-03-18)
Genre(s) Platform, Party
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Distribution 1 × GameCube disc

Super Monkey Ball is a game developed by Amusement Vision and published by Sega. The game debuted in Japan in 2001[1] as an upright arcade cabinet called Monkey Ball (which featured a banana-shaped joystick) and was released in November later that year as one of the launch titles for the Nintendo GameCube.[3] Since then, many sequels and ports have been created (see Super Monkey Ball).


Super Monkey Ball has three main modes: Main game, Party games, and mini-games. The mini-games must be unlocked by earning 2,500 play points in the main game.

Main game[edit]

The objective of the main game is to guide four playable monkeys, (AiAi, MeeMee, Baby and GonGon) character encased in a transparent ball across a suspended series of platforms and through a goal. As the player moves along, a timer will run for either 60 or 30 seconds. The main game is very simplistic; the only control required is the directional analog stick. By moving the stick, the player tilts the entire set of platforms that make up the level, called a floor, and the ball rolls accordingly. The ball follows the rules of gravity and momentum. While moving across the floor, the player can collect bananas by rolling the ball into them. The bananas award extra points, and extra lives. If the ball falls out or if the timer reaches zero, the player loses a life. There are three difficulty settings; the levels increase in complexity and become less navigable on higher settings. Beginner difficulty is 10 easy stages long, Advanced difficulty is 30 normal stages long, and Expert difficulty is 50 difficult stages long. For each of these levels of difficulty, players can access extra levels as long as a certain criteria is met. To get to the extra levels (3 in Beginner, 5 in Advanced and 10 in Expert), a player must go through all of these levels without using a continue (in the Japan and European versions, in the American version it must be beaten without losing a monkey with the exception of Expert). After passing the Expert extra stages without using a continue, there is a 10 more-difficult Master stages.

Party games[edit]

Party games consists of three games – Monkey Race, Monkey Target and Monkey Fight. In monkey race, players race on several different laid-out racing levels, competing for the best rank. Only four players, including AI players, can play at a time. In the Monkey Target mode, players roll their monkey down a large-sized ramp and open their ball to fly, allowing them to land on any of the three islands in that game, and there are three level layouts. In Monkey Fight, players win points by punching other monkeys until the time runs out. Whoever earns the most points, wins.

Mini games[edit]

There are three unlockable mini-games which must be purchased with points earned from the main-game. These include Monkey Bowling, Monkey Billiards and Monkey Golf. Each of them is based heavily on a real-life sport, using the 'monkey ball' as seen in the main game.

Sequels and re-releases[edit]

The popularity of the game in Japan, North America, and Europe has led to several sequels and ports: Super Monkey Ball 2 (2002) for the GameCube; Super Monkey Ball Deluxe (2005) for PlayStation 2 and Xbox, which included levels from both GameCube releases plus original levels, as well as updating the party games; Super Monkey Ball Jr. (2003), a release for Nintendo Game Boy Advance based on the original title; a release under the original title for the Nokia N-Gage gaming system (2003); a release for the Nintendo DS entitled Super Monkey Ball Touch & Roll (2006); Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz (2006) for the Wii console; Super Monkey Ball 3D (2011) for the Nintendo 3DS. It is also featured in the Sega SuperStars EyeToy game for the PlayStation 2 (2004). The franchise took a new direction in 2006 with Super Monkey Ball Adventure developed by Traveller's Tales which came out for PS2, GameCube & PSP. Other iterations of the franchise include Sega Super Monkey Ball (2004), Monkey Ball Mini Golf (2006) and Super Monkey Ball: Tip 'n Tilt (2007) for mobile phones. 2 Super Monkey Ball iPhone and iPad applications were released in 2008 as well, in which the platforms are controlled by tilting the device. On February 9, 2010, Super Monkey Ball: Step & Roll was released; this game title allows players to use the Wii Balance Board to navigate through all the games courses.


The game received an 8.3/10 rating from IGN,[4] and a 32/40 from Famitsu.[5] The game sold well and later became a Player's Choice title.[6] Official Nintendo Magazine ranked it the 89th best game available on Nintendo platforms.[7] Edge ranked the game #39 on its list of "The 100 Best Games To Play Today", stating "Seeing its sturdy physics model being used to perform incredible acrobatic feats shows just how finely honed it is."[8] Super Monkey Ball was also given an 87/100 grade by Metacritic.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Monkey Ball in Arcade History
  2. ^ "N-Gage Release dates". GameFAQs. Retrieved 2008-02-12. 
  3. ^ a b "Super Monkey Ball". Metacritic. Retrieved June 17, 2014. 
  4. ^ Casamassina, Matt (November 16, 2001). "Super Monkey Ball – Cube". IGN. Retrieved 2011-11-30. 
  5. ^ ニンテンドーゲームキューブ – スーパーモンキーボール. Weekly Famitsu. No.915 Pt.2. Pg.95. 30 June 2006.
  6. ^ "Super Monkey Ball". Game FAQ. Retrieved June 17, 2014. 
  7. ^ East, Tom (2009-02-17). "Nintendo Feature: 100 Best Nintendo Games: Part One". Official Nintendo Magazine. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  8. ^ Edge Staff (2009-03-09). "The 100 Best Games To Play Today". Edge Online. Retrieved 2014-01-21.