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Super Monkey Ball

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Super Monkey Ball
Logo used from 2006–2019
Developer(s)Amusement Vision (2000–2004)
Sega (2005–2012)
Marvelous AQL (2012–2018)
Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio (2019–present)
Creator(s)Toshihiro Nagoshi
First releaseMonkey Ball
June 23, 2001
Latest releaseSuper Monkey Ball Banana Mania
October 5, 2021

Super Monkey Ball is a series of arcade platform video games initially developed by Amusement Vision and published by Sega. The series debuted in 2001 with the arcade game Monkey Ball, which was ported to GameCube as Super Monkey Ball later that year. Several sequels and ports have been released.

The gameplay involves moving one of several monkey characters in a ball through an obstacle to a goal in a time limit. Bananas can be collected for extra points. In addition, several minigames can be played, making the series party games as well.


Release timeline
2001Monkey Ball
Super Monkey Ball
2002Super Monkey Ball 2
Super Monkey Ball Jr.
2003Super Monkey Ball (N-Gage)
2005Super Monkey Ball Deluxe
Super Monkey Ball: Touch & Roll
2006Super Monkey Ball Adventure
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz
2007Super Monkey Ball: Tip 'n Tilt
2008Super Monkey Ball (iOS)
Super Monkey Ball: Tip 'n Tilt 2
2009Super Monkey Ball 2 (iOS)
2010Super Monkey Ball 2: Sakura Edition
Super Monkey Ball: Step & Roll
2011Super Monkey Ball: Ticket Blitz
Super Monkey Ball 3D
2012Super Monkey Ball: Banana Splitz
2014Super Monkey Ball Bounce
2019Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD
2021Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania
2024Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble


As opposed to normal games where the player takes control of the character itself, Super Monkey Ball has the player move their character around in a gachapon ball by tilting the world itself (the exception of this being Super Monkey Ball Adventure). By tilting the board at various angles, players can control the speed and turning of the character. The goal of each level is to reach the goal gate before the timer runs out, and without falling off the floor. Bonus points and extra lives can be earned by collecting bananas on the stage. Early games use traditional controllers to play while many recent titles utilize modern technology, such as the accelerometers of the Wii and iPhone titles. The gameplay is similar to Atari Games' 1984 arcade video game Marble Madness.


From left to right: MeeMee, Baby, AiAi and GonGon

The original Monkey Ball arcade cabinet featured three playable characters: the primary protagonist AiAi, his wife MeeMee, and their son Baby, who has traveled back in time from the future; a fourth, AiAi's best friend and former rival GonGon, was added in the game's GameCube port, Super Monkey Ball.[6][7] These four have become the primary characters of the series, appearing in every subsequent title to date. Two new characters, the martial artist lemur YanYan and the amnesiac scientist Doctor, were introduced in Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz, while another two, athletic trainer Jam and AiAi's archrival Jet, first appeared in Super Monkey Ball: Step & Roll and Super Monkey Ball 3D, respectively. Several games feature unlockable variations of these characters wearing alternate costumes, along with occasional guest playable characters such as Sonic the Hedgehog. Some games such as Super Monkey Ball 2 and Super Monkey Ball Adventure have also featured various non-player characters, such as the villainous Dr. Bad-Boon, a scientist from Baby's time who travels to the past to prevent MeeMee from marrying AiAi and take her as his bride.[6]

Characters from the Super Monkey Ball series have been featured in other Sega titles. AiAi has appeared as a playable character in Sonic Riders and Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, while both AiAi and MeeMee make playable appearances in Sega Superstars Tennis and Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. AiAi was also featured in Archie Comics' adaptation of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed in issue #45 of Sonic Universe.


As of December 8, 2006, the franchise has sold 4 million copies.[8]

The iOS version in 2008 was one of the first games on the App Store and was the best selling app on launch day.[9]

In 2009, Edge ranked the first Super Monkey Ball #39 on its list of "The 100 Best Games To Play Today".[10] Writing in 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die, Christian Donlan described Super Monkey Ball as "one of Sega's grade-A triumphs".[11] An enhanced engine of the GameCube games was used in F-Zero GX,[12] which was critically acclaimed[13] and Nintendo considered a step forward for the franchise.[14] The developers of Super Monkey Ball went on to make the Like a Dragon series.[15][16]

When commenting on the differences of the franchise between the GameCube games and the Wii entries with Banana Blitz and Step & Roll in a Tokyo Game Show 2009 interview, Toshihiro Nagoshi stated that they were made easier for kids and families. However, he stated that if they got the chance, they definitely would like to go back and make a game in the style of the old games that particularly the fans overseas want.[17] Due to the older demographic of the PlayStation Vita, the difficulty for Super Monkey Ball: Banana Splitz was made more on par with the GameCube entries.[18]

In 2015, the mobile games were removed from App Store and Google Play and thus are now considered lost media.[19]

The 2020 battle royale game Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout has been described as "Super Monkey Ball for the Fortnite generation" by Tom Wiggins of Stuff magazine.[20]

In 2023 the emulator touchHLE was released, supporting the 2008 original iOS version of the game.[21][22]

On 21st February 2024, SEGA announced Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble during a Nintendo Partner Direct, set to launch on the Nintendo Switch on 25th June 2024.


  1. ^ "Super Monkey Ball 2: Sakura Edition for Windows Phone [Quick Look]". BestWP7Games. 28 June 2012. Archived from the original on 4 July 2012.
  2. ^ "Super Monkey Ball: Sakura Edition - Apps on Google Play". play.google.com. Retrieved 2018-06-20.
  3. ^ "Super Monkey Ball 3D! AiAi New Screenshots and Trailer". 19 January 2011.
  4. ^ "GamesRadar+".
  5. ^ Romano, Sal (February 21, 2024). "Super Monkey Ball: Banana Rumble announced for Switch". Gematsu. Retrieved February 21, 2024.
  6. ^ a b Amusement Vision (2002). Super Monkey Ball 2 (instruction manual). Sega. pp. 9–10.
  7. ^ "Super Monkey Ball for Vita". Senpai Gamer. 28 September 2011. Archived from the original on 2 April 2012. Retrieved 28 September 2011.
  8. ^ "かわいいおサルの大快挙!! 『スーパーモンキーボール』シリーズが世界累計出荷本数400万本を達成!". Famitsu. Archived from the original on December 10, 2006. Retrieved December 20, 2022.
  9. ^ Cohen, Peter; Macworld | (2008-07-11). "Review: Super Monkey Ball for iPhone". Macworld. Retrieved 2020-06-07.
  10. ^ "The 100 Best Games To Play Today". Edge. March 9, 2009. Archived from the original on October 29, 2014. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
  11. ^ Mott, Tony (2013). 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die. New York, New York: Universe Publishing. p. 442. ISBN 978-0-7893-2090-2.
  12. ^ Bramwell, Tom (2003-08-08). "F-Zero GX". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2020-06-07.
  13. ^ "F-Zero GX". Metacritic. Retrieved 2020-06-07.
  14. ^ "IGN: The F-Zero Press Conference". 2008-01-15. Archived from the original on 2008-01-15. Retrieved 2020-06-07.
  15. ^ "Sega's Project J Revealed". IGN. August 23, 2005. Archived from the original on November 9, 2012. Retrieved March 20, 2023.
  16. ^ "RGG Studio". Twitter. Retrieved 2020-06-07.
  17. ^ TGS09: Super Monkey Ball Step & Roll interview, 6 November 2009, retrieved 2020-06-07
  18. ^ "Post-TGS Interview: Super Monkey Ball's Jun Tokuhara | TSSZ News". 2016-05-12. Archived from the original on 2016-05-12. Retrieved 2020-06-07.
  19. ^ "Sega pulls more than a dozen games from iTunes App Store, Google Play - Polygon". polygon.com. 18 May 2015. Retrieved 2023-11-02.
  20. ^ Wiggins, Tom (12 August 2020). "Drop everything and download: Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout". Stuff.
  21. ^ "Release v0.1.0: First release! · hikari-no-yume/touchHLE". GitHub. Retrieved 30 October 2023.
  22. ^ "Super Monkey Ball - Apps - touchHLE app compatibility database". www.touchhle.org. Retrieved 2023-11-01.