Reviewed on Gamcube


Reviewed By: Caleb Thiessen

Computer Platform: Gamecube
Produced by: SEGA
Price Range: $50
Learning curve time: 30 min.
Age level: 10+
ESRB Rating: Everyone
System Requirements: Memory card 59
Genre: Action/adventure
Christian Rating: 5 of 5
   (nothing offensive)
Gameplay: 5 of 5
Violence: 4 of 5
   (barely present)
Adult Content: 5 of 5
Super Monkey Ball
Originally an arcade game in Japan, Super Monkey Ball did so well it has been released here in America.

To start off I will mention why I put “10 and up” in the age level category. This game is not offensive at all but it is incredibly hard! Even for all of you who have been playing video games all your life. I was getting a little tired of games that weren't testing my reflexes enough so I bought this game in hope that it may give me a challenge. Boy did it ever!

The main mode of play is split into 3 sections: Beginner (10 levels), Advanced (30 levels), and Expert (50 levels). On every level you must tilt the floor to guide your character (a monkey in a ball) around the course and through the goal in the required time while picking up bananas that will add up to give you an extra life. But you will be bombarded with obstacles such as bumpers, moving platforms, and jumps. This game reminds me very much of those wooden labyrinths with the small marble that you must keep away from the numbered holes to reach the end.

The Game gets VERY hard VERY quickly! You will find yourself starting a new level and looking at the screen in bewilderment at the difficulty of the level. In my opinion one of the greatest innovations in this game is the fact that in all of the levels your time limit NEVER exceeds ONE minute. In fact, one of the stand-outs for difficulty (Floor 21 in Expert mode) takes no more than a mere 5 seconds to complete, IF you can conquer the maneuver it requires!

Screenshot from 'Super Monkey Ball' Fortunately there is a practice mode where you can hone you skills in any of the levels you have seen. I have spent countless hours practising the aforementioned level. I found myself so addicted to the level I kept playing it over and over just to make absolutely SURE I had the maneuver down pat. This is a very helpful mode of play; I would've given up on the Expert mode without it.

There is also a host of multiplayer games, such as the party games which are already opened as soon as you start the game.

Monkey Race

In this game you get to race your monkey along six different tracks and pick up power-ups and weapons to throw at your opponents (ice, polygon ball, bomb, banana peel). This is a very fun game but you must have more that one controller for this game. If you don't have an extra, you can still play against the computer and they sure do put up a good fight!

Monkey fight

In this game you and your friends get to battle it out with each other in three different settings. The playing area is seen from above and you can always see all the characters on the screen. Each monkey has a boxing glove attached to their ball and they get to hit each other with the glove and pick up power-ups for it too. This is the most offensive part of the game but there is no gore or death--the monkeys simply fall off the area and reappear to keep fighting. This game also need more than one controller to play multiplayer, but as with the other one you can still play against the computer.

Monkey Target

This is a very enjoyable game where you must roll your monkey down a ramp with a jump at the bottem and the when you're in the air you open your wings and try and land in the center of a huge target.This game is fun and you can use one controller to take turns for multiplayer.

These next multiplayer games must be earned by playing one-player monkey ball.


Monkey Billiards

This is one of my favorites. It's a game of nine-ball! Players take turn shooting monkey balls into pockets until they can put the nine-ball into the pocket. Whoever gets it in first wins! You can use one controller for this one (as with the other mini-games).

Monkey bowling

This is a great mini-game where you can bring you monkey ball ten-pin bowling! It's very realistic and fun--the sound of pins falling over couldn't sound more real. You get to aim your ball, decide the power of it's roll, and put a spin on it in case you aimed it improperly.

Monkey Golf

Take your monkey ball through 18 holes of golf! This golf game is a lot of fun, a mix between golf and mini-golf. The front nine holes are medium hard and the back nine are very hard. There is one hole in the back nine I can't get even get the ball into! This is an excellent game of golf but is a little too challenging in my opinion, but I may improve… who knows?
This is a very VERY good game that may prove to be infinitely replayable. I can't say anything bad about this game. The graphics are excellent, the music is very cool, and the arcade type of gameplay is top-notch. Keep in mind that it is VERY challenging and I don't recommend it for young children. It may look very cuddly and cute but it is definitely for pre-teens or teen-agers to play.

Year of Release—2001

Positive—While I do not own a 'Cube, this game and the review has really nailed me down into making the transition form Sony to Nintendo. I am ready to go shell out the 200 dollars and purchase this amazing game. My Ratings: [5/5]
   —Ray Lackey, age 16

Positive—Aghageden… ^_^ This game is so hard, its not really that funny. It is pretty fun though. BTW, slight spoiler here… if you beat Expert with no continues, and beat the bonus level without continuing either, then you get to meet the final level of the game… MASTER MODE. >_< 10 levels, and it takes like 1 1/2 hours to beat cause its so hard… My Ratings: [5/5]
   —The Jumping JubJub, age 15

Positive—If you have a GameCube, get this game! This is a really great party game and is fun for people of all ages. In general the controls are simple and easy to get used to. You can spend hours playing with 3 other people and seemingly endless hours trying to complete 100-or-so single player levels. If you have 3 friends, it's definitely worth fifty bucks. Also, I can't find anything objectionable about cartoon monkeys rolling around in plastic balls other than the fact that some male monkeys don't have pants and a female monkey has no shirt… My Ratings: [5/5]
   —Andy, age 18

Positive—…a game like no other. It is hard to even describe the genre in which the game can be categorized as. There are so many games to play on this single disc that to define Super Monkey Ball as a single genre would mean ignoring many other elements of the game. …While every game can be played in single player mode, the multiplayer aspect of this game is where it really shines. Up to four players can compete in any of these games. …Monkey Racing is a racing game sort of in the same line as Mario kart. Players compete by trying to get their Monkey Balls to be the first to finish the race, while gathering power-ups to boost their own effectiveness or gathering bananas or bombs which can be used to obstruct opponents. The bombs and other obstructive items do can drive other players off of the course which will cost their opponents valuable time.

This may seem mildly violent, however, the bombs explode in a cartoonish way and their effect simply bounces opponents away so that they either bounce off of the track or are impeded in some way. In Monkey Target, players control monkeys which are projected into the air. The monkey balls open into a pair of wings which then allow the monkeys to glide toward particular targets which are worth a certain amount of points. The harder the target is to hit, the more points it is worth. Wind direction, momentum and the weight of the player's monkey are important factors when controlling the dive.

Monkey Boxing is a competition that pits two or more monkey balls against each other on a platform. Each player's goal is to knock the other one off of the platform as many times as possible before the time runs out. Each monkey ball has a boxing glove attached which can be extended in order to project the other monkey balls off of the platform. The boxing is very limited in violence due to its cartoonish nature. Overall, Super Monkey Ball is a fun and challenging game for both kids and adults. It also offers a competitive challenge for more than one person. There is no questionable ethical material and there is barely any violence to speak of, so this makes for a fun game for the entire family. My Ratings: [5/5]
   —Michael Roca, Jr., age 25

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Christian Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Films for Christ or the Christian Answers Network.

Christian Spotlight Guide2Games is part of Christian Answers. Copyright © Films for Christ. • “Christian Spotlight’s Guide to Games” and “Guide2Games” are service marks of Films for Christ.

Go to Christian Spotlight on Entertainment HOME