Super Monkeyball

I have bought quite a few games now for my iPhone so I thought I’d do little mini reviews or musings about them.

Super Monkeyball as you probably know tasks you with guiding your monkey, who is trapped in a ball, through a series of levels collecting bananas. At its most simple you must get from A to B as quickly as possible and you score higher for a good time and collecting more bananas.

You control the tilt of the level and not the monkey. So you tilt the iPhone to tilt the level to roll the monkey. Sounds easy  and on the Gamecube it was. Unfortunately the iPhone version is substantially harder because of the calibration Sega have used. Basically the slightest movement sees the ball careering one way or the other. This is unfortunate as the game is really fun but becomes significantly harder on easy than it should be.

Both myself and my partner were stuck on the 7th (I think) level or World 1 because of this. Playing the baby monkey does make it easier as he seems to travel or accelerate slower. However Sega should have noticed this in testing and allowed either for player calibration or made it less sensitive.

Another bug bear with this and other launch titles is that if you quit the app by pressing the home button or from accepting a call you lose all of your current play session. This means if you are part way through a world and need to leave the game for any reason you will have to do it all again when you come back. That sucks.

Finally there is one more issue which makes this game harder and/or more frustrating than it needs to be and that is the way worlds are unlocked. Firstly there is no explanation of how to do this so most users will be faced with trial and error, while secondly the actual way to do it is to complete all the levels of a world on hard mode. Now what frustrates me with this is that Sega are forcing players, who will not be hardcore gamers, to have to play a more difficult version of the game. Granted the hard levels are new and different however I do feel that this is an oversight. It would have been better to open new worlds on completion of easy so the player feels they are progressing and then give them an insentive to play hard, perhaps completing hard would open the hard levels and easy the easy levels. This would then allow players to play through all the levels on easy and get better at the game before they then try to play it on hard.


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