iPhone Monkey Ball Review

Super Monkey Ball on iPhone

Super Monkey Ball was one of my favourite games on the Gamecube, combining great character design and fun. Whilst the likes of Marble Madness never appealed to me, Monkey Ball seemed to get it just right. So, when I heard that a version was in development for the iPhone, I was extremely excited, particularly because the iPhone’s accelerometer suited the gameplay so well.

After some initial problems updating my first generation iPhone’s firmware to version 2.0, I didn’t hesitate and downloaded Monkey Ball for £5.99. After a seamless download, I was presented with some flawless presentation that really showed off the iPhones superb screen.

Very soon after starting to play, I realised that the game was very sensitive. No matter, I thought, and I decided to persevere, not least that I’d just spent six quid, but also because I didn’t want to be disappointed.

I did try to get the most out of the game, but it was too sensitive. Some initial frustration that I could explain as inexperience persisted even through practice. The game was just too damn sensitive. The first few levels were fairly simple, but more complex navigation was practically impossible.

What’s more, when I tried to play lying down, I just couldn’t – there is no callibration on the game, so unless you’re holding the phone horizontally, you can’t play. So, that rules out playing in bed.

Also, I found that playing the game didn’t feel quite right. When I needed to tilt the screen to a larger extent, I thought that viewing the screen at an angle didn’t work.

Other people, including this review mention the over-sensitive controls and problem with holding the phone horizontally. I can’t understand why a score of 5 is given in light of these issues.

So, if me, and countless other people find fault so soon after first playing the game, it does beg the question why wasn’t this sorted. Was there any kind of proper play-testing? The game may look great, but it’s a bit of a turkey all in all. A big disappointment, and I struggle to recommend it.

What’s more, after a few days of buying it, the game wouldn’t start. Perhaps it had admitted defeat.