Sega, a well renowned company for its creation of a blue hedgehog with incredible speed and its very popular Genesis console have not been able to recapture its image as it once had. With the hardships they faced in the early 2000’s it’s no surprise that they would go back to the drawing board with many of its franchises. One such was Super Monkey Ball, originally a game where players would control the environment to tilt a monkey within a ball to its desired location. Today with Sega attacking the mobile platform, they bought the series to an entirely new direction in the form of Super Monkey Ball Bounce, but has Sega found the right formula or is this another “Alien Colonel Marines”.
AiAi and his monkey companions return and are having a great time in the jungle when suddenly Prof. Boscis and his minions decide to intervene and take capture of all of AiAi’s friends. With each minion holding your friend, AiAi mas set out on an adventure through many levels trying to recapture them. It’s an enjoyable storyline that consists with cut scenes that explain the story and makes it unique from puzzle games because of this. Those who are a fan of the series will enjoy the returning characters with the additional new ones.
This is a puzzle game, those who have played Peggle by PopCap games will understand this game. Essentially the player shoots a number of monkey balls at the playing field to try and remove the marked blocks. In the playing field are also regular blocks, power-up pickups, a capture bucket at the bottom and bananas all designed to increase the score, it requires the player to play skilfully with their limited shots to try and get the three stars needed for each level. With integrated Facebook support (if the player chooses) they can compete on a leader board with their friends. The controls are easy with simple touch screen sliding and tapping to shoot. There is also a place to “fine aim” to get the perfect shot. However at times the controls do feel a bit lagged and it has been noted by other users too.
The aim is to get through the levels that are currently there, right now there are plentiful with more on the way. There are different environments such as volcanoes and jungles which change up how the game looks. The most notable feature is inclusions of boss battles and Puzzle levels which help make the game fresh. Boss battles which would be typically to save one of your companions is to hit the boss a number of times with your ball while it’s moving. Puzzle levels will task the player to complete a level with a single ball which all help make the game different from its counterparts. Once defeating the boss you will free your friend and you now can play as them with their own power-up, each monkey has their own such as AiAi, which picked up will allow the player to aim better with a longer guide and how it will bounce.
Sadly the game has a price, it is free and so as free games are on mobile they can come with items that will require you to pay with money. Most especially is the fact that you will have to wait for levels to be unlocked, you can either wait the hours or you can pay. This is something that causes distaste for the game as stopping a person is just not right. Other things are power-ups, although some can be obtained for free via a rigged slot machine mini-game that occurs once per day, you will have to pay for these power-ups, and although you can simply deny purchasing, in later levels obtaining three stars seems almost impossible without using them.
Super Monkey Ball Bounce is a game completely distant to what the franchise was in 2001. Although maintaining being a puzzle game, following the roots of the successful Peggle game, they have created their own building on their successful formula. It’s not surprising that Super Monkey Ball Bounce comes off as a fun and enjoyable game especially those who wish to waste time away but that discounts its choice of being dubbed as a “freemium”. Sega tried to make a balance of letting the game be free but also consist of making people use their hard earned money, and that’s where the game faults at; blocking people from playing the next level with absurd waiting time, levels that can’t be fully mastered without using a power-up and advertisement popping up in every direction. A successful game hindered by its choice of Sega making people extract real money.
Reviewed on Android