Developer: Sega America
Price: $2.99 Download on the App Store
Sega claims to have sold 300,000 copies of Super Monkey Ball and that was in the first 20 days. Who knows where the count is now.
No doubt about it: Super Monkey Ball is one hot game. The question, however, is it worth $7.99? It is in my book. The game isn't perfect but it's fun to play. However, if I had paid $9.99, the Super Monkey Ball's introductory price, like many now-unhappy reviewers, I might not be so generous in my assessment of it.
The object of the game is to maneuver a monkey inside a transparent ball along a series of sloping, curvy and angled ramps without falling over the edge. Along the way to your goals, you collect bananas to get additional lives.
Super Monkey Ball is simple in principle, but a bit difficult to execute without a lot of practice. The game relies on the built-in accelerator for control and so you have to make very gentle movements to get anywhere without crashing into things, falling off or missing goals.
Super Monkey Ball also happens to be one of the most widely reviewed games in the App Store — 3329 reviews and counting.
The reviews for Super Monkey Ball have been mixed (currently three and a half stars). The main complaint is that the game is hard to master because it's difficulty to control. However, the latest version is 1.0.2, released Nov. 22, has been updated so game players might not find it as challenging. The "tilt meter," a graphic indicator that aids in keeping you on course, is now usable in all game-play modes.
Super Monkey Ball has 5 worlds and 110 stages, so there's a lot of gameplay to grasp in your little wrinkly monkey paws, so that's a big plus. You can choose from among four monkeys to play with too.
Again in the plus column, are the game's beautifully rendered 3D graphics — among the best for the iPhone — and its catchy music and other sound effects.
I'll be keeping Super Monkey Ball for a while.