Super Monkey Ball Bounce (iPad)

MONKEY_BOXOne of SEGA’s greatest games on the Nintendo GameCube was Super Monkey Ball and its sequel. You rolled around as a monkey in a hamster ball, trying not to fall off the edges of challenging mazes, not to mention playing fun mini-games like bowling and target practice.  Now the monkeys are rolling, no, bouncing onto iOS and Android devices (reviewed on iPad here), in a game that’s not quite what you would think.  Super Monkey Ball Bounce is more akin to a pachinko machine.  If you enjoy playing games like Peggle, you may want to check this one out, especially since it’s free-to-play.

Some bad guys have monkey-napped all of AiAi’s friends, and it’s up to him to get them back. In each level, you are encased in a ball and are shot out of a cannon on the top of the screen.  To clear each level, you must hit certain targets that have a star on them.  Before you shoot out of the cannon, you can use the touch screen to aim your shot, and then hit the center to fire.  You’ll bounce around, hopefully hitting as many targets as you can, and then you fall to the bottom.  You have a limited number of chances to hit all the targets, but if you land in the center of the moving trampoline target on the bottom of the screen, you’ll earn a 1up.

After so many levels, you’ll face a boss enemy and must hit him a certain number of times. Then you’ll rescue one of your monkey pals.  Each monkey has a special skill you can use.  Hit certain targets to activate that skill automatically, or you can use that skill anytime you like if you have extras in your inventory.  You can even use two different skills if you have one of your pals equipped as your ‘monkey buddy.’  AiAi’s skill extends your aiming reticule, letting you see how to hit those tough to reach targets.  Baby’s skill makes the ball smaller and bouncier, keeping you in play longer.  Keep a watch for other targets and bananas that can boost your score.  The higher you score, the more stars you get.  Gather enough stars and you can play a slot machine mini-game to earn more power-ups.

The only problems I have with this game are the same problems I have with other free-to-play titles. If you lose all your lives you have to wait for your stamina bar to refill, ads pop up before and after every level, and some areas are impossible unless you buy power-ups in the in-game shop.  But if you enjoy Peggle games or Pachinko style gameplay, then you may want to check this one out anyway.


Kid Factor:

When you bounce into enemies enough times, they will pop, but that’s about as violent as this game gets. Reading skill is helpful for the text instructions, and younger gamers may get frustrated at the tougher levels.  Parental supervision is recommended because of the in-game purchases.

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