Despite Super Monkey Ball having been around for a very long time, it’s a series I have never touched.

I know many have had a love for this series so I did want to check it out. Well with Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania it seems like as good of a place to start as any.

Jumping into the game I started, as many do, with the story mode.

This has some, well to be honest, bland cut scenes.  Our hero AiAi has his banana stolen by another monkey called Palette. Palette is looking for her dad, and she reckons she will find him by finding the “Legendary Banana”.

I know this story isn’t designed with adults in mind, but I was skipping cutscenes far too early on this one.

Super Monkey Ball - Banana Mania

Fortunately the reason I was skipping them was I just wanted to play the puzzles, which for the most part are fun. If, like me, you are new to Super Monkey Ball, I will explain this for you.

Basically you roll around a level in a ball, trying to collect Bananas and getting to the end. There is a weird quirk which is when you move the whole stage tilts. Initially I thought that the ball would be moved by the stage tilting, but the movement seemed to be based on how I was moving, so honestly it just seemed like an aesthetic quirk.

Either way, it’s pretty fun to play.

The levels start out nice and chill with you getting through most without any major issues. Thanks to there being an award for beating within a certain time, and the levels being nice and short, I found myself making the easy levels harder than they needed to be. But that is a me problem.

Super Monkey Ball - Banana Mania

About half way through the massive number of levels, the difficulty ramps up like crazy.

Moving platforms, the whole ground moving, all kinds of shenanigans start taking place. For the most part I was really enjoying it as the levels are short so the frustration doesn’t lead to feeling like they aren’t achievable. Instead it just hangs the carrot, or banana as it were, in front of you making replaying levels super addictive.

On top of this, there are heaps of extra modes with a lot allowing couch co-op. You can get stuck into the adventure levels with a friend, or get stuck into different levels and mini games. Mini games include a shockingly well designed racing game, and then there is a strange golf game and football. It’s kind of bonkers how much fun these modes can be.

Super Monkey Ball - Banana Mania

From the style it’s a surprisingly nice game.

The simple but cartoony art style looks great with the bright colours they use, and that just makes it that much more chill which is needed when you get stuck on a harder level. Other characters can be unlocked including our iconic friend Sonic. Best of all, if you play as Sonic it switches the bananas for rings. Now that is some seriously awesome care and attention for the crossover.

On the whole, I am really enjoying Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania. Sure the story itself sucks, but my kids may enjoy that. Me, well I am just enjoying the fun gameplay that is on offer here.

It may not be my next favourite game, but it’s a great way to spend a weekend or two.

Super Monkey Ball - Banana Mania
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania (Switch) Review
Game details

Released: June 2024
Rating: G
Platforms reviewed: Nintendo Switch
Genre: Adventure
Developer: Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio
Publisher: Sega

Gameplay
Graphics
Audio
Replayability
Reader Rating0 Votes
3.5
Final verdict
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