Making a game fun yet challenging, all while simple but requiring finesse, is extremely difficult. That's why we have always gone bananas—we won't keep making monkey-related jokes, we promise—for Sega's Super Monkey Ball franchise. Despite the super cute monkeys and the almost laughable stages, the Monkey Ball series has given players of all ages a means to either play for fun or competition.
Are you just trying to get through the stages alive, or maybe you're aiming for high scores to brag to your fellow Super Monkey Ball friends? Regardless of your gameplay style, Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania will test your rolling prowess and power of will to avoid going AWWW for ten seconds after seeing the adorable little chimps. Here are our thoughts on Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania for the PS4!
Roll Out Monkeys!
If you haven’t played one of the dozen Super Monkey Ball games, then you’re missing out on one of the most addicting franchises ever. Your objective is to guide a monkey of your choosing and have them reach the end of a stage before the timer hits zero, all while getting points by collecting bananas. It's like Marble Madness, but with monkeys inside the ball. It sounds almost laughably silly, but Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania works due to that same level of simplicity.
Guiding your literal monkey ball is simple but takes a certain level of patience and training. Maps start off easy where they can be straight paths with maybe a pitfall here or there, but as they progress, that’s where the challenge begins. As you get further into Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania, you’ll find sharp turns where speeding will get you thrown off the map, and some areas require moving around holes that just wait for the impatient to cross their path. Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania is made for all ages, but the difficulty can be a bit daunting as you progress.
A Colorful Journey
Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania follows its predecessors by once again being a truly colorful action platformer that just hits your eyes with vibrancy. Each stage can range from beautiful canyon-like areas to volcanic hot spots, but Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania reminds you that realism isn’t always needed to make a good background design. You’ll rarely be focusing on the arena designs—focusing on not being flung off the stage by an ill-timed speed up around a sharp S turn is way more important. When you do look around, though, Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania looks gorgeous and quite colorful.
Cutest Monkeys Ever Right Here
One element that has always been present in Super Monkey Ball is the cute character designs. Yes, these little monkeys might be reminiscent of characters from Donkey Kong, but Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania has made their own concepts with the main lead AiAi and his cohorts, who are trying to stop the evil scientist Dr. Bad-Boon—get it—and net some tasty bananas in the process. It might be painful to see Baby monkey fly into a volcano, but you will be smiling as you stare at his adorableness.
Tons of Games to Play
Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania might primarily be a level clearing title, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy other modes with up to 3 other monkey pals. There are numerous minigames you can enjoy, from tennis to racing, but don’t expect them to hold your attention for long. Sure, these minigames allow families to play Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania together and have some good laughs, but most are pretty shallow minigames that can be seen in millions of other party game titles. Still, we appreciate Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania having these minigames as rolling around on harder maps can make us want to roll off our chairs. Now we can at least see who in our hive is best at controlling their monkey balls!
Super Monkey Ball is celebrating its 20th Anniversary and, by releasing Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania, this franchise reminds us simple is best. With plenty of game modes and a pretty meaty story mode, Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania offers hundreds of hours of playability for a family, or at least a few dozen if you’re going at it alone.
If you want to join these adorable monkeys, you can find Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Nintendo Switch.