Super Monkey Ball
Touch & Roll

Format: Nintendo DS

5 060004 766987
Age Restrictions: 3+
17 February 2006

Visit 10 crazy worlds with 10 levels, each offering over 100 puzzles designed to frustrate and delight - 50 of which are all new and DS exclusive. Use the DS stylus and touch screen to guide AiAi, MeeMee, GonGon and Baby through this slice of monkey madness. Four classic party games, playable in both single and multiplayer modes:
Monkey Race, Monkey Fight, Monkey Mini-Golf and Monkey Bowling. There are also two all-new DS exclusive party games: Monkey Hockey and Monkey Wars...

Super Monkey Ball: Touch & Roll is not quite what it could have been. The old classic Monkey Ball series makes its first leap onto the Nintendo DS console. And while the optional use of the stylus is a neat gimick - you'll soon be back to traditional controls when you realise what a pain using the stylus is. It works okay, but unless you are willing to put in a few hours to get used to it, I'd stick with the standard controls.

The idea of the game is to roll your little monkeys, in their little balls, around each level to unlock new worlds. You can either play your way through the worlds, or enter the practice mode in order to work out how to complete those levels that are a pain to finish.

A word of warning though, if you decide to use the stylus, ignore the lower screen which shows your monkey ball. This image is misleading and doesn't help you complete the levels one bit. In fact, to be honest it's a serious pain and you are much better ignoring the bottom screen.

The inclusion of the four classic party games (Monkey Race, Monkey Fight, Monkey Mini-Golf and Monkey Bowling) are exciting enough - but Sega spoil Nintendo DS owners with the inclusion of two new mini-games: Monkey Hockey and Monkey War.

With a bit of extra care Touch & Roll could have been a much better game. Monkey Ball fans, though, will not be too disappointed.

Nick Smithson

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