• Publisher: Sega
  • Release Date: Mar 27, 2011
Metascore
55

Mixed or average reviews - based on 57 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 57
  2. Negative: 16 out of 57
  1. May 13, 2011
    91
    My only major complaint is the lack of mini-games. While the two present can be fun in their own right, I would have loved to see a few more for variety.
  2. Apr 7, 2011
    84
    The main game ends up being the most fun, but it can be completed relatively quickly. As far as launch games go, Super Monkey Ball 3D ends up being an impressive one, simply because of the amount of content available.
  3. Apr 14, 2011
    83
    While it risks being overlooked due to some of the series' less than stellar versions, Super Monkey Ball plays like a dream on Nintendo's latest handheld. It's a true return to form for AiAi and the bunch, and one of the best uses of 3D I've seen yet on the system.
  4. May 16, 2011
    80
    This is definitely a return to form for for the franchise. It's not as good as the original game, and much as that was what I was hoping for, it's not a disappointment.
  5. Mar 20, 2011
    80
    There will inevitably be some long-time fans disappointed by the game's far tamer level designs and lack of fan favourite Monkey Target mini-game, but those who can open their minds up to something a bit different might actually find the game a fun and engaging experience.
  6. Apr 13, 2011
    75
    Still, the Super Monkey action here proves to be a satisfying addition to the franchise. [April 2011, p.86]
  7. Apr 13, 2011
    75
    In the end, SEGA should be commended for releasing one of their best Super Monkey Ball games to date. Not only does it pay homage to the original GameCube game but it features updated graphics and gyroscope technology that takes the franchise into the 21st century. It's a shame that the 3D doesn't work too well with the gyroscope but if you use the circle pad, the 3D works like a charm.
  8. Mar 25, 2011
    75
    A stellar action puzzle hybrid with tight controls, Monkey Ball 3D is the best Monkey Ball game since the original, and Sega's found some cool ways to implement the system's 3D functionality and make it relevant to the gameplay.
  9. Apr 4, 2011
    70
    Super Monkey Ball is a good game but doesn't benefit from the 3D functionality the 3DS has to offer. The game is pretty short and you should therefore wait until the price drops before you buy it.
  10. Apr 1, 2011
    70
    The latest Monkey Ball is back with a brilliant and pleasant 3D graphics, but the game suffers for its short longevity and not so funny mini-games: SEGA missed a big opportunity to release the best primate-in-a-ball game.
  11. Great fun for a few hours, but after that you'll have more or less seen it all. [Apr 2011, p.96]
  12. Jun 25, 2011
    69
    While Monkey Race and Monkey Fight are not worth much of your attention, you can have fun with Monkey Ball for some time. But even with the fairly poor current library of the 3DS, there are better options.
  13. Mar 30, 2011
    66
    The extra modes are more forgettable than fun, but the core Monkey Ball experience passes muster, though keep in mind that using the gyroscopic controls kills the 3D. For best results, pick your primate, turn your circle pad on, and the 3D slider up.
  14. Dec 12, 2011
    65
    It's tough to recommend this game to newcomers to the Monkey Ball world based on the two rough game modes, and the otherwise decent Challenge mode likely isn't long enough to justify the high price tag of 3DS titles. The use of 3D is novel, but completely unnecessary – as we've all played these games at home since the Gamecube launch.
  15. Apr 4, 2011
    65
    Full of charm while lacking in spirit.
  16. Oct 20, 2011
    62
    Technically sound, but the gameplay is way too easy and unimaginative. [May 2011]
  17. Apr 25, 2011
    60
    Whilst Super Monkey Ball 3D is fun, somewhat harking back to the days of the original GameCube duo, it proves to be far too simple a game on the whole, with not as much variation in level design as in the past. Even the inclusion of the Smash Bros. and Mario Kart-style mini-games do not save Super Monkey Ball 3D from run-of-the-mill status.
  18. Apr 23, 2011
    60
    Monkey Ball has grown flabby and gutless. A real shame. [Apr 2011, p.52]
  19. Apr 14, 2011
    60
    Super Monkey Ball 3D is funny for a few hours, but after that there's anything more.
  20. Apr 11, 2011
    60
    Monkey Ball 3DS is not a terrible game; it is just very light on content.
  21. Apr 7, 2011
    60
    Die-hard fans might enjoy it, but everyone else should wait for a more complete iteration to go bananas over.
  22. Apr 6, 2011
    60
    On the surface Super Monkey Ball 3D is a decent looking game with slick 3D effects. and the core "Monkey Ball" mode offers up some solid entertainment. My biggest concern is that after you peel away the banana outer skin, the Super Monkey Ball 3D experience is somewhat shallow as there is not nearly enough content here to justify paying full pop for game that will be collecting dust much sooner than later, which is sad given how past games have been so good.
  23. Apr 3, 2011
    60
    While the groundwork for a great Super Monkey Ball is there, the level design fails to realise this potential.
  24. Mar 30, 2011
    60
    What works Super Monkey Ball 3D is just that: 3D and Super Monkey Ball. Unfortunately, that fun is pathetically short-lived, and everything else is a poorly executed afterthought that makes the $40 price tag borderline insulting.
  25. Mar 29, 2011
    60
    The bad game modes for 4 players and the repetition in levels mess this clean floor.
  26. Mar 28, 2011
    60
    There might be enough content to please the rookie Monkey Ball player, but the fan who decides to shed $250 for a 3DS and expects something more out of this game will be left scarred.
  27. Mar 26, 2011
    60
    Years of waggling has softened Sega's touch. They need to relight that arcade fire.
  28. Mar 26, 2011
    60
    If you've been a devout Super Monkey Ball fan since the beginning you may be more willing to overlook this entry's glaring faults. If you haven't hopped on board the banana bandwagon, however, the weakly implemented 3D and unusable motion controls won't be enough to make you a believer.
  29. May 12, 2011
    58
    It is a decent game, and will impress you with its 3D effects and difficulty. However, with an asking price of $39.99, the game just isn't worth it, unless you are a major Monkey Ball fan.
  30. Apr 4, 2011
    58
    Super Monkey Ball 3D's total longevity for most people is likely to hover around 2 to 3 hours, and that, along with the uninspired level designs in comparison to the console iterations, is by far its greatest flaw.
  31. Mar 26, 2011
    58
    It's perfect for people looking for a quick gaming fix, but lacking in long-term replayability.
  32. Aug 7, 2011
    57
    Overall, there's just not enough content in Super Monkey Ball 3D to justify the purchase. The only mode worth playing is Monkey Ball, and although it is fun, it doesn't last very long. Both the 3D effect and motion sensor controls work great, but they can't be used at the same time. And no online functionality really strips the game of any prolonged use. Unless you're a Super Monkey Ball fanatic, this one's a pass.
  33. May 26, 2011
    50
    Ultimately, Super Monkey Ball's 3D debut is an adequate distraction for younger 3DS owners, although the deceptive difficulty might prove frustrating for players both young and old.
  34. May 8, 2011
    50
    3DS was the perfect opportunity to take Super Monkey Ball back to its GameCube glory days. Instead we find a game that has spent so many years honouring various types of hardware, it has forgotten its own original aim. [May 2011, p.102]
  35. Apr 18, 2011
    50
    Super Monkey Ball seems to have been hurried up to arrive at Nintendo 3DS launch. Graphics are noteworthy, sound is decent and 3D works well, but gameplay just doesn't work.
  36. Apr 5, 2011
    50
    A listless take on a game that should be – and has previously been – anything but.
  37. Apr 4, 2011
    50
    That was the magic of Monkey Ball, and that's the magic that is completely and utterly absent here.
  38. Apr 1, 2011
    50
    Super Monkey Ball 3D offer three different modes, and just one of those is really fun. The Monkey Race has few gameplay problems and the Monkey Fight is quite boring. The 3D effect and the tilt controls can't be used together, which is a sad problem.
  39. Mar 30, 2011
    50
    Super Monkey Ball 3D loses sight of what made the series so enjoyable in the first place, serving up dull gameplay.
  40. Mar 29, 2011
    50
    Combine that with the problematic 3D, and it's apparent that Super Monkey Ball 3D is below average even as launch titles go. Its one saving grace is that the core gameplay remains intact and is entertaining as ever. But when those core mechanics contradict the foundation of the 3DS, I have to wonder whether Sega should have bothered.
  41. Mar 25, 2011
    50
    Super Monkey Ball 3D's one enjoyable mode can't compensate for the other two stinkers, making this a disappointing showing for the sphere-bound simians.
  42. 48
    You'll finish the only interesting mode in less than two hours, and the mini-game modes don't provide much replay value. Expect to play this for a weekend, and then forget about it completely.
  43. Apr 14, 2011
    45
    The only thing Super Monkey Ball 3D manages to offer is a functional control scheme that shows off the 3DS' gyroscopic capabilities - provided you don't care to play in actual 3-D. Everything else about the game, from its short and unchallenging missions to its worthless extra play modes, is not worth your time. It might be best if Sega lets these monkeys hop into their balls and roll off into the sunset; their time has clearly passed.
  44. Mar 31, 2011
    42
    The only really decent thing about the game is that the soundtrack is pretty good. It doesn't warrant being called the best in the series, but it's about the only highlight I feel is worth mentioning.
  45. Mar 25, 2011
    41
    Super Monkey Ball 3D feels in some way unfinished. It looks like SEGA couldn't finish the port in time. Only one of the three game modes works in 3D, the other two just flicker and make you turn back to 2D voluntarily. There's no monkey party in 3D yet.
  46. 40
    A very short game that offers little - the classic mode - the rest is a complete blackout.
  47. Apr 14, 2011
    40
    Overall Super Monkey Ball 3D contains two insultingly bad games and one that's quite alright, as long as you turn off the 3D effects and gyroscope controls. This is of course very disappointing, and we were expecting so much more from the series debut on 3DS.
  48. Apr 7, 2011
    40
    An empty experience.
  49. Mar 28, 2011
    40
    There was a time when Super Monkey Ball was synonymous with quality, but now we're not so sure anymore.
  50. Mar 27, 2011
    40
    It looks and controls like the originals, but this lacks anything of the challenge, design flair or variety of a really super Monkey Ball.
  51. Mar 25, 2011
    40
    This kind of release does the publisher no favours at all. If content is king, then Super Monkey Ball 3D is very much the Prince Andrew of the 3DS launch.
  52. Mar 25, 2011
    40
    The original concept of Super Monkey Ball 3D is still pleasant, that's for sure. However, it is impossible to play properly with both the motion gameplay and the 3D activated... Anyway the 3D disturbs more than it helps here. The new Kart and Combat modes are of no help to raise the whole game, which is a bit disapointing at the end.
  53. Mar 16, 2011
    40
    Quotation forthcoming.
  54. May 22, 2011
    30
    So gratingly tedious in navigating stages that Monkey Ball's overarching identity is lost. [Issue#109, p.120]
  55. Apr 8, 2011
    30
    Short, disappointing, and certainly not worth spending £40 on.
  56. 30
    Super Monkey Ball 3D is a mess. Sega appears to have forgotten how to make a good Monkey Ball game. The puzzle levels are uninteresting, and the two multiplayer modes are extremely poor rip-offs of Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. I can't recommend this game for anyone.
  57. Mar 31, 2011
    20
    It's really a shame that Super Monkey Ball 3D is so disappointing, because it does have a lot of charm.
User Score
5.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 23 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 12
  2. Negative: 3 out of 12
  1. Sep 21, 2011
    1
    Oh crap. I accidentally put 10 instead of 5.5 (5). Well there now they even each other out. Read my actual review if you want an in depth look in the game. Yeah. . . . Full Review »
  2. Apr 22, 2014
    5
    A mediocre, bargain bin title at best, that is one quarter traditional, fun Monkey Ball and two quarters bland and forgettable. This game could have easily been one of my favorites for the 3DS system, having the developers devoted more of their time to expanding the blatantly short, but fantastic Monkey Ball mode, as opposed to tacking on a soulless kart racer and an uninspired fighter. Full Review »
  3. Nov 7, 2013
    7
    Although this game is cheap for an average of $15, it does have a lack of several abilitys. This game only has 3 modes to play. Fight, race, and get you monkey to the goal. The challenge (goal) game is fun and has added the new "world" idea to the game, but is not challenging at all. The fight is much like Super Smash Brothers and the Race is exactly like Mario Kart. You aren't in you ball at all during these 2 games. Monkey Ball 3D does all kill some of the fun out of multiplayer also. It is terrible how this game only has 3 modes, because you get bored in a matter of 5 10 min. This game has a whole new idea though, if some gamers like that. Instead of saying "fallout" it says "out of bounds" which many gamers think it stupid. Although this game is exciting and can be fun at some points, it should of included all 15 minigames and new unlockable characters like the past games had, meaning its a new version of Monkey Ball some people wanted to look up to Full Review »