Super Monkey Ball: Touch & Roll DS

  • Publisher: Sega
  • Release Date: Feb 21, 2006

Mixed or average reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 40
  2. Negative: 4 out of 40
Buy On
  1. 65
    But the touch screen control just doesn’t work all that well in a game design that was established with an analog interface, and even after mastering the compromising touch controls, there’s the reality check that this original Monkey Ball game just isn’t all that special on the Nintendo DS.
  2. The game may feel a little too familiar as many of the stages are lifted right out of previous games, and the touch-screen control can be a little awkward to adjust to, so you'll likely find yourself falling back on the D pad to control your monkey.
  3. A bit disappointing. A portable version of Monkey Ball this is, but perfect it is not, and that's too bad.
  4. Game Informer
    With 50 new levels, 50 favorites from the past, some cool new minigames like the FPS Monkey War and a version of air hockey, plus single-cart multiplayer, this is yet another nice addition to the DS library. [Apr 2006, p.134]
  5. Even the touch controls are more of a hindrance than a novelty.
  6. It is perfect for short sessions of play, possesses serviceable multiplayer functionality, and its sufficient production values make for one of the most unexpectedly fun times on the system.
  7. 50
    Considering how nice the game looks, it's a shame that the flighty control spoils it.
  8. It lacks so much of what made its forebears great, and at times you look at it and wonder if they thought any of it through.
  9. It takes all of 10 seconds to understand but countless hours to perfect. Is there a better recipe for a portable game?
  10. If you love quirky, concept games like "Katamari Damacy," you will love this game.
  11. Touch ‘n Roll suffers from trying to shoe-horn in features just to make use of them.
  12. games(TM)
    Touch & Roll is a fun package, but the control problems force you to all but disregard the main game and treat it, instead, as a collection of mini-games. [Mar 2006, p.102]
  13. Getting monkey into position, and camera into position behind him, in time to make your desperate dash for a whirling mechanism has everything to do with the old-school frustrations of instant-death gaming and nothing to do with the effortless application of skill that the first game delivered so appealingly. [Feb 2006, p.91]
  14. I am reminded of Super Monkey Ball Jr for the Game Boy Advance as an example of a great handheld maze game. Although it was released many years ago, the difference in actual gameplay experience between the GBA and the DS is night and day.
  15. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    Take the "Touch" portion of the title with a grain of salt, as it's nigh impossible to maneuver your way through the Monkey Ball gauntlet using the stylus controls. [Apr 2006, p.105]
  16. The quirky roll-a-monkey game debuts on the DS, which should provide hours of clean fun for gamers of all ages, if you can get past the frustrating controls.
  17. 70
    Has everything you could hope for in a DS Monkey Ball: lots of stages, great mini-games, and nice presentation. The less-than-perfect control and the over-saturation of new Monkey Ball iterations, however, make it less attractive to the gaming masses.
  18. Nintendo Power
    Rather than shoehorn the current Monkey Ball experience onto the DS, it would have been nice if the developers had tried to reinvent it in a way that truly took advantage of the handheld's capabilities. [Mar 2006, p.88]
  19. Sadly, I couldn't get past the use of the stylus on what is supposed to be the main event.
  20. 60
    Super Monkey Ball Touch and Roll isn't a great game, but if you can work your way around the controls there is plenty to like.
  21. 60
    Sega really stumbled into a brick wall with this game and it'll always be one of those titles that, when I look back on it, will be remembered as a missed opportunity to create something truly special.
  22. Super Monkey Ball Touch & Roll is a game that had high expectations from its fans, but ultimately lets everybody down.
  23. Super Monkey Ball Touch and Roll plays like a chore at its best times, like a death sentence of being eaten alive by chipmunks with dirty hypodermic needles for teeth at its worst.
  24. A few minorly successful party games aside – namely Golf and, to a lesser extent, Bowling – Super Monkey Ball just doesn’t work, and is almost true to its title: It’s not super, but it does have monkeys in, and it’s mostly balls.
  25. It’s a great pick-up-and-play title, and it’s got a Tetris-quality addiction factor.
  26. A very amiable game. You really want to it to be better than it is, and with its flashes of brilliance it's easy to get deceived into thinking it's far more playable than initial appearances.
  27. Despite little annoyances and a bothersome soundtrack, the game still delivers quite well in terms of beautiful graphics and fun D-pad-moving gameplay.
  28. netjak
    Perhaps if Sega spent more time refining the control scheme rather than coming up with a title screen design where AiAi encourages you to fondle his heart-shaped butt, they would have produced another classic in this quirky and otherwise fun series.
  29. 85
    If you want a gripping adventure about the perils of a young monkey trapped in a quarantine bubble then this is probably not the game for you.
  30. You'll play Super Monkey Ball: Touch & Roll in spurts, because it's fun for a while. But the game's control problems will eventually cause the charm to wear off. And then the lid will be nailed back on the barrel and the monkeys won't come out to play again.
  31. At the core of this mess is a title that was once one of the best games on the GameCube, but it has since grown stale with age, has lost the perfect controls that helped to define it, and traded in elements of the presentation that worked for others that only make the game worse.
  32. Patience is a virtue, though, and player perseverance should eventually reap its reward, and, as stated earlier, any mounting frustrations are soon forgotten because Touch & Roll is simply impossible to dislike.
  33. A sluggish camera is annoying when speed is required but completing the 100 stages is still very satisfying.
  34. 60
    Sure, the basic gameplay's there, but even for previous SMB fans, this would have to be a try-before-you-buy title.
  35. An otherwise solid title plagued by ghastly controls, Super Monkey Ball: Touch and Roll is frustrating at best, its saving grace being a slew of incredibly fun minigames.
  36. The developers have done an excellent job bringing the game to a system with less power and fans of the series will obviously pick this one up, but it’s also an excellent introduction to the crazy world of the super monkeys for new comers.
  37. But what you really get is an all-encompassing Monkey Ball experience that rivals what is offered on consoles. Though a few modes are missing, a few more have been added to supplement them. [JPN Import]
  38. The touch screen – in short – just does not work for Touch & Roll.
  39. Much like the elusive banana itself, Touch & Roll is a double-edged sword: equipping the player with a delicious, colorful core, but then burdening them with a slippery peel that they’re not quite sure what to do with.
  40. N-Insanity
    Super Monkey Ball Touch & Roll isn't really a bad game. It's just that there are other versions of the franchise that are much better.

Awards & Rankings

#35 Most Discussed DS Game of 2006
#33 Most Shared DS Game of 2006
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 12 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Jul 27, 2016
    This game has a good idea and it uses it correctly. The game is flawed so the good idea wasn't used 100% correctly but this game is stillThis game has a good idea and it uses it correctly. The game is flawed so the good idea wasn't used 100% correctly but this game is still decent enough. Full Review »
  2. TweenCoure
    Feb 14, 2008
    I think this game is awesome. Some levels are extremely hard, while others are beatable in less than a minute. The stylus/button pad makes itI think this game is awesome. Some levels are extremely hard, while others are beatable in less than a minute. The stylus/button pad makes it all the better, & it's even better with multiplayer and party games. Most games are repeated fromother game systems, such as PS2- but that doesn't make them any easier to beat! The colors are energizing and eye-popping, but the only downsize is there's no Wi-Fi. I would reccomend this to anyone who wants a challenging game, & likes monkeys bouncing around in clear balls. Full Review »
  3. CazC.
    Jun 22, 2007
    This cute and crazy game is addictive and fun for all ages. The only problem with it is that there are not enough levels to satisfy your This cute and crazy game is addictive and fun for all ages. The only problem with it is that there are not enough levels to satisfy your addiction with the game once you start. The mini games are great to play with friends and the credits will never be boring again, but you'll have to buy it to find out why! Full Review »