A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know Super Monkey Ball Bounce is the latest addition to the Super Monkey Ball family of pinball-style puzzle games. Your goal: Clear a Pachinko-like board by angling shots with a bouncing ball (that contains a cute monkey). There's no notable violence, sex, or language concerns, but the game does show several ads between levels and actively pushes users to utilize power-ups, which require in-app purchases.
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What's it about?
Using their fingers to adjust a ball's aim at the top of the screen, players then touch the screen to release it -- and determine whether their guesstimate on its trajectory lets them hit the correct pegs. Every peg you hit on a shot adds to the subtotal score, but you must clear all the starred ones to clear the level. Shots that go a long distance or clear a difficult hurdle earn more points (thus earning you more stars at the end of the level).
Is it any good?
This version of Super Monkey Ball is a lot like Peggle, the delightful arcade-style game that also features a bouncing ball. You can't blame the makers of SUPER MONKEY BALL BOUNCE for trying to emulate it, but it's missing some spark. To their credit, they added a few new elements to the game, such as having to hit specific robots multiple times; but it's impossible to play this game without comparing it to its classic forerunner -- and that's where it starts to fall a bit short.
Some of the puzzles are created specifically to push power-ups, which can only be found in the in-app store. That feels like it's cheating the player. Add the seemingly endless interstitial ads and a system that forces you to either wait long periods to keep playing or pay to do so, and you can't help but be disappointed by these new features, marring what otherwise would be a very good game.