Super Monkey Ball 3D Game Poster Image

Super Monkey Ball 3D



Three-in-one game has good value, mild cartoon violence.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

There’s not much to be read into this decidedly arcade-like game. It’s simply cartoon-style antics in interactive form.

Positive role models

The game’s monkeys are without much personality, save what is expressed in their appearance. They can be mildly violent, but they never seriously hurt each other.

Ease of play

Most players will be familiar with the mechanics used in all three of the game’s modes. The Monkey Ball levels are pretty easy, especially if played using the circle pad to steer rather than the tilting the system, but kart racing and monkey fights can be surprisingly challenging.

Violence & scariness

In Monkey Fight mode, simians whack each other with big, cartoonish gloves and mallets, but they are never seriously hurt. The kart racing game sees monkeys spinning out and stalling, but again, none of the characters are ever injured.

Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Super Monkey Ball 3D isn't just a ball rolling game, as past entries in the franchise have been, but also a kart racing and fighting game. Neither of these additional modes warrant much concern. The kart racing stages see karts spinning out of control and falling off of ledges, while the fighting game has simians whacking each other with gloves and mallets. Both are very cartoon-like in their presentation. Parents need to remember that Nintendo is warning parents not to allow kids age six and under to view the graphics in 3D because that viewing "may cause vision damage." The Nintendo 3DS offers parents the ability to lock out the use of 3D graphics in the system's Parental Controls.

Kids say

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What's it about?

SUPER MONKEY BALL 3D delivers three games in one. The first is a traditional Super Monkey Ball experience, with players either tilting the 3DS or using the circle pad to steer monkeys housed inside balls around precarious mazes. The second is a kart racing game in which players race against computer opponents on a handful of progressively tricky tracks while trying to sabotage their fellow competitors with power-ups such as slippery bananas. The third is a Super Smash Bros.-style fighting game that has up to four players battling each other in simple side-scrolling levels as they try to collect the most bananas. Both the kart racing and fighting games allow for up to three other players to join in on the action in local area network play.

Is it any good?


It’s easy to see why Sega added kart racing and fighting modes to their classic ball roller. After all, a game that has players tilting their screens to control the action isn’t a great fit for a device that demands players keep their eyes fixed in an exact location to avoid 3-D ghosting effects. However, you can always switch the stereoscopic mode off. And if you really want to play in 3-D, just choose the circle pad control option, which offers more precise control, to boot.


What’s more, the two new modes are decent. The kart races are surprisingly challenging, and the fights reward strategic thinkers. Both feel a little smallish and hastily assembled, but at least they offer some variety. Plus, kids who have friends with their own 3DS consoles will appreciate the multiplayer mode. It’s not exactly system-selling launch software, but this three-in-one package offers pretty good value for your 3DS gaming dollar.

Online interaction: Up to three other players can join in to play the kart racing and fighting games using local WiFi.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what it’s like to physically move while playing a handheld game. Does it make you self-conscious while playing in public? Do you think most people these days understand and can relate to what you’re doing?

  • Families can also discuss how they perceive the game's stereoscopic (3D) effect. Can you see it well? Do you experience eye strain or headaches? What should you do if these symptoms occur?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo 3DS
Available online?Available online
Developer:Sega of America
Release date:March 27, 2011
ESRB rating:E for Cartoon Violence

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Parent of a 7 year old Written bycat03 April 6, 2011
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Educational value