A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
From playing the game, kids can learn that repetition and practice will help them excel, and that attempting to rush through things without thinking is not often the best course of action.
Positive Role Models
The monkeys, as mischief-makers, are only negative role models in the mini-games. In those multiplayer matches, winners gloat and loser cry and throw tantrums.
Ease of Play
Rolling the ball by tilting the remote is incredibly intuitive. Using the Wii balance board is tougher, but adds a nice bit of variety. Early levels are sufficiently easy, but between worlds 3 and 4, there's an enormously steep jump in difficulty.
Violence & Scariness
Any violence is located mostly in the mini-games, but even that is extremely mild. One bumper car style mini-game requires you to crash your vehicle into opponents for points. In a ninja-monkey mini-game, you'll dodge throwing stars and smoke bombs hurled at you. Getting hit only means that you'll see a red star appear on the screen or watch the screen fill with smoke. The coach monkey who tells game instructions often gets felled by some slapstick gimmick (i.e., he trips, walks into walls, gets flattened by a giant banana, etc.).
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Super Monkey Ball Step & Roll is a game of high-speed navigation and one that few young children will excel at from the get-go. While the controls are very intuitive and easy to learn, there's a great amount of steadiness and balance needed to do well. These skills can be picked up through repeated play if a child has the patience for it. But easily frustrated kids who don't like games they can't win from the first attempt are likely to give up on this one too quickly. In addition to the platform mazes games, there are also 21 multiplayer mini-games.
Is It Any Good?
The main thing anyone is likely to complain about with Super Monkey Ball Step & Roll is the difficulty. There is a great deal of skill required to make it through the entire game. But the twist and tilt action is one that almost anyone can improve through practice, and the thrill of finally making it through a level that has been repeatedly thwarting you is so much powerful than simply acing a game from the get-go. The game is incredibly fun and certainly worth sticking with, even if you can't master it all easily. The mini-games are a mixed bag -- some offering great 4-player action, others feeling like they were tacked on. But they're all just icing anyway (and there are 21 of them, which is just as many as you get in some games that are sold as mini-game collections), so it's hard to be too upset about the few duds in the bunch.
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Our Editors Recommend
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