Monkeys. Balls. Oh, the countless jokes I could make about the game’s title - Super Monkey Ball Adventure. Unfortunately for gamers, the real joke is this game’s tedious, fetch-questing adventure aspect.
Super Monkey Ball has always been known for its simple but frantic single player puzzle mode and its addictive and highly competitive multiplayer modes. While both of those elements are still present in Super Monkey Ball Adventure, they are hacked down in number and take a complete backseat to the chore that is the story mode.
In order to flesh out the puzzle mode, developer Traveler’s Tale added a full-fledged overworld environment to the game’s story mode. Things begin innocent enough with the Monkey Ball crew barbecuing bananas on the hottest day of the year. But when a mysterious “mechanical bird” flies overhead and crashes into the local lighthouse, the situation turns ugly when the monkey heroes not only have to investigate the crash but also find out why the joy of Monarch is missing.
With all of the monkeys’ joy gone, everyone on Jungle Island has a sudden dilemma and players will later discover the same has happened throughout the monkey world. For the most part, it ends up that almost all the monkeys are now missing something and it’s up to you to fetch it for them. While the idea seems good on paper, the big 3-D worlds just add an annoyance factor with extremely frustrating and mundane tasks.
The worlds' layouts consist of areas that are either completely flat or inclined and fail to capture the essence of speed or precision that the games before brought to the table. While some areas are easy to access, extremely awkward camera angles, poor collision, and a pretty much useless map will lead to a lot of frustration as players attempt to navigate the remainder of each world.
When a player does reach someone in need, missions sometimes just add up to trial and error and require a lot of exploration. While there are some enjoyable missions such as ones that require stealth and running down monkeys, they are mixed in with a huge number of missions that are nothing more than “collect this” and “find this.”