Marble It Up!
In 2001 gamers were blessed with the release of a game titled Super Monkey Ball. The premise was simple. You are a monkey, you are in a ball and you must reach the end of the level by rolling around. It was an awesome game, one many gamers will most likely be familiar with, but Super Monkey Ball was not the original game designed around a sphere navigating a hazardous location. In 1984 a title named Marble Madness was released and widely loved by the public. Fast forward to the present day and we have Marble It Up! being released and following in the footsteps (Not that marble have any) of Marble Madness.
There’s a not a grand deal to say about the gameplay in Marble It Up!. You take control of a marble and have to get from A to B. Things aren’t so simple though as the stages are filled with obstacles for you to get around. Whether it be ice, bumpers, narrow pathways or any other device getting to the goal with a good time isn’t always so simple. Players must employ precision platforming and well timed use of power ups to get to the end with a respectable score.
It might be a niche premise, but I can’t find any fault with the gameplay in Marble It Up!. The levels are varied and offer a good deal of fun. One stage may have you rolling down a massive hill trying to time your jumps to get to the bottom as fast as possible whilst another sees the player focusing more of staying on the course. Playing through each level really felt like a treat and the secrets marble skins hidden on each map were genuinely tricky to find and offered a nice challenge.
Visually Marble It Up! is a pleasure to look at. It might not be a technical powerhouse, but its bight and colourful landscapers made each level feel aesthetically pleasing. Some levels share a similar visual design, but no design sticks around for too long and feels boring. Prior to playing Marble It Up! I had no idea who Solovox was and after playing I can’t say I am any more familiar with this phantom. What I do know though is that Solovox has delivered a soundtrack that blends perfectly with visual design and general vibe of the game. The soundtrack is comprised of 11 tracks and each delivers a certain ambience that makes playing Marble It Up! feel like a rather relaxing experience.
The Big Issue
Apart from a couple of game crashes I can’t fault the overall quality of everything on offer in Marble It Up!. The menus seem a bit underwhelming, but that is something anyone can look past. There is one major issue with this game though. It only offers 40 levels. On paper that sounds like a lot, but the truth is a I got through this game in under 2 hours and 9 of those 40 are essentially just there for the tutorial.
At $20 it is hard to overlook how little Marble It Up! offers. It has online leaderboards so you can aim for the number 1 spot, the hidden collectables are well hidden, but only offer a skin and it is a genuine challenge trying to get a diamond rank for each level. However the overall lack of quantity makes the game lean into the territory of putting out the bare minimum.
System reviewed on: Nintendo Switch.
Disclaimer: A review code for Marble it Up! was provided by Sandbox Strat.