Marble Madness review - Sega Megadrive
Playing Marbles used to just involve hitting some other marbles out of a chalk circle in the playground. However, those enterprising folks at Atari took the marbles and made them battle it out in an all or nothing race set across varied isometric 3D scrolling landscapes.
The object of each race is simply to reach the GOAL! flag positioned at the end of the course. But before you can get there, it's your job to negotiate a number of cunning traps positioned by the Marble Madness authorities. Each level has its own hazards to overcome and there are also the likes of mutant black marbles and moving acid pools trying to stop your attempts.
Controlling the marble is perhaps the stiffest challenge. The orb-like object responds realistically to the landscape and owing to the inclined surfaces, tends to roll about a bit. Later levels also boast massive ramps that your marble uses to perform nifty jumps.
Sounds like a bit of a challenge, huh? Let's put it this way - Marble Madness is the ultimate test of your ball controlling abilities!
What the Mean Machines staff thought
I've been waiting for a truly arcade perfect version of Marble Madness for six years, and it's finally arrived. Not only is the gameplay absolutely identical, but this version also features note-for-note sound and spot-on graphics. Some players might be disappointed by the fact that there are only six levels, but personally it doesn't bother me at all - there are three difficulty settings and I found myself going back to it constantly to see whether I could improve my score, even after I had finished the game many times! If you want to experience a truly classic arcade game, take Marble Madness for a roll.
Marble Madness is yet another excellent game from Electronic Arts. The first things to strike you are the excellent graphics. The subtle hues of the coin-op's backdrops and sprites have been captured perfectly, and the animation on each sprite is truly excellent. In this respect, Marble Madness is arcade perfect. The same can be said of the superlative sound - each of the weird and wacky soundtracks complements the frenzied action perfectly. In the playability stakes, Marble Madness comes out tops too, with the inertia on your marble making for smooth, responsive control. The only slight downer is the fact that there are only six levels, but even if you complete these, the difficulty level is jacked up, providing even more hazards and challenge. Add in the two-player mode and you've got a cartridge that you should add to your collection - NOW!