App Review: Super Marble Roll [Updated]

by Justin Horn on Jun 4th, 2009 @ 7:59 pm


I’m not a huge fan of the marble genre, so for those of you that are in the same boat as me this is the review for you. Even with my bias I still really enjoy playing Super Marble Roll. SMR isn’t going to win any awards for mind blowing graphics, but it more than makes up for it with the controls. Also, I should point out that even though the graphics aren’t the strong point, they do compliment the old school arcade feel of the game perfectly so no points lost. The marble itself is the best part of the game in my opinion. It looks good, sounds good, and the animation of the ball rolling is extremely smooth which is one reason the controls feel so natural! Rolling through the various levels I felt as if I was looking through glass into a mini pinball machine (hey iScape, how about a pinball game in the future?). This is an app you can download and start playing right away…usually if I can’t figure out the basics of a game without reading instructions I just click the little ‘x’.

After playing for a while I turned my iPhone over to my girlfriend. She enjoyed SMR even more than I did…probably becuase she is a lot better than me. The first thing she thought of when playing was the Wii Fit Marble Balance minigame and being compared to Nintendo is never a bad thing!

There are a couple small things I would like to see added in a future update. First I would like a bit more of a menu system. I do really like that they kept it simple and wouldn’t want them to stray far from this, but I think having the ability to view high score and maybe an online high score list would be cool. Also, I think an in game menu would be nice as there is no way to quit or save out of a game while playing (besides pressing the home button). I also wish the load time could be cut down some. It takes me about 20 seconds to get all loaded in. I am running iPhone 3.0 beta 5 which might have some effect, but I think they could tweak this a bit.

UPDATE After discussing the load issues with the developer I was informed this version wasn’t tested against 3.0 and their load times on 2.2.1 are about 5 seconds. Upon further testing I’ve had it load in as little as 10 seconds, but it does vary. It seems the beta is probably having more of an influence on the load than I first thought. Hopefully we get the final 3.0 Monday and I can try again!

In speaking with the developers they have already submitted an update to Apple which includes a real pause/resume/abort interface. They are also tossing around the idea of adding some menu options which will be nice, but really hoping they stick with their roots and keep it simple.

So if you are a marble freak this is a must have game for the controls alone, if not it’s still worth checking out for only $2.99…or don’t take my word for it and check out the lite version of the game featuring 4 levels from the full edition for free. The lite version isn’t yet available for download, but it has been submitted to Apple (I’ll update this post when it becomes available). UPDATE Lite version now available iTunes Link.

Thanks to iScape Games for letting us check out their first game!

Price: $2.99 (Currently on sale for 99 cents!)
iTunes Link
(full version)
iTunes Link (lite free version)

Follow me on Twitter @justin_horn

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