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Marble It Up! Ultra Review – It’s All About Ball Control

Marble It Up! Ultra Review 1

Surely everyone’s owned a bunch of marbles at some point in their lives. But what exactly are they for? Whatever it is, it doesn’t really matter, as thanks to Marble It Up! Ultra you can now own a digital set of marbles, and it’s clear what their purpose is: to be rolled to the exit of a number of challenging stages.

Marble It Up! Ultra is essentially Super Monkey Ball without a monkey or bunch of bananas in sight. Some might see that as a bad thing; we’re rather indifferent. What we’re primarily concerned about is the gameplay, and on that front Marble It Up! Ultra delivers. In fact, we might actually prefer its boll-rolling action to that of Monkey Ball’s. It feels like there’s more variety and more to consider as you make your through its many stages, keeping you invested and on your toes.

Split into numerous chapters, the stages start of simple but gradually get more challenging. You’ll learn the simple stuff first, like how to steer your ball and make use of the numerous power-ups that are available, such as the pause power-up that slows down the clock, and the boost power-up that grants you a burst of speed. By the time you’re a few chapters in, however, you’re having to make use of these while also negotiating tight platforms, jumping over gaps, avoiding pinball bumpers and more. Some stages even require you to locate and collect a number of crystals before the exit becomes available.

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Each stage is essentially a race against the clock: the faster you finish, the better the grade you’re awarded. Thanks to global online leaderboards, there’s a competitive element, too – who doesn’t want to be at the top? Along the way, points are also earned for completing stages and suchlike. These can be spent on a wide range of cosmetic options, including marble skins, trails and accessories. Not all can be bought, though; some need to be earned by skilful or persistent play.

While players with good ball control might blast through the six basic chapters presented in Marble It Up! Ultra’s campaign in a matter of hours, there are some bonus chapters to also work through. Getting a gold medal in them all, which is required to unlock all of the game’s trophies/achievements, will prove to be challenging, too. On top of that, there are weekly challenges to complete, and a multiplayer mode with a smattering of match types. You can play soccer, for example, or have a marble sumo match. It’s just a shame that it’s online only – this would have been a blast to play with friends huddled around a TV.

If you’re fan of challenging arcade games and love competing for the top spots on leaderboards, it’s safe to say that Marble It Up! Ultra will absolutely be your jam. The gameplay here is simple but infectious, making you hit that retry button time and time again whether to simply finish a challenging skill-based stage or give it another go to improve your time. And thanks to weekly challenges, the fun doesn’t have to end. It’s just a shame it doesn’t have a local multiplayer component.

Marble It Up! Ultra Review – GameSpew’s Score

This review of Marble It Up! Ultra is based on the PS5 version, with a code provided by the game’s publisher. It’s available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch and PC.
Editor in Chief // An avid gamer since discovering the wonders of the Acorn Electron in the '80s, Rich has nearly played more games than he's had hot dinners. Not one to put all his eggs in one basket, Rich is happy to play games of all genres, but he particularly enjoys racing games and anything that's full of non-stop action, especially if it includes a good dose of humour, horror or crudeness!