(Pocket-lint) - Strangely, Super Monkey Ball 3D on the Nintendo 3DS has been getting bad press, but from our short time with the title, we're impressed enough with the varied gameplay styles and colourful use of the franchise's main stars.

Indeed, we're such big fans of Super Monkey Ball in all its guises that we're more likely to look over any minor misdemeanours. The biggest complaint apparently, is that it's too short, and we're sure we'll discover that for ourselves over the test of time. For now though, we've been having a ball... Sigh.


There are three different gameplay styles to this particular slice of ape tomfoolery: The original Monkey Ball puzzle levels are back, where you have to tilt the landscape (with either the thumbstick or the 3DS' new tilt controls) to guide your chosen character through a maze to collect bananas in a set time limit. Then there's a driving game, which is limited in the number of tracks, but will be a fondly familiar experience for lovers of the original SNES Mario Kart. And there's Monkey Fight, a four-player bash-em-up/platform game that's undoubtedly more fun with real opponents rather than AI ones.

If there was a criticism that could be levied at the game after a little amount of play is that, at times, so much is going on on the 3D screen that it can lose its sense of depth, and freak your eyes out if played for a prolonged period of time. The graphics are almost too colourful and garish.

Certainly, we found that we had to limit the 3D effect on the top screen's slider for a more comfortable experience. 

And then there's the tilt controls for the Monkey Ball section, it's hard to waggle the handheld around and stay in the 3D stereoscopic sweetspot at the same time.

However, we're willing to persevere, and will bring you a full review soon.

Like most Nintendo 3DS launch titles, Super Monkey Ball 3D is £39.99, but can be found for cheaper if you shop around.

Have you played Super Monkey Ball 3D on the 3DS yet? If so, let us know your thoughts in the comments below...

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Writing by Rik Henderson.