MTV's Multiplayer blog reports that Sega is working closely with Apple on an update for Super Monkey Ball [App Store] to improve its controls.

Despite Super Monkey Ball's immense popularity, one of the biggest complaints is the difficulty with the accelerometer control sensitivity.

The patch should (at least) introduce the ability to tweak the “dead zone” in “Super Monkey Ball.” The dead zone is the orientation at which you could hold the iPhone to stop moving. As it stands, it’s almost impossible to find the “dead zone” without dying multiple times.

Super Monkey Ball sold over 300,000 copies in its first 20 days.

No timeframe for the update has been revealed, but we'll let you know as soon as its released. As with all updates, it should be free for existing owners.

[via EuroGamer]

  • john

    I am on the last level of Super Monkey Ball. (level 100)

    The game's controls are fine and in fact thats the whole challenge in the game. If the monkey were super easy to control, then one would beat the game in minutes.

    I've grown to enjoy the controls and have become quite good at them and hope sega doesn't update the game to make it super easy and boring. I expected quite a bit of play time for a $10 game and I am really happy with my purchase.

  • john

    I am on the last level of Super Monkey Ball. (level 100)

    The game's controls are fine and in fact thats the whole challenge in the game. If the monkey were super easy to control, then one would beat the game in minutes.

    I've grown to enjoy the controls and have become quite good at them and hope sega doesn't update the game to make it super easy and boring. I expected quite a bit of play time for a $10 game and I am really happy with my purchase.

  • bud

    Why do you think Sega is working with Apple to correct the problem? I assume it's something Sega can't figure out on its own, but why do you think that might be? Is it something Apple has to tweak in the firmware?

  • bud

    Why do you think Sega is working with Apple to correct the problem? I assume it's something Sega can't figure out on its own, but why do you think that might be? Is it something Apple has to tweak in the firmware?

  • http://beesbuzz.biz/ fluffy

    Oh man I am so glad to hear this. I've found it to be utterly unplayable due to how oversensitive the controls were. I wonder why such a thing would have to be preannounced with such open-ended terms though. Seems like it's just simple math...

    Adding an additional screen for calibration and getting used to the controls would definitely be a good thing, and I hope that's what they mean by the ability to tweak the dead zone.

    I also kind of hope they add a mode where you can eschew touch controls entirely and just drag your finger on the screen, with the drag start acting like a centered joystick.

  • http://beesbuzz.biz/ fluffy

    Oh man I am so glad to hear this. I've found it to be utterly unplayable due to how oversensitive the controls were. I wonder why such a thing would have to be preannounced with such open-ended terms though. Seems like it's just simple math...

    Adding an additional screen for calibration and getting used to the controls would definitely be a good thing, and I hope that's what they mean by the ability to tweak the dead zone.

    I also kind of hope they add a mode where you can eschew touch controls entirely and just drag your finger on the screen, with the drag start acting like a centered joystick.

  • http://blogjack.net Glen Raphael

    That's good news. I think I was somewhere around level *2* when I decided Super Monkey Ball was unplayable and deleted it from my iPhone and from iTunes. I was very upset to have wasted $10 on it and regarded Super Monkey Ball as the best evidence that the Apple Store desperately needs a convenient "refund my money" option.

    (I would also have liked to get a refund for Bomberman. In both cases we have a game that looks promising due to the great production values - nice graphics, nice sound, nice animation - but with a control scheme that is insufficient to make playing the game less than frustrating.)

  • http://blogjack.net Glen Raphael

    That's good news. I think I was somewhere around level *2* when I decided Super Monkey Ball was unplayable and deleted it from my iPhone and from iTunes. I was very upset to have wasted $10 on it and regarded Super Monkey Ball as the best evidence that the Apple Store desperately needs a convenient "refund my money" option.

    (I would also have liked to get a refund for Bomberman. In both cases we have a game that looks promising due to the great production values - nice graphics, nice sound, nice animation - but with a control scheme that is insufficient to make playing the game less than frustrating.)

  • Bloc Party

    World 3 - Level 6. In my opinion this highlights how poor the controls for SMB are. You cannot have level designs that require large movements (to get over slopes/hills) and then provide controls that absolutely punish such movements and do not allow you to compensate for large movements.

    Labyrinth has the best controls to date (in my opinion they are perfect). Sega should ask these guys for some help.

  • Bloc Party

    World 3 - Level 6. In my opinion this highlights how poor the controls for SMB are. You cannot have level designs that require large movements (to get over slopes/hills) and then provide controls that absolutely punish such movements and do not allow you to compensate for large movements.

    Labyrinth has the best controls to date (in my opinion they are perfect). Sega should ask these guys for some help.

  • johann

    I actually had the patience to master the current control scheme as well and beat the whole game (minus unlockable levels) in the first couple of days after getting it. I enjoyed the console-like difficulty but I think that making bigger movements would feel more natural. I don't think control calibration will take away from the game at all. One major frustration is the automatic camera rotation. Simple fix in my opinion. One finger on the screen locks the camera position and two fingers could start a manual rotation. this would be a huge help. Also, why does Sega insist that you clear each ten level set in one sitting? Even a phone call ruins your game. That's ridiculous in my opinion. Just require completion with a certain # of lives and auto save.

  • johann

    I actually had the patience to master the current control scheme as well and beat the whole game (minus unlockable levels) in the first couple of days after getting it. I enjoyed the console-like difficulty but I think that making bigger movements would feel more natural. I don't think control calibration will take away from the game at all. One major frustration is the automatic camera rotation. Simple fix in my opinion. One finger on the screen locks the camera position and two fingers could start a manual rotation. this would be a huge help. Also, why does Sega insist that you clear each ten level set in one sitting? Even a phone call ruins your game. That's ridiculous in my opinion. Just require completion with a certain # of lives and auto save.

  • Gregz0r

    Sometimes when I want to play it whilst sitting back on the couch, or in bed, I can't, due having no options to change the starting position.
    I hope this what they also mean, when they say "changing the deadzone."

  • Gregz0r

    Sometimes when I want to play it whilst sitting back on the couch, or in bed, I can't, due having no options to change the starting position.
    I hope this what they also mean, when they say "changing the deadzone."

  • Bloc Party

    Hmmm yes good points in the two posts above.

    Personally i think Sega bought into the hype too much and thought they would be the darlings of the SDK. I don't think they anticipated smaller dev houses coming through with quality titles such at Labyrinth and Dizzybee which in a way put SMB to shame as far as controls go.

  • Bloc Party

    Hmmm yes good points in the two posts above.

    Personally i think Sega bought into the hype too much and thought they would be the darlings of the SDK. I don't think they anticipated smaller dev houses coming through with quality titles such at Labyrinth and Dizzybee which in a way put SMB to shame as far as controls go.

  • Brett

    Woo-hoo! Now maybe I'll actually enjoy playing this game, rather than tearing my hair out in frustration! :-)

  • Brett

    Woo-hoo! Now maybe I'll actually enjoy playing this game, rather than tearing my hair out in frustration! :-)

  • whooley

    @Bloc Party: Oh, that level is NASTY. Still, it's enormously satisfying when you finally beat it.

    I really hope the new controls are optional. While the controls are difficult, it's incredibly satisfying when you master them and are whizzing along narrow ledges with no rails with no difficulty!

  • whooley

    @Bloc Party: Oh, that level is NASTY. Still, it's enormously satisfying when you finally beat it.

    I really hope the new controls are optional. While the controls are difficult, it's incredibly satisfying when you master them and are whizzing along narrow ledges with no rails with no difficulty!

  • Dan Serious

    I think the game is really well playable, and i have no problems at all with the controls. Still haven't finished it, but that is more due to my general failing than problems with controls.

  • Dan Serious

    I think the game is really well playable, and i have no problems at all with the controls. Still haven't finished it, but that is more due to my general failing than problems with controls.

  • mixel

    The controls *are* currently flawed, you get pretty much exactly the same levels in DS Touch and Roll, Wii and GC Monkeyballs - On all three of those machines the controls are infinitely more refined. 3-6 has appeared before but was much more reasonable!

    The weird "ARG I turned too quickly i can't possibly recover from this!" thing doesnt happen on the other consoles (well it does to some extent on the Wii but it's nowhere near as bad as the iphone version), I've completed all the Monkeyball games up to this point but the controls are supposed to be intuitive and *not* inherently frustrating.

    So I'm looking forward to the patch so it'll handle how it's obviously supposed to. Like all 5 of the other monkeyballs.

  • mixel

    The controls *are* currently flawed, you get pretty much exactly the same levels in DS Touch and Roll, Wii and GC Monkeyballs - On all three of those machines the controls are infinitely more refined. 3-6 has appeared before but was much more reasonable!

    The weird "ARG I turned too quickly i can't possibly recover from this!" thing doesnt happen on the other consoles (well it does to some extent on the Wii but it's nowhere near as bad as the iphone version), I've completed all the Monkeyball games up to this point but the controls are supposed to be intuitive and *not* inherently frustrating.

    So I'm looking forward to the patch so it'll handle how it's obviously supposed to. Like all 5 of the other monkeyballs.

  • Eric

    The game only seems playable when you are sitting in a chair correctly. I cannot play this game when laying down at all. They should have an option to calibrate based on your current position and change it every time you play.

  • Eric

    The game only seems playable when you are sitting in a chair correctly. I cannot play this game when laying down at all. They should have an option to calibrate based on your current position and change it every time you play.

  • Peter Furey

    the new update for supermonkey ball is today. hopefully things get better with it

  • Peter Furey

    the new update for supermonkey ball is today. hopefully things get better with it

  • mogden

    After the update, it still crashes on the splash screen half the time, and I still can't control the damn monkey.

  • mogden

    After the update, it still crashes on the splash screen half the time, and I still can't control the damn monkey.

  • http://www.richard.com Richard Faux

    mogden, that's cuz ur a noob. kthx.

  • http://www.richard.com Richard Faux

    mogden, that's cuz ur a noob. kthx.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/iphoneipodtouchapps Blake

    I'm pretty sure that the update is out now. I can't wait to hear some more news!

  • http://www.freewebs.com/iphoneipodtouchapps Blake

    I'm pretty sure that the update is out now. I can't wait to hear some more news!

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