marble madness
Screenshot of Original.

Yes, Marble Madness is coming to the iPhone.

Marble Madness was first published by Atari Games in 1984 and is the original ball rolling game that has always seemed to be a natural fit for the iPhone. The original game included 6 maze-like levels that you must complete before time runs out. Various objects and enemies stand in your way.

Over the years, Marble Madness has been ported to a variety of platforms, and at E3 we were able to spend some time with the iPhone version. Mobile developer Handheld Games has been working with Midway to bring Marble Madness to the App Store. This version of the game includes the 6 original levels along with some modernized tweaks and new look, but also contains a "Classic" mode that allows you to relive the old days.

Additional gameplay modes include: Targets Race, Size Race, Flag Race and Night Race. The various modes introduce a variety of secondary goals (roll over Targets, slalom between Flags) or new challenges (different Size balls, or Night mode with limited visibility) on top of the original levels.

We aren't allowed to provide you any screenshots or video of the game just yet, but will do so as soon as we are given permission. Handheld Games also showed us a couple of their own games including Batting 1000 and Lock 'n Load which we will feature in another article.

  • Akira01

    OH

    MY

    GOD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Akira01

    OH

    MY

    GOD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • TouchFTW

    Bring it back, bring it back :) I'm with Akira here!

  • TouchFTW

    Bring it back, bring it back :) I'm with Akira here!

  • Alice

    I've been waiting for this since I got my iPhone! Classic!

  • Alice

    I've been waiting for this since I got my iPhone! Classic!

  • WeirdingWay

    hopefully it's more accurate than super monkey ball

    • spiffyone

      Monkey Ball is accurate. You just need to remember: only very slight movements are needed.

      That said, I do understand some have issues with the game, and, really the issue some have with Super Monkey Ball on iTouch/Phone isn't the accuracy of the accelerometer controls but rather the sensitivity. Sega should've included an option to set sensitivity as well as calibrate angle used when playing. That said, if you get used to the title, and know to use very slight movements, then you'll do fine.

  • WeirdingWay

    hopefully it's more accurate than super monkey ball

    • spiffyone

      Monkey Ball is accurate. You just need to remember: only very slight movements are needed.

      That said, I do understand some have issues with the game, and, really the issue some have with Super Monkey Ball on iTouch/Phone isn't the accuracy of the accelerometer controls but rather the sensitivity. Sega should've included an option to set sensitivity as well as calibrate angle used when playing. That said, if you get used to the title, and know to use very slight movements, then you'll do fine.

  • QuebecRage

    Who cares ?

    The original one has been made by Atari in 1984, damn it's 25 years ago ! C'mon let's go for originality here. Plus there are wayyyyyy better version of the same type of game already available for the iDevices already.

    • http://www.tbenjaminlarsen.com T. Benjamin Larsen

      Well, I haven't seen anything with the playability of the Marble Madness arcade machine. While newer games might score higher in the visual department, the overall art-direction and downright playability makes MM a Golden Oldie. I am somewhat wary of using tilt as a controll method though as I believe swiping would make more sense...

    • Akira01

      "Plus there are wayyyyyy better version of the same type of game already available for the iDevices already."

      Really ?

      What games ?

    • http://www.twitchfactor.com Twitchfactor

      This is one of the things that saddens me every day that I've spent developing games over the past 25 years. People just don't seem to have any respect for the past, when it comes to games. They don't do go back, they think "old" == "crappy" and they don't even have any idea where all the ideas for the "new" games come from.

      Marble Madness is a CLASSIC! It's one of the best games ever made and has yet to be surpassed in a toe-to-toe fight. Super Monkey Ball (and its myriad of clones) are clearly *influenced* by Marble Madness, but they aren't the same. The mere fact that the view doesn't change in Marble Madness makes it play different than SMB.

      I wanted this one so much for my iPhone, that I was going to just make a *real Marble Madness clone*, myself! Now, I can buy this one. Awesome!

  • Amathrodis

    Any idea if it will contain the hidden level? (At least, my version on the Apple IIgs had it, not sure if that was universal to Marble Madness..)

  • QuebecRage

    Who cares ?

    The original one has been made by Atari in 1984, damn it's 25 years ago ! C'mon let's go for originality here. Plus there are wayyyyyy better version of the same type of game already available for the iDevices already.

    • http://www.tbenjaminlarsen.com T. Benjamin Larsen

      Well, I haven't seen anything with the playability of the Marble Madness arcade machine. While newer games might score higher in the visual department, the overall art-direction and downright playability makes MM a Golden Oldie. I am somewhat wary of using tilt as a controll method though as I believe swiping would make more sense...

    • Akira01

      "Plus there are wayyyyyy better version of the same type of game already available for the iDevices already."

      Really ?

      What games ?

    • http://www.twitchfactor.com Twitchfactor

      This is one of the things that saddens me every day that I've spent developing games over the past 25 years. People just don't seem to have any respect for the past, when it comes to games. They don't do go back, they think "old" == "crappy" and they don't even have any idea where all the ideas for the "new" games come from.

      Marble Madness is a CLASSIC! It's one of the best games ever made and has yet to be surpassed in a toe-to-toe fight. Super Monkey Ball (and its myriad of clones) are clearly *influenced* by Marble Madness, but they aren't the same. The mere fact that the view doesn't change in Marble Madness makes it play different than SMB.

      I wanted this one so much for my iPhone, that I was going to just make a *real Marble Madness clone*, myself! Now, I can buy this one. Awesome!

  • Amathrodis

    Any idea if it will contain the hidden level? (At least, my version on the Apple IIgs had it, not sure if that was universal to Marble Madness..)

  • heyday72

    Now i am truly a happy man.
    Would been more happy if there was somthing like, 100 levels, 3d mode, or perhaps the never released Marble Madness 2. But hey, without this all, i am still happy tough.

  • heyday72

    Now i am truly a happy man.
    Would been more happy if there was somthing like, 100 levels, 3d mode, or perhaps the never released Marble Madness 2. But hey, without this all, i am still happy tough.

  • heyday72

    Now i am truly a happy man.
    Would been more happy if there was somthing like, 100 levels, 3d mode, or perhaps the never released Marble Madness 2. But hey, without this all, i am still happy tough!!

  • heyday72

    Now i am truly a happy man.
    Would been more happy if there was somthing like, 100 levels, 3d mode, or perhaps the never released Marble Madness 2. But hey, without this all, i am still happy tough!!

  • Doug

    I too have been waiting for this since the App Store opened and am super-excited! I'd love to know more about the controls though. The arcade version used a track ball to induce a kind of frantic game play, and I'm hoping the i version will emulate this using swipes. Of course, a mode where we could use the accelerometer would be neat too, but not as true to the original!

  • Doug

    I too have been waiting for this since the App Store opened and am super-excited! I'd love to know more about the controls though. The arcade version used a track ball to induce a kind of frantic game play, and I'm hoping the i version will emulate this using swipes. Of course, a mode where we could use the accelerometer would be neat too, but not as true to the original!

  • The Boy Ken

    That's excellent news, and it's 99% guaranteed a purchase from me (for old times' sake if nothing else). That said I hope there'll be more than 6 levels in the new version?!

  • The Boy Ken

    That's excellent news, and it's 99% guaranteed a purchase from me (for old times' sake if nothing else). That said I hope there'll be more than 6 levels in the new version?!

  • http://www.rustysabre.com/ Eric

    It's about time! Ever since I played the first level of Hydro Tilt (my first iPod game) I have been clamoring for this game. Once I have this gem in my hands (and they better NOT screw up the controls), I won't need another game... well, okay, that's not true, but I still want this one!

  • http://www.rustysabre.com/ Eric

    It's about time! Ever since I played the first level of Hydro Tilt (my first iPod game) I have been clamoring for this game. Once I have this gem in my hands (and they better NOT screw up the controls), I won't need another game... well, okay, that's not true, but I still want this one!

  • http://peterhirschberg.com Peter Hirschberg

    There is a God! This made my day! What a great thing to read first thing in the morning. I just hope it plays a smooth as the coin-op version (which I own) and not like the NES, etc versions.

    I had actually considered trying to secure the rights to port the game myself - I'm overjoyed that it's being released. One of my favorite games ever!!

    @QuebecRage - who cares? I do. In terms of "retro gaming" Marble Madness was actually what I consider one of the "younger" games in that it came out right at the peak of what I consider the creativity of the coin op arcade scene. Everything after soon become driving and shooting and fighting.

    A good game is a good game (examples - chess, card games, etc), and Marble Madness is a classic.

    Come on - don't be a hater!

    -Peter

    • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

      Good stuff, indeed. Did you know Marble Madness was the first Atari coin-op that wasn't written in assembly language? (It was coded in C and, as such, runs at 30 fps vs. Atari's custom 60fps.)

      • spiffyone

        It was also created by a young(er) Mark Cerny, who then went on to work at Sega where he later headed up the late lamented STI (Sega Technical Institute), developed Kid Chameleon, got the then broken up Sonic Team back together to make Sonic 2, and (much) later worked with Insomniac and Naughty Dog on their games.

        Sega lost a great deal, IMHO, when Mark left the company.

  • http://peterhirschberg.com Peter Hirschberg

    There is a God! This made my day! What a great thing to read first thing in the morning. I just hope it plays a smooth as the coin-op version (which I own) and not like the NES, etc versions.

    I had actually considered trying to secure the rights to port the game myself - I'm overjoyed that it's being released. One of my favorite games ever!!

    @QuebecRage - who cares? I do. In terms of "retro gaming" Marble Madness was actually what I consider one of the "younger" games in that it came out right at the peak of what I consider the creativity of the coin op arcade scene. Everything after soon become driving and shooting and fighting.

    A good game is a good game (examples - chess, card games, etc), and Marble Madness is a classic.

    Come on - don't be a hater!

    -Peter

    • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

      Good stuff, indeed. Did you know Marble Madness was the first Atari coin-op that wasn't written in assembly language? (It was coded in C and, as such, runs at 30 fps vs. Atari's custom 60fps.)

      • spiffyone

        It was also created by a young(er) Mark Cerny, who then went on to work at Sega where he later headed up the late lamented STI (Sega Technical Institute), developed Kid Chameleon, got the then broken up Sonic Team back together to make Sonic 2, and (much) later worked with Insomniac and Naughty Dog on their games.

        Sega lost a great deal, IMHO, when Mark left the company.

  • Adams Immersive

    Offer swipe control please!

    That would mimic the original trackball quite well. Tilt is a different dynamic entirely--and we may already have enough tilt-to-toll-a-ball games.

    I'd pay extra for new levels too! The original game was amazingly short by today's standards.

    • Rickshaw

      Yes! I'm sick of the tilt controls, and you look ridiculous moving your ipod/phone around if you're playing in public. I'd love to see "swipe" as an option, and think it could mimic the old trackball pretty well.

  • Adams Immersive

    Offer swipe control please!

    That would mimic the original trackball quite well. Tilt is a different dynamic entirely--and we may already have enough tilt-to-toll-a-ball games.

    I'd pay extra for new levels too! The original game was amazingly short by today's standards.

    • Rickshaw

      Yes! I'm sick of the tilt controls, and you look ridiculous moving your ipod/phone around if you're playing in public. I'd love to see "swipe" as an option, and think it could mimic the old trackball pretty well.

  • Acidbottle

    i really hope they consider virtual trackballs like the arcade machine. would snap this up in a flash!

  • Acidbottle

    i really hope they consider virtual trackballs like the arcade machine. would snap this up in a flash!

  • Vende

    Oh man, do I feel nostalgiac

  • Vende

    Oh man, do I feel nostalgiac

  • Dean

    I'll probably get this. I had this on my Atari ST years ago. Level editor Please?

  • Dean

    I'll probably get this. I had this on my Atari ST years ago. Level editor Please?

  • http://cjedaudio.wordpress.com/ cjed

    Yes, I voted for this (besides Bionic Commando) some days ago here in an article , and they dit it ! :-) I still own the original Atari ST disks of Marble Madness (was better however on Amiga). Great that they decided to include the unmodified original levels besides revamped versions. I discovered there existed a sequel, Marble Man, that looked however poor and seemed uninteresting.

  • http://cjedaudio.wordpress.com/ cjed

    Yes, I voted for this (besides Bionic Commando) some days ago here in an article , and they dit it ! :-) I still own the original Atari ST disks of Marble Madness (was better however on Amiga). Great that they decided to include the unmodified original levels besides revamped versions. I discovered there existed a sequel, Marble Man, that looked however poor and seemed uninteresting.

  • DreamPod

    So, a quick hands-on...and no mention of controls *at all*?? We don't need to hear what you think of them, just, does the game have crappy tilt controls, or awesome virtual trackball controls? Or maybe the player's choice?

    • arn

      controls are tilt-based, which I guess I figured was obvious. :)

      • menom

        "controls are tilt-based, which I guess I figured was obvious"

        yes but only to the non-unintuitive ;)

        er...

        I did intuit it - honest! - sounds good - but not sure if I'll get as not one I've played - probably will though as I'm finding retro arcade games the most rewarding so far (eg. Saucelifter, Wolfenstein, Alien Abuse, Krypton Egg etc ...)

  • DreamPod

    So, a quick hands-on...and no mention of controls *at all*?? We don't need to hear what you think of them, just, does the game have crappy tilt controls, or awesome virtual trackball controls? Or maybe the player's choice?

    • arn

      controls are tilt-based, which I guess I figured was obvious. :)

      • menom

        "controls are tilt-based, which I guess I figured was obvious"

        yes but only to the non-unintuitive ;)

        er...

        I did intuit it - honest! - sounds good - but not sure if I'll get as not one I've played - probably will though as I'm finding retro arcade games the most rewarding so far (eg. Saucelifter, Wolfenstein, Alien Abuse, Krypton Egg etc ...)

  • SKAB RABBIT

    I just soiled myself. First Vector Tanks, then Wolfenstein, then this, and Quake to come?

    I feel all warm and giddy, and my pants feel funny.

  • SKAB RABBIT

    I just soiled myself. First Vector Tanks, then Wolfenstein, then this, and Quake to come?

    I feel all warm and giddy, and my pants feel funny.

  • cjed

    Tilt sounds really best suited for that game... that is why many people spoke about Marble Madness when the iPhone was released and first games alla Labyrinth featured a bal/plate style game. If control is well tweaked, I think we wont' have to move too much, so we won't look "ridiculous" :-)

  • cjed

    Tilt sounds really best suited for that game... that is why many people spoke about Marble Madness when the iPhone was released and first games alla Labyrinth featured a bal/plate style game. If control is well tweaked, I think we wont' have to move too much, so we won't look "ridiculous" :-)

  • alfrank

    I must have this on my iPhone !

    I played the arcade version in the 80s and later the one on the Amiga...

  • alfrank

    I must have this on my iPhone !

    I played the arcade version in the 80s and later the one on the Amiga...

  • http://freegamegallery.com Free Games

    This was a great game back in the day! This may push me over the edge to buy an iPhone now! Marble Madness rocks! I wonder if they make it so the game is controlled by tilting the iphone rather than a key pad!

  • http://freegamegallery.com Free Games

    This was a great game back in the day! This may push me over the edge to buy an iPhone now! Marble Madness rocks! I wonder if they make it so the game is controlled by tilting the iphone rather than a key pad!

  • Bumble

    I wonder how well it will compare to something like Super Marble Roll, or Marble Blast Mobile?

  • Bumble

    I wonder how well it will compare to something like Super Marble Roll, or Marble Blast Mobile?

  • TKO

    Good that this game will have more levels. I liked the original, but was never that good at it, so I only ever saw maybe 3 or 4 levels. With the overinflated prices these retro conversions seem to get that wouldn't be a buy for me.

    Yeah, tilt controls probably would be the intuitive option to go for, but swipe (as was implemented on the brilliant "Edge") IMHO could make a great alternative for those who remember the arcade, and those who just don't like tilt. :) I sure hope the frame rate has improved over the original too. ;)

  • TKO

    Good that this game will have more levels. I liked the original, but was never that good at it, so I only ever saw maybe 3 or 4 levels. With the overinflated prices these retro conversions seem to get that wouldn't be a buy for me.

    Yeah, tilt controls probably would be the intuitive option to go for, but swipe (as was implemented on the brilliant "Edge") IMHO could make a great alternative for those who remember the arcade, and those who just don't like tilt. :) I sure hope the frame rate has improved over the original too. ;)

  • InexorableTash

    +1 to swipe controls.

    The MM port to the PocketPC released several years ago was stellar, and used swipes of the stylus as a virtual trackball. It worked very well, especially for breaking and direction changes. Given the precision needed for most parts of MM, in contrast to the rather forgiving copycat games, I'm skeptical of accelerometer control.

  • InexorableTash

    +1 to swipe controls.

    The MM port to the PocketPC released several years ago was stellar, and used swipes of the stylus as a virtual trackball. It worked very well, especially for breaking and direction changes. Given the precision needed for most parts of MM, in contrast to the rather forgiving copycat games, I'm skeptical of accelerometer control.

  • heyday72

    like have already said, i hope they consider te release marble man(marble madness 2) i ve been waiting for this such a long time, but hey, i'm already happy with this, it's my first and all time classic game were i felt i love with, thank you fot bringing this out on de iphone

  • heyday72

    like have already said, i hope they consider te release marble man(marble madness 2) i ve been waiting for this such a long time, but hey, i'm already happy with this, it's my first and all time classic game were i felt i love with, thank you fot bringing this out on de iphone

  • rasterico

    After reading all the comments on here it prompted me to have a go on it on MAME...

    Wow i'd forgotten how good the game is... the soundtrack has to be one of the best in a video game of all time (in a wierd quirky kind of way)

    This game really would benefit from some sort of swipe control mechanic though as after playing through 3 levels thisafternoon via mouse it's obvious this was the way the game was intended to be played (yes I know the original had 2 trackballs but in the abscence of one of those on my pc the mouse makes a good alternative)

    I would definately buy it for my iphone if it is a faithful representation of the original and had the option of swipe controls, using the accelorometer just wouldnt convey the panic acurately enough for me as you franticly try to stop your marble rolling off the edge, into the evil black marble, through a pool of acid etc etc...

  • rasterico

    After reading all the comments on here it prompted me to have a go on it on MAME...

    Wow i'd forgotten how good the game is... the soundtrack has to be one of the best in a video game of all time (in a wierd quirky kind of way)

    This game really would benefit from some sort of swipe control mechanic though as after playing through 3 levels thisafternoon via mouse it's obvious this was the way the game was intended to be played (yes I know the original had 2 trackballs but in the abscence of one of those on my pc the mouse makes a good alternative)

    I would definately buy it for my iphone if it is a faithful representation of the original and had the option of swipe controls, using the accelorometer just wouldnt convey the panic acurately enough for me as you franticly try to stop your marble rolling off the edge, into the evil black marble, through a pool of acid etc etc...

  • Blueness

    Any new word on this app?

  • Blueness

    Any new word on this app?

  • http://www.imagevuex.com Nelson

    Marble Madness is one of my favorite Arcade Games ever, first played it like a maniac on Atari Arcade, later on Amiga. Amazing game from the 80's.

    I think this kind of game will be awesome with the iphone's accelerometer. just like the analogue trackballs on the original arcade game 1984 i think. I'm looking forward to this game.

    Is there a release date set yet ?

    --Old School Gamer

  • http://www.imagevuex.com Nelson

    Marble Madness is one of my favorite Arcade Games ever, first played it like a maniac on Atari Arcade, later on Amiga. Amazing game from the 80's.

    I think this kind of game will be awesome with the iphone's accelerometer. just like the analogue trackballs on the original arcade game 1984 i think. I'm looking forward to this game.

    Is there a release date set yet ?

    --Old School Gamer

  • Bodobear

    Very strange we don´t hear anything new about the Marble Madness iphone project.
    I really hope it´s not cancelled for any reason....

  • Bodobear

    Very strange we don´t hear anything new about the Marble Madness iphone project.
    I really hope it´s not cancelled for any reason....

  • JaytB

    And here we are, almost 1 year later. You gotta love the Interwebs and their hype stories.
    Do you have these 'exclusive' screenshots already, or should I wait another year or so? Maybe they can change the name to 'Marble Madness Forever' or something. Or... Wait.. Wasn't that name taken already?

    !!!! I WANT MY MARBLE MADNESS ALLREADY !!!!

  • JaytB

    And here we are, almost 1 year later. You gotta love the Interwebs and their hype stories.
    Do you have these 'exclusive' screenshots already, or should I wait another year or so? Maybe they can change the name to 'Marble Madness Forever' or something. Or... Wait.. Wasn't that name taken already?

    !!!! I WANT MY MARBLE MADNESS ALLREADY !!!!

  • Aeroflux

    Agreed...there seems to already be a game called marble madness (solitaire) in the app store, looks like same sludge that saturates the app store. What sad irony this is.

  • Aeroflux

    Agreed...there seems to already be a game called marble madness (solitaire) in the app store, looks like same sludge that saturates the app store. What sad irony this is.

  • Malohkan

    There's Marble Blast Mobile, which looks great... but no update in an entire year... which means no retina display love! The support links are dead as well, so sad.

  • Malohkan

    There's Marble Blast Mobile, which looks great... but no update in an entire year... which means no retina display love! The support links are dead as well, so sad.

  • Sylvain

    Hey Marble madness lovers should look at this -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHxZ4KnWIjM  that's for iphone and it's hot! :-)

  • Chris Helbling

    Wonder if this is still on the horizon? My intuition tells me I'm SOL!