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The monkey's nuts: New Super Monkey Ball Deluxe screens

Put a monkey in a ball, roll him around, and what do you get? Endless fun. Lord knows why they haven't started doing it down the zoo

Maths is a bit rubbish, but here's a sum we think you'll like: Super Monkey Ball Deluxe, the long-awaited PS2 and Xbox port of the banana flavoured Cube puzzler, takes 114 levels from the first game, 140 levels from the second game, and then adds over 50 brand monkey-spanking new levels.

So that's... give us a minute... over 300 levels of simian-tilting fun. This is a wonderful thing. And what's more, the Deluxe version includes a new Ultimate game mode which orders the levels in ascending order of difficulty, effectively eradicating those horrible spikes of raging frustration that littered the Cube games like punji stick traps.


But that's not all: the notoriously amazing multiplayer games are back for up to four players. No online mode unfortunately, but all your favourites are back as well as some brand new spherical ape experiences. You'll be giggling your way through Monkey Tennis (officially licensed by Alan Partridge, in our dreams at least), Monkey Bowling, Monkey Dog Fight and Monkey Football. And, of course, the one minigame that made us laugh more than any other videogame experience ever, Monkey Fight, makes a side-splitting, blood-spitting return. Make sure your sides are sewn up extra tight.

All four of our chimpy chums are back for more rolling. We've had a go and we're pleased to report that the gameplay is as simple and enjoyable as ever, with the whole experience remaining more addictive than picking scabs - happy, rainbow coloured scabs that bleed banana.

And if you've got this far without understanding what Monkey Ball is all about, it's simple. There's a monkey in a ball and you roll him about with the analogue stick. Like Marble Madness, but with monkeys. Now go and play it.

Super Monkey Ball Deluxe can even make maths fun, and it will be available for Xbox and PS2 from April 22. Enjoy the screens.