Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble Adventure Mode Includes Multiplayer
Image via Sega

Interview: Preparing Super Monkey Ball for the Switch

The Monkey Ball series is a staple for Sega, with new entries regularly appearing on various consoles. Sometimes, they mean new courses to roll through. Other times, the priority ends up being on party games that implement the mechanics. With Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble on the horizon, especially with it including multiplayer in the Adventure Mode as one of its signature features, Siliconera spoke with Director Daisuke Takahata, Producer Nobuhiro Suzuki, and Designer Yukio Oda about the game.

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When did development begin on Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble?

Nobuhiro Suzuki: Development started about 2 years ago, so around the spring of 2022.

How did the development of Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania affect Banana Rumble?

Suzuki and Yukio Oda: In response to user feedback from Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania, we have made a number of improvements and quality of life updates to Banana Rumble, including the ability to enjoy Adventure Mode with up to four players in multiplayer, and improvements to physics in an effort to make it simpler and more intuitive. I believe that the development of Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania has helped to enhance the quality of Banana Rumble in many ways.

Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble is the first entry in over five years to be limited to a single platform. Did that affect the development process in any way?

Sukuki and Oda: The reason for limiting the game to Nintendo Switch was primarily to provide a stable quality of online competition with 16 players, which is the biggest selling point of this game. As a result of focusing on a single platform, we were able to focus on the implementation and stabilization of online matches over time, and as a result, we were able to reach a level that our users can enjoy. 

If we receive support from our users, we believe we can consider expanding platforms in the future, so please support Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble.

Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble supports 16-player multiplayer. What led to the development shooting for that number? 

Sukuki: For the number of players, we tried a lot of things during the development stage. When it came to stability on the network itself — the processing speed, the fun of the competition — in order to firmly establish these elements, we found that the optimal number of players is 16. That’s the reason why we went with the number that we did.

How did developing for a larger group affect game modes? Are there any concepts you wanted to include, but couldn’t, because of the larger player count? 

Daisuke Takahata: Developing for a larger group had various influences, and was also a big challenge for us. As the number of players increased, it inevitably means there will be more players that can’t get to be “first place,” so we aimed for gameplay that allows as many more players to have a chance to win. Also, since you will be colliding with a lot of people, we made many detailed adjustments to how the ball would rebound.

Likewise, how did the larger number of players in multiplayer affect Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble options? 

Takahata: So a new option that came about due to the increase in the number of players is that we now have a “Chat Wheel.” This shortcut allows you to send messages and stickers to other players at different moments during gameplay, and you can and customize it as you see fit. This option exists because Banana Rumble is different than other entries in the Super Monkey Ball series up until now, so we hope players have a lot of fun interacting with others all around the world in this unique way.

Super Monkey Ball games are, as of late, known for their guest stars and optional characters that sometimes appear as DLC. Will Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble feature the same sorts of cameos and how will that affect the multiplayer experience?

Suzuki: When the guest characters were announced for our last title, Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania, there was a very positive response from the fans. As a result, we are very excited to share what additional content players can expect in Banana Rumble through the SEGA Pass and other updates, so we hope everyone is looking forward to that.

As for how the additional characters will impact the gameplay, the scope of how you can enjoy the game will expand, but they won’t give you an advantage in a match. User technique and luck will always play a key role in the experience. It will not be a pay-to-win situation, so please don’t be concerned about that.

The Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble Adventure Mode also features four-player co-op multiplayer. How difficult was this to implement, and how does it affect progression?

Suzuki: The traditional gameplay of Super Monkey Ball can be found in Adventure Mode, so while it wasn’t as difficult to implement as Battle Mode, especially with it supporting up to 16 players, there were still a lot of issues to solve, including the user of split-screen and user contact. Specifically, it is difficult to meet the needs of both “cooperation ” and“ competition, ” and for this reason, we have introduced a range of options such as allowing players the choice to turn off collision so you don’t bounce off each other, along with other  settings. Also, to make sure the game can be enjoyed by family and friends, we have made adjustments that are unique to multiplayer, like how everyone can work together to complete missions.

Super Monkey Ball Banana Rumble will come to the Nintendo Switch on June 25, 2025. 

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Jenni Lada
Jenni is Editor-in-Chief at Siliconera and has been playing games since getting access to her parents' Intellivision as a toddler. She continues to play on every possible platform and loves all of the systems she owns. (These include a PS4, Switch, Xbox One, WonderSwan Color and even a Vectrex!) You may have also seen her work at GamerTell, Cheat Code Central, Michibiku and PlayStation LifeStyle.