Marble Blast Ultra (+)

Written by: Andrew Cefalo

While searching for free demo’s on the Xbox 360 Marketplace and in the arcade I stumbled upon this little beauty. Marble Blast Ultra is a great party game that even the StuffWeLike team has gotten together several times to play and naturally Spencer usually gets the high score.

The gameplay is easy to pick up but takes a little more effort to master. You play as a marble and you can control any direction the marble moves. Unlike other marble games, you can defy gravity and often do. Maps start off simple with ramps, walls, and cliffs to navigate around and/or over. Naturally as the game progresses they start implementing other tools you need to use for navigation. Objects include:

Super Speed – A rocket propelled power up
Super Jump – A spring jump power up
Ultra Blast – A quicker way to power up the turbo boost
Mega Marble – Makes the marble giant
Time Travel – Stops the clock for a couple seconds
Gyro Copter – Makes the marble a helicopter

One key element becomes the gravity modifiers you can pick up. While the mazes are for the most part one directional, you can use the gravity modifiers along with the checkpoints to do free falls through the open space. The game requires you to pick up gems on a quest to the finish while racing a clock.

Overall, there are 60 levels to be unlocked and 10 additional multiplayer levels. Multiplayer levels are rather flat and are races to random locations for gems. I found these a little less exciting than the single player because it did not offer the same challenging experience that the single player levels did.

I highly recommend downloading the demo from Xbox Live Arcade, if you just want to check this game out. It provides hours of fun for a low cost ($10).

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