Marble Madness

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Marble Madness
Marble Madness NES.jpg
The ultimate thing is not only the race in this game, but the whole game itself.
Genre: Platformer
Platforms: Arcade
Apple II
Apple IIGS
Atari ST
Commodore 64
Game Boy
Game Boy Color
Game Boy Advance
Nintendo GameCube
Sega Game Gear
Sega Master System
Microsoft Windows
Nintendo Entertainment System
PlayStation 2
PlayStation 3
Sega Mega Drive
Sharp X68000
Xbox 360
Xbox One
ZX Spectrum
Release Date: December 15, 1984
Developer: Atari Games
Publisher: Atari Games
Made in: United States
Franchise: Marble Madness
Next Game: Marble Man: Marble Madness II (cancelled)

Marble Madness is a video game developed and published by Atari Games on December 15, 1984 for Arcades. It received many ports and rereleases for computers and consoles.

Why It Rocks

  1. Very awesome soundtrack composed by Brad Fuller and Hal Canon. It would make you want to try to get it to your head or play the levels longer to listen to the music, or even go to YouTube and download the music on your computer, phone or tablet.
  2. Impressive and colorful graphics. They are so colorful that you would really want to look at them, especially in the Arcade version.
  3. Excellent animations and frame rate. The animations don't look like something in the marble would want to stop and keep spinning when you move, and everytime you hit something from a high place, the marble doesn't get damaged, but some stars appears on it, and it won't get drunk, but will be still fine.
  4. Speaking of controls, they're tight and responsive which doesn't make a chance to get a Game Over, unlike Pit-Fighter, another game by Atari Games. It's really fun to control the marble you're playing as to see how it excellently spins.
  5. Tons of fun, which would make you want to invite your friends to your house to see how you play this game.
  6. Cool looking title screen, where 2 red and 1 blue marble appear on the screen non-stop and they are very fun to look at, even tough they don't hit each other at all.
  7. This game spawned games, where the main protagonist is a marble, starting with Marble Blast Gold, released in 2003 for the Xbox, Microsoft Windows, macOS and Linux.
  8. The computer and console ports were a extremely great idea, like the first Mortal Kombat game. Playing the Arcade game that fits the theme of the console and computer is something that every kid/teen/adult would like to.

Bad Qualities

  1. Despite the computer and console ports being a extremely great idea, some of them were poorly made, expecially the Game Boy Advance version, which is considered to be by far the worst port of the game.
    • The IBM PC version suffers from:
      • Ear-raping and annoying music, similar to Makon Soft's games.
      • Ugly graphics for 1986 standards that would make your eyes want to burn from them, looking like a Nintendo Entertainment System game.
      • False advertising: The cover shows red and blue marbles, but in the game, they don't appear at all.
    • The Game Gear version suffers from:
      • The marbles lack animations. No matter where you move, they won't spin, not even for a bit.
      • False advertising: Like the IBM PC cover, the cover features a red marble, but it doesn't appear in this port at all.
    • The Game Boy Color version suffers from:
      • Stiff and broken controls. The marble can fall easily and it can make a lot harder to complete the level in time.
      • God-awful music that doesn't sound better than the IBM PC version. Not to mention, some of them are not even in the right order.
  2. The game is pretty short. There are only 6 levels in the entire game, and the game can be beaten in less than 7 minutes. Even Ninjabread Man, while being a bad game and having only 3 levels, can be beaten even longer than this game!


Marble Madness was commercially successful following its December 1984 release and was positively received by critics and players. Around 4,000 cabinets were sold, and it soon became the highest-earning game in arcades. In Japan, Game Machine listed Marble Madness on their May 1, 1985 issue as being the second most-successful upright arcade unit of the year. However, the game consistently fell from this ranking during its seventh week in arcades where Atari tracked the game's success. Cerny attributed the six-week arcade life to Marble Madness's short gameplay length. He believed that players lost interest after mastering it and moved on to other games.



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