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Playing Super Monkey Ball with a monkey in a ball just makes sense

A 3D-printed version of Super Monkey Ball’s AiAi completes this custom creation. | Photo: Tom Tilley / X

Gamers could get an edge in Sega’s Super Monkey Ball with the help of a unique DIY controller: a literal monkey in a ball that can be physically rolled around instead of mashing a joystick on a gamepad.

Super Monkey Ball requires players to tilt and roll a series of complex floating platforms to control the monkey’s movements, so Sega designed the original arcade versions of the game with an oversize trackball controller.

That wasn’t carried over to the console versions of the game, and since arcade machines typically cost thousands of dollars, developer Tom Tilley decided to design and build a much cheaper solution made from recycled and 3D-printed materials. “I am a software developer, but I worked for about eight years as a fax and…

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