Marble It Up! Ultra Review – Nostalgic, Marble-Bouncing Fun

Marble It Up! Ultra provides a seuqle's worth of content in one simple, marble-shaped package.
Marble It Up Ultra Review

Though I have fun with the immensely deep narratives and complex mechanics of games like Baldur’s Gate 3, it’s just as fun and refreshing sometimes to take a step back and engage in something much simpler. In an age of bloated graphic sizes, constant battle pass grinding, and a push for extreme realism in games, it can be easy to forget how much fun we can have in a simple game of, say, marbles. Marble It Up! Ultra never forgot, however, and is here to remind you just how much fun you can have rocking and.. well, mostly rolling.

Marble It Up! Ultra is the newly remastered and upgraded version of 2018’s Marble It Up!, a title born from the minds of the 2000’s classic Marble Blast. By now, a lot of people know Marble It Up! as a classic, and Ultra takes it a step beyond with a wealth of new features and levels, basically transforming the title for the low low cost of free if you already own the original game. To see what makes Marble It Up! Ultra so Ultra, I went ahead and played both versions of the game for this review, and the difference between the classic and the upgraded version was impressive.

Marble It Up! is a physics-heavy platformer where players control, you guessed it, a marble. The goal of each level in Marble It Up!, of which there are about 40, is to roll, bounce and speed your marble through hazardous, hilly and twisted terrain to reach the end. Various obstacles and powerups, such as fall gaps, gravity-reversing platforms, and speed boosts are scattered throughout each uniquely designed level to create extra challenges or mix up your approach.

Marble It Up Ultra Great Wall
Screenshot: Try Hard Guides

On its own, Marble It Up! is a great title that’s easily stood the test of time since its 2018 release. It still receives players to this day, both on Steam and on mobile ports of the game. Most companies remastering a title like Marble It Up! would simply release a slightly updated version of the game, with a few new levels and unlockables, and call it a day. However, Marble It Up! Ultra changes the game up so much it might as well be called a sequel.

Marble It Up! Ultra takes those 40 levels and increases it to over 100, split across six campaigns and four bonus stages. Going from Marble It Up! to Ultra was a bit of a shock to the system, as the levels in Ultra are easily more complex and step things up in complexity. I wouldn’t say there was a huge increase in the difficulty curve, just that the levels had much more going on for them in Ultra, with more creative and busy designs when compared to its predecessor.

Level design is undeniably a strength in both games. Each level presents a unique set of obstacles and mechanics that require quick thinking and skillful execution to overcome, especially with the various mechanics thrown at you via powerups. When a new mechanic is presented, Marble It Up! Ultra gives you a quick crash course in how the mechanic works and then immediately tests your knowledge in the same level. Later levels play off your expectations of how certain powerups or pitfalls should work, making you switch up your approach and providing fresh challenges without overloading you with new mechanics to learn.

Marble It Up Ultra Pink Scape
Screenshot: Try Hard Guides

Ultra also features a wealth of new unlockables and changes how you get your hands on them. Rather than unlocking marble skins and trails though achievements, you pick most of them up in a level. Admittedly, the way this tends to halt the movement of a level in its tracks is a little jarring, but its only present for your first playthrough of said level, and you’ll be playing through them a lot.

Marble It Up! Ultra features a fair bit of challenge, with increasingly difficult levels as you get further into the game, but the real challenge comes from replaying each level. The goal in a given Marble It Up! Ultra level is to reach the end in the shortest amount of time possible. Replayability is certainly a strong suit of the game, because you’re never going to complete a level quite as fast your first time around.

Nothing gatekeeps your progression, however. If you’re not enjoying a level or just want to move on, you can complete even the hardest levels in under a few minutes, and you won’t be locked behind a certain completion time needed to continue. You can always come back and replay the level to get a better score.

Marble It Up! Ultra looks way better than it has to. While you certainly aren’t going to need a high-end graphics card to get the most out of Ultra’s visuals, the game still looks great as you roll and bounce through levels. A huge part of this is thanks to the fantastic choice of colors, lights and various visual stimuli in the levels. Everything has a really unique, fun look without being too distracting from the course you’re trying to run.

Marble It Up Ultra Spiral
Screenshot: Try Hard Guides

Equally complimentary of the gameplay is Marble It Up! Ultra’s superb soundtrack. I can’t think of anything to criticize with this title, and I certainly won’t start with its techno / electro beats which feel simultaneously new and nostalgic. I didn’t know that there was such a thing as immersive marble music, but this game certainly has it.

Once you’ve finished all of the single-player levels and unlocked everything there is to unlock, you can further extend your Marble It Up! Ultra experience with weekly challenges and multiplayer. Multiplayer is certainly the more surprising aspect of the game for me, as I wasn’t sure how exactly a marble platformer benefited from an online lobby. Game modes such as Zombies however showed me just how creative the developers were able to get with the simple, fun, physics-heavy game that is Marble It Up! Ultra.

Marble It Up Ultra Zombies
Screenshot: Try Hard Guides

The Final Word

Marble It Up! Ultra is a nostalgic gateway into marble-bouncing fun. While it could easily be a sequel, Ultra comes free for anyone who owns Marble It Up!, generously tripling the amount of fun available for fans of the 2018 classic. With simple mechanics and a lot of physics-based fun, the game asks just one important question: What more do you need?

9

Try Hard Guides was provided with a PC review copy of this game. Find more detailed looks at popular and upcoming titles in the Game Reviews section of our website! Marble It Up! Ultra is available on Xbox, , Nintendo Switch, Steam and Apple Arcade.

Erik Hodges

Erik Hodges

Erik Hodges is a hobby writer and a professional gamer, at least if you asked him. He has been writing fiction for over 12 years and gaming practically since birth, so he knows exactly what to nitpick when dissecting a game's story. When he isn't reviewing games, he's probably playing them.

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