If you’re here you probably know Marble Blast Gold, which is the game this website is dedicated after. If you don’t then here’s a description:
Marble Blast was originally released in December 2002 for Windows (Mac and Linux were released a month afterwards), and an expansion for it, Marble Blast Gold, replaced it May 2003.
Marble Blast Gold revolves around controlling a colourful marble around different stages, with the goal getting to the end pad while avoiding falling off the level (Out of Bounds). Some levels even contain hazards to hinder the player’s progress and powerups to help him pass various challenges. Collecting gems is a requirement in some levels before players can complete the level. Some levels feature a Qualify Time in order to increase difficulty, and all levels feature a Gold Time, where players must finish the level below a specific time-frame. Beating Gold Times is not a requirement for progression in the game. Marble Blast Gold supports user created custom levels, which can be shared.
Marble Blast Gold came pre-installed on iMac, iBook and iMac Mini, which heavily contributed to its commercial success. This resulted in a number of sequels:
- Marble Blast Gold (Xbox)
- Marble Blast Ultra (Xbox 360)
- Marble Blast Online (Web Browser)
- Marble Blast Mobile (iPhone and iPod Touch, but can work on iPad)
GarageGames was later re-branded as TorquePowered and became a subdivision of InstantAction as it entered the online gaming platform. However it could not maintain profit and its parent company, InterActiveCorp, had shut down its activities. TorquePowered had sold the license to the Marble Blast franchise among others to InterActiveCorp and the company itself was later acquired by Graham Software Development and was re-named as GarageGames.
GarageGames announced that on February 1, 2011, Marble Blast Gold would be removed from its stores as well as other retailers and would no longer be available for sale. The exclusion to this is the Mac Games Store, where Marble Blast Gold can still be bought. A few months afterwards Marble Blast Ultra and Mobile were removed from their respective stores. Users who purchased Marble Blast Gold from GarageGames prior to February 1, 2011, can still download it via GarageGames.
InterActiveCorp has had agreed to maintain the license conditions stated in Marble Blast Gold, hence modifications and custom levels to this game can still be created.
Reviews for Marble Blast Gold:
Received an 8.4/10 rating, "Addictive gameplay and appealing levels lead to some of the best fun that $14.99 can buy".
Rated 9/10, "Marble Blast Gold is another great entry into the marble genre and a showpiece for the Torque engine. Highly recommended!"
The reviewer said "The game can be a lot of fun, especially if you are the type that likes to challenge your hand-eye coordination."
The Marble Blast franchise post-Marble Blast Gold:
Marble Blast Gold (Xbox)
The Xbox version of Marble Blast Gold contains 100 levels as well as gold times, but added Leaderboards for users to share their top times. The Xbox version contained improved graphics (mainly bump mapping and reflection) and replaced a number of Marble Blast Gold levels with newer ones, including: Black Diamond, The Road Less Travelled, Root Cube and others.
The Xbox version can no longer be bought since Microsoft moved to the newer Xbox Live Arcade, but those who purchased Marble Blast Gold and still have it on their Xbox can still play it.
Marble Blast Ultra (Xbox 360)
The Xbox 360 version of Marble Blast featured 60 levels, many of which were brand new, but a number of them were either from Marble Blast Gold for the PC or the Xbox. Marble Blast Ultra had upgraded graphics (as it used the Torque Game Engine Advanced), leaderboards and multiplayer (up to 8 players). Players could play any of the 10 original multiplayer levels and in 2010 were able to purchase 10 additional levels, which were split in 5 levels per pack, for 500 Microsoft Points per pack.
Marble Blast Ultra was removed from the Xbox Live Arcade on February 12, 2011. Users who purchased Marble Blast Ultra can still play it. At the time of its removal from Xbox Live Arcade, Marble Blast Ultra had sold more than 756,000 copies.
Marble Blast Online
InstantAction, which allowed players to play games on their browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari were supported). One of the earliest games playable was Marble Blast Online, which was essentially Marble Blast Ultra but for the PC. Players at first started with five default marbles and needed to purchase additional marbles if they wanted to use those.
Early on during Marble Blast Online’s lifetime players had to purchase the additional multiplayer maps, but eventually those were given for free with only the marbles requiring payment for. A number of Marble Blast avatars were also available for purchase.
Marble Blast Online’s multiplayer had an exclusive level called Core. The developers were split on which level (Core or Concentric) was better, and they eventually chose Core. Concentric went to Marble Blast Ultra in place of Core.
Marble Blast Online was removed when InstantAction was shut down by InterActiveCorp.
Marble Blast Mobile
InsantAction had given LumaArcade rights to publish a Marble Blast game for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Marble Blast Mobile uses the iTGE engine and contains 20 levels, 10 of which came from Marble Blast Gold (PC), 9 from Marble Blast Ultra’s multiplayer and Core, from Marble Blast Online. Multiplayer is also available.
Many of these levels were modified from the original and received some extensions to make them more compatible to the smaller screen. It should be noted this is the only game in the franchise where Alex Swanson, who created the large majority of levels in the Marble Blast series, did not work on.
Marble Blast Mobile has three times to beat: Bronze Time, Silver Time and Gold Time. Players only needed to complete the level under Bronze time in order to progress.
There were also two releases of Marble Blast / Marble Blast Gold under the names Marble Blaster and Marble Blast XP.
Released by eGames on CD for Windows, it is identical to Marble Blast with the exception of an added level, Dive!, which had a Qualify Time of 40 seconds. Marble Blast Gold did not have a qualify time for Dive!.
Marble Blaster is listed as Version 1.3 of Marble Blast.
Marble Blast XP
After the release of Marble Blast Ultra, GarageGames paired with NetJet to released Marble Blast XP. It featured levels similar to Marble Blast Gold, but with a more advanced engine as well as collectible trophies. Additional challenges were Bronze, Silver and Gold times for every level. The Gold times are the same as those in Marble Blast Gold. Some particles and gameplay elements as well as marble skins are similar to those in Marble Blast Ultra.
To play Marble Blast XP, one had to purchase it through NetJet and play using the NetJet controller. Since 2011 this is no longer available to purchase.