Marble Blast Ultra is a 3D physics-platformer developed and digitally published by GarageGames for the Xbox 360 (as an Xbox Live Arcade title) on January 23, 2006. It was later delisted from the Xbox Live Marketplace.
The sequel to the 2002 game Marble Blast (and its 2003 Marble Blast Gold update), Marble Blast Ultra features a new set of 60 levels (some of which are from the predecessor), enhanced high-definition graphics, new power-ups, new hidden collectibles ("Easter Eggs"), and an online multiplayer mode for up to eight players (with 20 base stages and additional stages via DLC packs).
A limited free version of the game, restricted to its online multiplayer mode, was later released for web browsers on March 7, 2008 under the name Marble Blast Online. As it was only hosted on InstantAction, it was discontinued when that website shut down. It also received a port to mobile iOS devices on May 15, 2009 under the name Marble Blast Mobile.
The game was later removed from all marketplaces on February 11, 2011 due to the re-launched GarageGames's failure to retain the game's rights. Despite this, it later received a PC release on some online storefronts. Some of the team later worked on the series' spiritual successor, known as Marble It Up!
It is strongly reminiscent of Marble Madness in that the player assumes control of a marble and must steer it to the level's exit, avoiding various obstacles and using power ups along the way. It is, however, completely 3D rather than from a 2D isometric viewpoint, so has full camera control on the right stick. The marble can also jump in order to scale structures and "Blast" which, when sufficiently charged, allows the player to reach greater heights than usual or influence the direction of rivals in multiplayer. A great deal of dexterity is required in order to navigate the levels without falling off the edge of the floating stages.
There are roughly 60 single player levels which are split into three difficulties: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. The idea is to reach the finish, but some require gems to be collected before the exit can be used. Additionally, each level in the game has a "Par Time" to beat, and if they are all bested an achievement is earned. There are also leader boards for each level, however many of the levels are prone to abuse, resulting in the upper echelons of the table to be dominated by illegitimate times. Numerous power-ups are placed on each level to allow the player to advance or access some of the multitude of shortcuts within the game. Easter Eggs, in this case literally colorful eggs, are also hidden throughout the game, with an achievement unlocked upon collecting them all.
There are 20 multiplayer stages. The idea is to collect gems in order to beat the other players, with red gems earning one point, yellow earning two and blue earning five. Power-ups also exist within the multiplayer game and can be used to beat others to the punch.
The game later received additional multiplayer stages via DLC packs.
- Agoraphobia - Spires
- Marble It Up! - Marble It Up!
- Marble Fu - Playground, Bowl, Concentric, Vortex Effect, Blast Club