Marble Blast Ultra

TV quiz show game for XBLA this week

Plus a free Marble Blast Ultra level.

Unhappy about having to pay 1200 Microsoft Points - over a tenner - to play Portal: Still Alive on Xbox Live Arcade? Well, probably not. In which case, perhaps you'll be happy to pay that again for this Wednesday's offering, Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader: Make the Grade.

Marble Blast Ultra

Marble Blast Ultra

Losing my lonely rolling marbles.

Xbox Live Arcade, how we love it. We're only half joking when we say that were it not for the plethora of ridiculously addictive titles available to dip into on during a spare moment, the 360 would be gathering dust by now. The irresistible instant fix allure of pick-up-and-play titles like Geometry Wars Evolved, Bejewelled, Hexic and Zuma kept us going through one of the dullest starts to a year in living memory. Factor in our undimmed competitive streak that ensures the need to claim the bragging rights in Gamerscore achievements and high scores, and it's no wonder it's the only thing gamers want to talk about these days.

But the problem with this quick fix gaming malarkey is that we need more fuel to fire our craving for instant thrills. Frankly, Microsoft can't get 'em up on the Live Marketplace quick enough. Needless to say, we were hungry to devour one of the most recent additions to the ever-growing line-up. Perhaps predictably, Marble Blast Ultra is another dusted down, updated version of a previously available Xbox Live Arcade offering, but one that definitely shouldn't be ignored.

Immediately recognisable to oldies as GarageGames' latest homage to crusty old mid 80s arcade hit Marble Madness, it's a direct evolution of the 'roll the ball to the goal' formula of old, rather than a subtle reinvention in the mould of the excellent Super Monkey Ball or Archer Maclean's Mercury.

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