Originally released as an arcade game controlled by a track ball in 1984, Marble Madness has since been released in many iterations for many platforms with the same core fundamentals, but different level designs. The concept is simple: maneuver your marble from the start of the course to the end of the course before the timer runs out. The faster you complete the level, the more points you receive and the more time you carry over for the next level. However, along the way a variety of obstacles attempt to complicate your journey including opposing marbles, acid puddles, tilted/warped terrain, and precariously narrow pathways.
Non-arcade releases of the game supported optional trackballs (when available), but also allowed control with the directional pad. Most levels progress top-to-bottom with a simple physics engine, but some levels reverse the direction to add a twist.