Donkey Kong

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a game by Nintendo
Genre: Action
Platforms: GBA, GameBoy
Editor Rating: 9/10, based on 2 reviews, 3 reviews are shown
User Rating: 8.3/10 - 8 votes
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See also: Arcade Games, Donkey Kong Games, King Kong Games

Oh boy, if you are looking for the precursor to all modern games then look no further than Donkey Kong from Nintendo. Originally released all the way back in 1981, this classic NES title is the original attempt at pushing games into a whole new future.

Gameplay

Introducing Donkey Kong and the game that brought the much beloved Mario into the forefront of Nintendo’s endeavours. Donkey Kong’s gameplay is very simple platform game. You play as Jumpman, the original version of Mario, and you ascend a construction site where Donkey Kong has kidnapped damsel in distress, Pauline (not peach.) The controls are simple, tight and responsive as the majority of the game is not just running and jumping to avoid the barrels. There are other threats that exist in the world, like fire monsters and such, these move dynamically and you must move around them or defeat them with a mallet.

Each stage gets gradually harder and harder until you are eventually overcome by its difficulties and are struck down. As I said before, its simple but there is an unmistakeable addictiveness to it. You want to keep going back and playing it again and again to beat your score or see what comes next. One of the most important aspects of the game, is learning it. I don’t mean the controls, but playing the stages over and over and devising the best way to ascend so that you can get to the top without wasting a life. One thing that is surprising is that Mario takes fall damage, so watch out for that. Interestingly, there are only four stages to the game but it does go on a continuous loop even after reaching the “end” and the players must begin again with a higher difficulty to face.

Art Style

The art style may not be next level stuff anymore but you are looking at the game that used cutscenes, graphics and animation in storytelling and characterisation. Its simple things like seeing Donkey Kong smile when you die or seeing Pauline stand and cry for help.

The opening of the game has a cutscene that establishes the story and theme, you witness several things right off the bat, Donkey Kong is strong and Pauline is his captive. I would highly recommend having a thorough look at this game, not just because its an absolute classic that launched Nintendo into the future of gaming but how the straightforward techniques used elevated this IP to the most recognisable games in the world.

Classic

One of the earliest examples of the platform game genre, Donkey Kong has spawned thousands of clones and inspired a thousand other creators in designing their own titles. If you are looking to be a game designer, or simply have an appreciation for the craft, it is more than worth your time to look into what made this game special. Donkey Kong would go on to inspire Mario Bros., The Legend Of Zelda, Final Fantasy and many, many other classics that came only years after and are mainstays of the gaming world to this day.

10

This game deserves some reverence, that is without a doubt. If you are after a classic, you can’t get more so than this.

Pros:

  • Very fun
  • Easy to play, hard to master
  • Lots of replay value

Cons:

  • More varied stages would have been cool

Download Donkey Kong

GBA

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Gameboy

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

People say:

9

Boy, this sure brings back memories. All the fun of the arcade is here, plus a whole lot more. Donkey Kong has more features, including a save function, cool new cinemas, never-before-seen levels, and color using the Super Game Boy. I can't stress enough how good this game is. On the plain old Game Boy. it's OK. But on the TV, it really rocks! I'm buying a Super Game Boy just for this remake of the old classic.

8

This game caught me totally by surprise! As the first title for the Super Game Boy, i am very impressed. The amount of color in the game is pretty amazing. I like the cute musical theme. And like all Mario games, DK has some of the finest control. The many new levels are welcome. The only reason this gets a lower score is that it's not as impressive on a Game Boy, even though it's still very good. I like this a lot!

8

Welcome to the biggest surprise hit of the year. I had no idea that this game could offer so much in such a tiny package. Donkey Kong brings back all the best aspects of the arcade, while introducing new concepts, making the game even better. Although color definitely helps the score, the game looks and plays just fine on the old GB. Great job Nintendo! It looks as if you'll be selling plenty of Super Game Boys for this.

8

Good old Sushi has flipped his lid! I actually enjoyed a Game Boy cart. True, I played it on the Super Game Boy in color, but the tried-and-true Donkey Kong plays great on the portable. The levels and even the sounds were faithfully reproduced. As for the graphics, I couldn't believe how close it looks. I highly suggest this cart. I still can't believe I like a Game Boy cart, but then again it wasn't on a green screen.

This game is frightening, because it's probably one your parents remember playing! Donkey Kong is back with a '90s twist. The game that debuted Mario for Nintendo now debuts the Super Game Boy as a must-have peripheral!

Apes of Wrath

There are two games in this ' cart. The first is the traditional Donkey Kong game from the arcades, where you rescue the fair Pauline (the home girl before Princess Toadstool) from a rampaging ape. The other game is a very interesting Mario-type adventure where you rescue Pauline over and over again from the big ape, unlocking doors and figuring out puzzling levels while avoiding friends of the Kong-ster. If at first you don't succeed...well, that's what the battery backup is for.

In the puzzler, Mario won't grow bigger, shoot fire, or sprout a tail as he did in previous adventures. This time you log in with your noggin to get from level to level. Some of the puzzles are downright nasty, and considering the depth of the game (ten levels with multiple minilevels), you'll face a whole lot of monkeying around. Playing either the action or puzzle game, you'll go ape over the controls, which are simple and effective.

It Had To Be Hue

The real argument here is whether you should play this good-looking title on a regular Game Boy or on the new Super Game Boy. The Super Game Boy colors the game with a four-hue palette, which adds immensely to the graphics. Although the graphics aren't bad for a Game Boy game, they shine on the SCB when compared to the small green-screen machine. You even get the original Donkey Kong cabinet to surround the picture on the SCB!

The sounds don't mess around, either. You'll instantly recognize the barrel-jumping noise, an audio icon in the video game world. The rest of the music is fresh, funny, and a good addition to this great game.

Two Kongs Make A Right

Both games in this cart are enjoyable and entertaining. Older gamers will shed a tear when they remember the first quarter they ever spent on Donkey Kong. Other players will develop a certain simian savior-faire that will get them through this game. Kong is still king!

ProTips:

  • Use the Key to knock out enemies.
  • Moving levers mill cause certain floors to appear and disappear. Use this knowledge to trap enemies.
  • A long fall will eliminate Mario, while short falls make him dizzy and vulnerable. Always look before you leap.
  • Stay In the comers when Donkey Kong's throwing the barrels, then lump up and brain him - Three barrels will do the trick.

Snapshots and Media

GBA Screenshots

GameBoy Screenshots