Review by OldSchoolFan99

"If you like games that have a lot of levels, then you'll enjoy this one."

Donkey Kong was released by Nintendo EAD (Entertainment Analysis & Development) and Pax Softnica for the Nintendo Game Boy in June of 1994. It is a port of Nintendo's 1981 arcade game of the same name.

A gorilla has been mistreated by a carpenter named Mario (originally called Jumpman). The gorilla, named Donkey Kong, is Mario's pet. Donkey Kong decides to kidnap Mario's girlfriend, Pauline (originally called the Lady). Mario has to find Donkey Kong and rescue his girlfriend.

The graphics in this game look good for Game Boy standards. Mario has a lot of different animations, including multiple death animations. This game was the first Game Boy game to utilize the Super Game Boy peripheral on the Super Nintendo. This peripheral adds more color and a special border for each game. The border used for this game is similar to that of the original Donkey Kong arcade cabinet. The music is pretty good, though some tracks tend to repeat themselves. There are a lot of sound effects as well. When played on the Super Game Boy, Pauline will yell “Help! Help!” at the beginning of a level. On the regular Game Boy, you hear a high pitched beeping noise instead.

The control in this game is very good, and the hit detection is pretty good. There are 101 levels in this game, and you have to beat them all to rescue Pauline. The first four levels are similar to the levels found in the original arcade game. The remaining 97 levels are all new to this game. The gameplay is similar to that of the original arcade game, though some new maneuvers have been introduced. Mario can now do execute a handstand jump which allows him to reach higher areas. The handstand can also be used to deflect certain objects. He can also do a back flip jump to avoid enemies. When played on the Super Game Boy, the game is slightly faster. Every fourth stage puts you in a battle against Donkey Kong. New obstacles are introduced when you beat him via cutscenes. These are done very well and they help advance the story. This game also uses a battery back-up save feature and allows for multiple save slots, which is cool. The only downside is the difficulty level, which will get most gamers pretty frustrated by the time they reach the fourth or fifth world. The puzzles are somewhat confusing and there is a pretty strict time limit in certain stages. This game also lacks additional modes, and is single player only.

Donkey Kong is a great game for the original Nintendo Game Boy. It has great graphics, good music and sound effects, and good, albeit somewhat frustrating, gameplay. If you don't mind a good challenge, enjoy solving puzzles and playing through lots of levels, this is definitely a game for you.

Final Score: 8/10


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 04/18/11, Updated 03/27/14

Game Release: Donkey Kong (US, 06/30/94)


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