Review by IMAP

"A barrel of fun...until it runs dry."

A game like Donkey Kong needs no introduction at all...but I will still give it a brief one. A guy with a red hat named Jumpman is to rescue a princess from a huge ape named (you guessed it) Donkey Kong. Yeah, so the storyline is not really detailed...but that is not the reason to play the game. Truly, arcade games such as this title were built for gameplay above all else.

Graphics: 7 - Good for its time.

One cannot expect too much from the graphics of this early video game. At the very least, one can realize that ''Jumpman'' is actually ''Mario'', the Princess is actually ''Peach'', and the huge monkey is, of course, Donkey Kong. Also, one is able to actually designate flames, platforms, and the barrels that Mr. Kong throws at you. However, I must admit that I thought the hammers were candy apples when I first saw them.

Sound: 6 - Simple tunes for a simple game.

The background music is as simple as can be, as it is only there to provide accompaniment to the gameplay this title has to offer. The fanfare is not distracting, and that in itself makes the fanfare acceptable, in my opinion. The sound effects are also simplistic; a simple fanfare when you successfully clear a barrel, Mr. Kong actually throwing the barrels, etc. To put it short, the sound for this game is neither good nor bad for its time period.

Control: 7 - Responsive...to an extent.

The controls will respond to your commands, but you can expect a .5 second delay between when you push the button and when Jumpman reacts. Nonetheless, one should not encounter too many problems while playing this simple game of survival.

Gameplay: 7.5 - Wow...simplicity IS good, after all!

The gameplay concept is simple...yet it works on so many levels. All you have to do is avoid a barrage of barrels by employing ladders in order to reach the princess at the top of the tower. Of course, fireballs will try to get in your way, but hammers can help you overcome tough sets of barrels that would otherwise cause you to lose a life. Once you expend a set number of lives, the game ends, and you get a score based upon your performance. This game can get pretty addictive, for one can play it for hours on end and not lose interest. However, once one does lose interest in this title, then he will probably shun the game for at least 3 months before his next play.

To put it short, the gameplay in this game is addictive, simple, and has an incredibly easy learning curve. Just the way an arcade-style game should be.

Overall: 7 - Get this game if you need a thrill...

...since I doubt anyone could be sorely disappointed with Donkey Kong, a game that put Mario and Co. on the video game map. Seriously, while the concept of this game is not complex, it is a game that you can just pick up and play without any prior experience...and enjoy. For this reason alone, one should be inclined to play this game at any point in his life.

...or at least listen to the DK rap!


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 09/10/03


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