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Donkey Kong for the 7800 is fairly close to the arcade original. Climb ladders, jump barrels, rescue the girl from a giant ape. Three of the four screens from the arcade are in this version; the conveyor belt screen is missing. That's okay because it was the least fun of the bunch. As a matter of fact, I don't think that screen made it into any of the home versions of Donkey Kong. This game does have a few flaws. The squeaky shoe sound from the arcade game has been replaced with a more annoying sound effect. Sometimes it can be difficult to pick up the hammer. But other than that, this is classic fun.
Despite the sound issues, Donkey Kong on the Atari 7800 is hugely enjoyable, with great controls and gameplay that never gets old. In my opinion though, it doesn't improve on anything found in the NES port (1986) so unless this is your only option you're better off sticking with Nintendo's 8-bit version.
I know I've complained a lot about the 7800 port of Donkey Kong, but it's actually close enough to the arcade version of the game to satisfy most gamers, I suspect. It's still a challenging title which requires the player to think up a bit of strategy to advance in levels. Up to two players can take part in the fun, and there are three skill levels available – standard, advanced and expert. The instruction manual is thin and lacking in detail, but this is Donkey Kong -- any kid from the 1980s ought to know how to play.
Donkey Kong is on everyone's list of favorites which I'm OK with since its a lot of fun and packs a big retro blast.