Donkey Konga Reviews (GameCube)

ESRB Rating
Critic Score
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
User Score
5 point score based on user ratings.

User Reviews

Is the rhythm in you? knuckles-rox (11) 4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars

Our Users Say

Category Description User Score
Gameplay How well the game mechanics work (player controls, game action, interface, etc.) 4.2
Graphics The quality of the art, or the quality/speed of the drawing routines 3.3
Personal Slant How much you personally like the game, regardless of other attributes 3.7
Sound / Music The quality of the sound effects and/or music composition 3.8
Story / Presentation The main creative ideas in the game and how well they're executed 3.6
Overall User Score (26 votes) 3.7

Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
N-Zone (Oct 22, 2004)
Und wieder eine heftige Spaßgranate aus dem Hause Nintendo! Daran könnten sich einige Spielehersteller, die den Markt mit schlechten Konvertierungen und lieblosen Filmversoftungen überfluten, ein Scheibchen abschneiden. Doch zum Spiel: Ein total niedlicher Bongo-Controller, eine exzellente Musikauswahl und viele Spiel-Modi können auf voller Linie überzeugen. Okay, der Solo-Modus kann nicht unbedingt lange motivieren, aber mit mehreren Mitspielern mutiert das Spiel zu einem absoluten Klassiker. Wenn man zu viert vor dem Bildschirm sitzt und die unmusikalischen Mitstreiter bei dem Versuch, einen Sambasong nachzutrommeln, beobachtet, bleibt kein Auge trocken! Wer gerne mit Freunden spielt, ein bisschen Rhythmus im Blut hat und keine Angst vor einem alternativen Controller hat, muss sich diesen Titel unbedingt zulegen. Sehr gut gelungen ist auch die Anpassung an den europäischen Markt.
(PAL version)
Nachdem man seine Hemmschwelle überwinden konnte, packt einen das Trommelfieber und man kommt von dem Spiel erst los, wenn einem die Hände anschwellen. Und wie so oft wird der Spaß mit mehreren Spielern noch gesteigert. Wenn ihr also einen Tropfen musikalisches Blut in euch verspürt, dann schlagt zu!
Retroage (Jan 12, 2008)
Graficznie gra prezentuje się dobrze, podczas wybijania rytmu Donkey Kong lub Diddy Kong wykonują ruchy odpowiadające naszym uderzeniom. Muzyka w grze jest bardzo dobrze dobrana, niestety jest jej za mało. Wszystkich piosenek można bardzo szybko nauczyć się przy nieprzerwanej grze, a potem zabawa nie jest już taka fajna. Co innego, jeśli gra się rzadko (a najlepiej w gronie znajomych). Należy wspomnieć także o świetnej grywalności, zarówno dla jednego gracza, jak i dla kilku graczy. Podczas gry w kilka osób gra nabiera jeszcze większych rumieńców.
85 (Oct 19, 2004)
Ich geb's ja zu, wenn ich auf eine Party eingeladen bin, hab ich grundsätzlich ein Bemanigame im Kofferraum. Sozusagen als "Notfallpaket", wenn die Feier nicht so richtig in Schwung kommen will. Seit Singstar hat es kein Titel mehr geschafft, die Stimmung innerhalb kürzester Zeit derart zum Kochen zu bringen. Eine wundervoll breit gefächerte Songauswahl, die obligatorischen Minispiele und der ausgefallene Bongo-Controller machen den Titel zum Hit. Allein relativ wenig motivierend, explodiert der Spielspaß mit drei weiteren Mitspielern geradezu. Wer sich nur ein klein wenig für Musikspiele interessiert, für den gibt's nur eins - ab ins Dschungelcamp!
NintendoWorldReport (Feb 27, 2004)
While not an entirely original idea, at least we finally have a fun and addictive music game for GameCube. The genre’s been almost non-existent on Nintendo platforms, and perhaps Donkey Konga will prompt Sega or Konami to start bringing their own games to GameCube as well.
IGN (Sep 23, 2005)
Donkey Konga packs hours of fun. It’s a good single-player experience and a great multiplayer one. If you can round up four buddies and four bongo controllers, you’re set for the evening. All that’s missing in a room with this game (and four bongos) is booze and a bowl of Tostitos. A somewhat limited song selection is the only thing keeping the multiplayer aspect from being the greatest thing EVAR, so to speak. The graphics, while bland and lacking several layers of polish, get the job done without causing too much of an eye-sore. The mini-games offer a little fun, but your best still sits in Kongo’s primary game modes.
Teen testers couldn't get enough of this game. They liked the wide selection of popular music and the multiple levels of difficulty. They enjoyed being able to compete or cooperate to make music. Donkey Konga is similar in game play to Dance, Dance Revolution, but it's easier to play. While you can play Donkey Konga using standard game controllers, our testers said they wouldn't recommend it. This is a great party game if you are willing to invest in the extra DK Bongos.
Nintendo Life (Jul 16, 2011)
Easily overlooked by an audience that has seemingly had its fill of music based titles, this is a staggeringly fun party title that shines with four players. Even if the rhythm action genre isn't you thing, Donkey Konga marks a transition of MO change at Nintendo, enticing gamers from all walks of life in to sample its simple bongo-based wares, while retaining the core principle of playability first that the publisher is synonymous with.
80 (Sep 24, 2004)
Although it’s highly recommended to putting large emphasis on playing this title with a group rather than alone, the entertainment factor provides a fresh, new feel to the overall spectrum of video-games as a whole. A somewhat limited song selection plagues what could’ve sparked one of the most highly replayed titles to date. Still, if you can round up four buddies, four bongos, and still have enough cash left in your bank account – then this title will be a blast. Just understand that when your palms start to sore, it’s a good indication to take a break.
EL33TONLINE (Sep 16, 2006)
Definitely the best rhythm based game for the GameCube – that’s why they brought out a second installation of this game as well as an adventure game where the movements of Donkey Kong are controlled by the DK Bongos. You will be seeing this game on the Wii too, and will most likely use the same controllers so they will be worth getting!
Gamezine (Oct 22, 2004)
En bref, Donkey Konga est le titre idéal à plusieurs, ou pour jouer seul si l’on adore la percussion. La durée de vie n’est pas exceptionnelle, avec un nombre de morceaux assez limité, mais on revient dessus avec plaisir. A deux, trois, ou quatre, le jeu prend évidemment une autre tournure et devient génial, au même titre que Mario Kart, par exemple (et puis au moins gonc a moins de moule). Foncez !
NintendoWorldReport (Sep 26, 2004)
Donkey Konga is an excellent music game for beginners, though those experienced in the genre will most likely find it lacking in the difficulty area. Still, the game manages to be a lot of fun with its unique Donkey Kong theme and conga drum controller. Donkey Konga does manage to pull in those who normally wouldn’t play a rhythm game, and its smooth difficulty curve is responsible for this casual appeal. Nintendo and Namco have done an outstanding job at crafting a rhythm game that will appeal to gamers of almost all skill levels. It also makes an exceptional multiplayer title to just sit back and have fun with.
To say that prehistoric cavemen were rather impressed with the invention of the wheel is somewhat of an understatement. Rolling through their prehistoric society at a rapid pace, this uncanny innovation changed their very way of life, opening the doors to high-speed travel and the initially lucrative hula-hoop craze (being made from solid granite, the hoops tended to get the best of the customers). Soon after, it was nearly impossible to think of a world without the wheel, and those that attempted it were either incapable of doing so or were rendered incapable by the application of a sturdy club to the head. Leaping forward to the present time, you’ll notice that our fragile society is yet again on the verge of an advancement that’s easily comparable to the aforementioned circular creation. With Donkey Konga and its companion peripherals, the electronic bongos, Nintendo has truly ushered in a new age of prosperity and rhythmic physical abuse.
GameSpy (Sep 24, 2004)
Still, that sort of thing is easily tolerable when the game is this much fun. The Dreamcast's Samba de Amigo and its maracas showed U.S. gamers how much fun music games with simulated instrument controllers can be (there are tons of them in Japan ... guitars, tambourines, drums, you name it), and Donkey Konga continues the trend. It's a fun challenge alone, and with some friends, it becomes a fantastic party game. A second volume of the game recently came out in Japan; let's hope that Nintendo decides to keep the series going over here as well.
1UP (Sep 28, 2004)
It's nice to see Donkey Kong getting back to his roots. While he's never actually been in a music game before (maybe you're thinking of Amigo, his cousin from south of the border), the DK series used to be a varied, eclectic collection of games. With titles like Donkey Konga and the upcoming Jungle Beat arriving, Nintendo's original superstar is finally moving away from the past two decades of near-irrelevance and back to the noble task of rocking us hard. Literally, in this case.
Diehard GameFan (Oct 14, 2004)
Like most music games, the simple formula and catchy music offer up a pretty irresistible combination. I found myself playing this game a lot more than I should. But then again, that’s my usual reaction to music games. In any case, the main draws that will keep players coming back are the songs. Like I mentioned earlier, there are some mini-games, but they seem to be more tacked on than anything else. For example, there’s one called “Bash K. Rool”, which is simply whack-a-mole disguised as a bongo game. The game itself is very slow and clunky. It could have benefited from quite a bit of tweaking. Even so, the songs still make the game quite a treat.
DarkZero (May 10, 2004)
Namco have done a good job with their first Donkey Kong title. The game is great fun and definitely retains that ‘Nintendo feel’ that we all know and love. It’s easy to pick up and play, but devilish to master, and it will even interest the non gamers in the family, just by virtue of the bongos and their novelty value. Should you buy it on import? Well, it’s impossible to save and you need a translation or a friend fluent in Japanese to understand the menus, so I’d probably say no….not yet. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lot of fun, but I have a feeling we’ll see a release over here and that version will be worth waiting for.
Zur großen Freude der GameCube-Besitzer ist das Trommel-Vergnügen auch gar nicht mal teuer: Für 6800 Yen (umgerechnet ca. 50 €) bekommt ihr beim Importhändler eures Vertrauens das Bundle mit Spiel und hochwertig verarbeitetem Controller. Importfans überlegen sich den Kauf trotzdem zweimal: Die Songauswahl umfasst neben viel japanischem Zeug aus Pop, TV und Werbung gerade mal zwei Nintendo-Spielesongs (der “Monkey Rap“ aus Donkey Kong 64 und das Super Mario-Thema) und zwei Latino-Hits (“Mambo No.5“ und “La Bamba“). Das ist ja nun nicht unbedingt die Art von Musik, mit der man in westlichen Gefilden eine Party schmeißt, zumal auch keine versteckten, freispielbaren Songs vorhanden sind. Leider gibt es zum Japan-Import derzeit keine Alternativen - sowohl US- als auch PAL-Version sind noch nicht einmal angekündigt.
Nintendo Difference (Dec 29, 2003)
Donkey Konga débarque en trombe sur GameCube et inaugure le genre musical sur la console. S'il n'est pas encore de la trempe d'un Samba de Amigo dans l'ambiance qu'il dégage, il augure du meilleur pour les prochains volets qui n'en seront assurément que meilleurs si Namco corrige les quelques défauts de son nouvau-né largement perfectible.
The Video Game Critic (Nov 05, 2004)
Donkey Kongo is great fun, but it's sometimes hard to tell who won after each contest. Even if you only have one drum set however, you can still play cooperatively with a friend by letting him take care of the clapping responsibilities as you beat on the drum. Donkey Konga throws in a few mini-games (notably a wack-a-mole clone), but these are only mildly entertaining. One magazine claimed Konga was a rip-off off Drum Mania, but I've never heard of that game before. In my opinion Donkey Konga is a brilliantly executed concept, and a rare title that the whole family can enjoy.
Solo drumming is still fun, but compared to the addictive experience multiplayer offers, it's a little flat. But regardless of how many people you play with, this is a must-have for rhythm game devotees. However, if you don't like music games, this won't sway you one bit until you try it with friends. Then it becomes a whole different story.
75 (Oct 12, 2004)
Seul, Donkey Konga tourne court en dépit de mini-jeux et de contenu bonus à débloquer. Mais à plusieurs, il animera vos soirées à la perfection, enfin jusqu'à ce que vous et vos potes soyez lassés. Cette version européenne se dote en tout cas d'une tracklist contenant nombre de perles (et de cailloux malheureusement) qui évitent de céder aux sirènes du Top 50. Seulement il est déplorable de constater la présence réduite de musiques aux sonorités cubaines. Un concentré de fun mais qui aura vite besoin d'un add-on pour maintenir l'intérêt.
GameSpot (Oct 27, 2004)
If Donkey Konga's primary goal was to be a rhythm game that anyone could play, then it succeeded. The DK Bongos are nice and responsive, the action can be genuinely fun, and though some of the music choices are extremely weird, there is, in fact, a little something here for everyone. Whether the game will be right for you will depend on how much of that "everyone" you account for.
Game Revolution (Oct, 2004)
Every young musician dreams of one day joining a kick-ass rock band, touring the world for free and smashing furniture in exotic hotel rooms. But since most of us skew towards the William Hung side of the rock star spectrum, Nintendo and Namco have hooked up to deliver Donkey Konga, a bongo drumming rhythm game. The gameplay and concepts are solid, but the feel and execution seem tailored for a younger audience.
72 (Oct 24, 2004)
Die Skepsis wich der Neugier und diese wurde dann durch unverhohlenen Spaß ersetzt, der sich allerdings vor allem mit mehreren Spielern einstellt. Okay: ich persönlich hätte mir einen würdigeren Einstand für Nintendos Kult-Affen gewünscht als ausgerechnet ein Rhythmus-Spiel. Doch was Nintendo hier abliefert, ist das beste Spiel seiner Art seit der Dreamcast-Perle Samba de Amigo und hat zudem noch den abgefahrensten Controller seit den Sega-Maraccas. Die mitgelieferten Songs decken ein breites Spektrum ab und mit den drei Schwierigkeitsgraden werden Spieler jeder Altersgruppe gefordert. Diverse Goodies und Mini-Spiele ergänzen die üblichen Modi, so dass auch langfristig Spaß aufkommt. Und sollte man ein paar gleich gesinnte Bongo-Trommler mit der entsprechenden Hardware vor dem Bildschirm versammeln können, geht der Affentanz erst richtig los. Mit Pad allerdings ist der Spaß nur halb so groß – obwohl die Steuerung auch hier makellos funktioniert.
70 (Oct 12, 2004)
Une fois le jeu en route et votre popotin bien installé dans sa chaise, attendez-vous à ne plus décoller de Donkey Konga. Des musiques célèbres, une réalisation à la hauteur et des rires entre potes garantis. Nintendo offre là un bien beau cadeau à sa console de salon mais on regrette vraiment que le nombre de musiques et de mini-jeux soit si limité. Le nombre de musiques aurait pu suffire s´il y avait eu plus de niveaux de difficulté intermédiaires.
70 (Nov 25, 2004)
In the end, though, there really isn't much to it save the novelty, the fun-for-a-while multiplayer modes and, of course, the sheer fun of acting like a big monkey. This is a short review for sure, and the game merits it. Donkey Konga is a typically Nintendo piece of pointless but interesting innovation; it isn't going anywhere, but it's nonetheless brilliant fun.
PlayDevil (Feb 21, 2005)
"Donkey Konga" is a fun game! With the addition of a new controller, the Bongo drums, the game offers a new interactive method for playing. With over 30 songs and several game modes you'll be entertained for a long time. The game is more fun with a 2,3 or 4-player mode where everybody has their own Bongo but since Bongo's aren't cheap you may want to consider offering your standard controllers instead. If you like dancing games with the addition of a fun controller and gameplay à la Nintendo style, then "Donkey Konga" is what you seek!
Every time the company does something in the least bit novel or wacky, the faithful start hyping the coming of another title that displays that "trademark Nintendo innovation." For this reason, expectations about Donkey Konga have been surprisingly high for what is, in essence, a solid yet not very ambitious rhythm game. It’s also not a very good example of "Nintendo innovation" – for a couple of reasons. Most importantly, it’s not even developed by Nintendo (Namco actually helmed the project). Secondly, it’s not particularly innovative, as the game seems content to stick closely to the conventions of the genre as defined by the leader in the field, Konami, the creator of both Dance Dance Revolution and DrumMania.
I've seen better graphics on the Super Nintendo, seriously. Fortunately the focus of the gameplay is not on the graphics and admittedly they could have been in danger of being too distracting. It would have been nice to see more special effects, especially when there's a break in the action. It also would have been an idea to include more tunes. As it is, the gameplay is relatively short and it's unlikely that most players will tackle all of the modes.
Edutaining Kids (Nov, 2004)
It's different, it's certainly a novelty, and it has some play value. This is a game kids will pull out when friends are over. However, it lacks some depth and breadth in gameplay.
Netjak (Mar 11, 2004)
All in all, this would be a fun rental. (Assuming it comes over here and you can find a place to rent it and the drums.) If you're lucky and you have a friend like me who's already plunked down the cash for the game, you'll have a pretty good time messing with it. If you're the one buying it, unless you've got a fairly big chunk of change burning a hole in your wallet, pass and import Taiko no Tatsujin on the PS2 instead. (Or wait for its possible Stateside release.) If you already have Taiko no Tatsujin...pass altogether.
60 (UK) (Oct 12, 2004)
In the end, Donkey Konga is just too short-lived, even in multiplayer, to be worth the sort of outlay it represents. Nintendo has been surprisingly generous in its pricing here - most people will sell you the game and a set of bongos for £30 as far as we can see, and extra sets run to just £20 - but with the songs already shortened (and covered by a fairly decent bunch of impersonators, rather than licensed, curiously) Donkey Konga just doesn't have the legs. We appreciate the simplicity of the idea, but in the absence of the hidden depths we normally expect from this sort of game - or the ritual humiliation we now demand - it ultimately wears thin far too quickly.
GamePro (US) (Sep 29, 2004)
Donkey Konga brings a whole different style of gameplay to the GameCube thanks to its bongo-drum peripheral. The suggested retail price for these drums is $34.99, which is rather steep for something as simple as two drums and a built-in microphone that detects claps and snaps. Donkey Konga is the first game to utilize the bongo drums, and it’s pretty much as simple as you’d expect.
46 (Dec, 2004)
I do give Nintendo a thumbs up for attempting to broaden its scope, but I give it a thumbs down for copying the idea from Namco’s Taiko: Drum Master and also trying to put characters from one of its popular and well respected game series to try and get people to buy it. Just because Donkey Kong is on the box and in the name does not mean it’s good. I say that as fair warning for all games; don’t be like me and buy this game expecting a lot. In fact when I bought it the person who sold it to me actually said "wow someone is actually buying this." Think about it.
Sharkberg (Jul 09, 2015)
Donkey Konga would get two sequels, with the third game never getting released outside of Japan. I never played the second one, and was pretty happy when I could sell back the first game for more than I paid for it. It’s the most dull rhythm game I’ve played, and its legacy lives on in the Smash Bros games, where Donkey Kong pulls out the bongos for his Final Smash super move and players have to tap buttons to the beat to damage their opponents. Like Donkey Konga itself, this Final Smash is dull, ineffective, and disappointing.