Donkey Kong

aka: DK, Donkey Kong-e
Moby ID: 574

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Critic Reviews add missing review

Average score: 72% (based on 8 ratings)

Player Reviews

Average score: 3.1 out of 5 (based on 40 ratings with 3 reviews)

A pale imitation, but there's still some fun to be had.

The Good
For all it's faults, this version of Donkey Kong has it where it really counts: the gameplay is solid, authentic, and fun. Jumping barrels, climbing ladders, pulling rivets, dodging fireballs, smashing things with a hammer - in the two levels presented, it's all there, but don't expect much more.

The Bad
Donkey Kong really deserved so much more. If this was an original platformer, or an obscure port, this would have a well-deserved place among the better 2600 games. But it has to measure up as Donkey Kong, and it just doesn't: First, the barebones nature of the game: no music, no title screen, none of the cut-scene intermissions or intros. Next, the graphics - is that really supposed to be Donkey Kong? Looks more like a sock puppet! And are those fireballs? I don't think so! More like strange ghosts.
And where's the sound? The iconic music? All you get is the squeaky shoes, a jump noise, and two goofy licks: one for when you die and one that plays when you beat a level and when your game is over. More substantially, of the four levels, only two (!) have made it to this version: the barrel level and the rivets level. And the game starts out easy and stays easy. For a long time. If you have the stamina and patience, it does eventually become harder.

The Bottom Line
This version of Donkey Kong is ok, considering the limitations of the 2600 - but it could have been much better. It's a fun game if you can overlook it's shortcomings: flat difficulty curve, extreme repetitiveness, and lackluster graphics/sounds.

Atari 2600 · by Bob Montgomery (529) · 2007

Good port, but the NES and Game Boy Advance versions are better.

The Good
When you think of Nintendo, what comes to mind? Probably Mario or Donkey Kong would to come to mind. They made their first appearance in the 1981 arcade game, Donkey Kong. After it's success in the arcades, it was ported to as many home consoles and home computers you could think of. All of the ports of the game I played are enjoyable. The Atari 2600 version is just like the other ones. I have a lot of fun playing this port. The graphics are pretty cool (I still think Atari 2600 graphics look cool.). The game is easy and simple. Its one those games that you can just pick up and play. The increased difficulty as the game goes on is also a nice challenge.

The Bad
As I said before, the graphics look pretty cool. Mario,and Pauline look pretty good. But Donkey Kong dosen't look all that well. He is just dark brown all over his body. Could they have bothered to add a blob of a light brown colored pixel on his chest? I'm Donkey Kong dosen't look so well because I'm pretty sure the 2600's color palette was limited. Another disappointment is that there are only TWO levels. The arcade version had four. You could pretty much beat the game every time you play it.

The Bottom Line
But, overall, this is a enjoyable port of the arcade version that's cheap and easy to find. But, if your looking for a better version, I would recommend the NES or Game Boy Advance version.

Atari 2600 · by Jake Lewis (2) · 2011

Great Graphics Don't Make Up For Horrible Gameplay

The Good
Donkey Kong for the 2600 has surprisingly great graphics. Coleco did an excellent utilizing the consoles hardware to its fullest and making some relatively high-res graphics. For a console notoriously known for being graphically horrible, Donkey Kong is a nice surprise.

The Bad
The graphics don't make up for the fact that gameplay is incredibly difficult and frustrating. I understand input options are very limited on the 2600. The joysticks are not designed for platform gameplay. But response time on the button presses is slow, which means you have to time your jumps even more so than at the arcade. Otherwise it leads to a fit of rage involving chucking the console at the TV over losing your last life so close to the top of the level.

The Bottom Line
I'm not sure if the 2600 version of Donkey Kong in a true port of the original. It's a good attempt to bring the arcade game to the home console, but it's just not designed for this hardware. Nice try Coleco, but Donkey Kong for the Atari 2600 was not the same Donkey Kong from the arcade.

Atari 2600 · by Mullet of Death (592) · 2008

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Alsy, chirinea, Big John WV, Jeanne, Alaka, Patrick Bregger, Hipolito Pichardo.