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Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (42140)
Written on  :  Nov 15, 2004
Platform  :  Commodore 64

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No bananas for you, monkey boy

The Good

Congo Bongo is an usual game. It is similar to Donkey Kong, where the game involves your character, an ape, and a few obstacles that come tumbling down at you. In the game, you play an explorer who gets revenge on the ape for burning his tent and making him scream. To do this, he must get to where the ape is standing. You must dodge the obstacles by moving the explorer left or right. The ape isn't going to make things any easier for the explorer to reach him, as he has to dodge coconuts that he throws down at him, and just to make sure that he remains safe, the ape has sent three monkeys to guard him, and if our explorer gets in their way, they will slow his progress down.

After the explorer gets to him, he runs away to Lake Lazy to sit down and warm himself in front of the fire, waiting for the explorer to cross the lake full of lilies, hippos, and fish by jumping on them. After the explorer survives the dangers of the lake, you could say that the ape will pay the price. When the explorer comes in contact with any dangers or fall down gaps or drown in water, then he dies and his spirit gets taken to heaven. These are the two levels that are in the game.

Congo Bongo was originally a coin-op game that was designed for 1-2 players. The game introduces something that was not present in other coin-ops for its time: the ability to hang on to ledges. This means that if you jump to a platform but just couldn't make it, the character will hang onto a ledge and pull himself up to the platform. The music has a very simple jungle theme to it that changes from level to level. The sound effects were pretty basic for its time.

The Bad

Unfortunately, C64 users have to miss out on two additional levels that most versions have. The third level is where the explorer have to get through a herd of rhinos who are charging at you, and the fourth level was a much harder version of the second. At the end of the second level, the explorer must light his torch and burn the ape's ass like in all other versions, but instead of this, the ape just holds his hand up as if he wants to play high-five.

The graphics in the C64 version are very primitive for a 1983 game. The explorer looks a bit blocky at all times, even when he goes to heaven, and most of the characters and obstacles, particularly the monkeys, look like that they came straight from the Sega SG-1000. There was one sound effect that I annoyed the hell out of me, which was the sound that the game makes when you jump.

The Bottom Line

You know, the original coin-op version of Congo Bongo had an interface that closely resembles that of Donkey Kong. If you like monkey-themed games and enjoyed playing Nintendo's game, then try having a go at Congo Bongo, but if you like more of a challenge, i suggest that you go and play the coin-op version.

Rating: ***