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Donkey Kong

Synopsis

by Brett Alan Weiss

The first four screens in Donkey Kong for Game Boy are very similar to those of the original arcade game, and even features animated musical intermissions. However, beginning with screen five, puzzle elements come into play as gamers must gather disappearing keys to unlock doors of hidden rooms and pick up and move sections of road and ladder for use in accessing vital sections of the playfield. At the end of each of the game's ten stages of play (each stage containing ten puzzles), players must throw barrels and trash cans at Donkey Kong and other enemies, while finding clever ways to beat the bosses. Adding to the greatness of the game is that Mario acquires new skills as he progresses, including high jumps, handstands, and rope spins. The first cartridge to be specially designed for the Super Game Boy, Donkey Kong is a graphically sound, brilliantly challenging game that requires careful planning and strategy as well as dexterity for the player to succeed. Kudos to Nintendo for not taking the easy route by simply cranking out a remake of the original.


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Extra Credits

by Brett Alan Weiss

The original Donkey Kong, which was released in the Arcades in 1981, had only four different screens. It was followed by two direct sequels, Donkey Kong Junior (1982) and Donkey Kong 3 (1983). Mario starred in his own games beginning with Mario Bros. (1983) and Super Mario Bros. (1986) and went on to further fame with Super Mario 64. Donkey Kong enjoyed subsequent success with the very popular Donkey Kong Country series and the record-breaking Donkey Kong 64 (1999).

While Space Panic was the first videogame to incorporate ladders into the gameplay, the concept of climbing anything (in this case buildings) in a videogame began with Crazy Climber. Both games hit the Arcades in 1980.


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