Check out our RetroGamer post on this arcade classic here:
Story: Jumpman (later to be known as everyone’s favorite plumber, Mario) is on a mission to save his girlfriend (her name, Pauline, was given to the character some time after release) from a big ape that drew some inspiration from the classic film, King Kong.
The ape takes her to the top of a construction site and throws barrels that roll across girders and down ladders as Mario tries to dodge or destroy them, while making his way to the top. While this may not seem like a revolutionary concept today, it was among the first of what later came to be known as “platformer” games.
Gameplay: Use the joystick to move Mario left to right over metal girders. Push the joystick up or down to move up or down ladders between girders.
Use the jump button to evade rolling obstacles, or to grab various helpful items, such as hammers, that can be used to destroy them. Each level mixes up the formula a bit, while the overall objective of saving Pauline is the ultimate goal throughout.
Play: Donkey Kong’s staggering success means there were ports to every conceivable platform. Pretty much every retrogamer would have had access to some version of this game back during the 80s.
Future iterations of the game, including an expansive catalog of sequels and spin-offs may very well make this game the most important and influential in history.
A browser version can be played here:
Legacy: Here’s a list of just some games that were sequels or spin-offs of Donkey Kong:
- Donkey Kong Jr. (1982)
- Mario Brothers (1983)
- Donkey Kong Country (1994)
- Diddy Kong Racing (1997)
Pro Tip: Picking up the hammer will let you destroy barrels, but it also prevents you from climbing ladders, so there are costs/benefits to consider when moving through levels.
Did you get a chance to play Donkey Kong in the arcade back in the day? What is your favorite spin off or sequel and why is it Donkey Kong Country?