When a mad ape terrorizes the city, he abducts a young girl named Pauline and brings her to the top of a construction tower. Can Mario save his girlfriend from Donkey Kong’s wrath?
This is the old arcade game that introduced not one but two of Nintendo’s iconic characters. This game is third in my Art of Video Games book and was the very first game to have a set plot. The game based its plot on the 1930s King Kong movie where an evil ape goes on a rampage in New York City and abducts the blonde leading lady. Before I get comments telling me that I’ve got it all wrong and King Kong is the good guy, I said that it was the 1930s version. King Kong didn’t become the good guy until the later remakes. This being an old arcade game, the plot is very simplistic and enforces gender stereotypes. The man’s the hero and the woman’s little more than a prize. I read an article once that said Donkey Kong was Mario’s pet ape that he abused. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any evidence to support that, so I’m going to leave that fact alone.
The game play is that of your typical classic arcade game. You jump through a construction site in order to get to the top and rescue Pauline. In the third stage, your job is to jump over small bits of the construction site so you can kill Donkey Kong once and for all. You can collect more points by jumping over barrels and collecting items on your way to rescue Pauline. Did I mention that you play the same three levels over and over? If you’re obsessed with getting the high score, go for it. As for me, as soon as I played those levels I was done. One more thing, if you buy the game on your 3DS, you can create restore points so you don’t have to start the game all over when you get a game over.
This game is simplistic yet slightly addictive. I give it 5 out of 10; something to do when you’re bored.