Game Review

Game & Watch Donkey Kong Jr. Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Corbie Dillard

A rather snappy LCD version of the arcade release

The first thing you'll notice about Donkey Kong Jr. Game & Watch is that it's clearly a lot more playable than many of the other Game & Watch releases. Not only are there more ways to do more, but now you have four-way controls, not to mention a jump button. The vine layout is also something that lends itself to increased playability, especially given the fact that you can only hang onto a vine for a limited amount of time, making navigating your way up to the swinging key a bit more tricky. Each time you successfully grab the swinging key, you'll unlock a section of Donkey Kong's cage. Unlock all four sections and you'll earn yourself 20 bonus points. The faster you make it to the key, the more points you'll score each time. Of course you're going to have to watch out for the steady flow of crocodiles and swarming crows that Mario keeps sending your way in order to do so, which is sometimes easier said than done.

As with most Game & Watch releases, there are two difficulty settings to choose from. Game A tends to be the better starting place as the pace starts out fairly playable for gamers of any skill levels. Of course if you start getting too efficient with Game A you can always switch over to Game B where things are a bit faster and more intense. You'll definitely have your hands full with the increasing speed and number of crocodiles and crows coming your way. You'll constantly catch yourself coming back to the game in an effort to better your previous high score and that's where the majority of the fun is to be had.

From a musical and visual standpoint there's not much to these LCD re-releases. The developers have done a fantastic job of recreating the overlay visuals that were painted on the screens of the original LCD units and the LCD displays are spot-on perfect renditions of the original. Even the little bits of music and metallic sound effects are emulated to perfection, so much so that it can be difficult to tell the difference between this DSiWare release and the original Game & Watch unit. It's nice to see Nintendo put some care and effort into keeping these classic LCD games as accurate as possible, something fans of the electronic games will surely appreciate.


There's no denying the nostalgia factor involved in these classic Game & Watch releases and the DSiWare service is the perfect place to make these available as individual releases for those who've longed to play them again. They're not going to set the gaming world on fire with their playability, but for those who can appreciate them they're really cool and still a lot of fun to sit down with when you have a few minutes to kill. Donkey Kong Jr. is easily one of the more enjoyable of the Game & Watch releases and if you've never tried any of the Game & Watch titles, this one is a great place to start.

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User Comments (35)



selfreflection said:

cant wait for tonight! =)
I already own this one as a G&W <3 But I will buy it for my DSi!
go for a flagman review!^^



Raylax said:

Nice, might get this
I'm suprised they haven't ported the dual-screen Game & Watch titles yet, like the Zelda one. The hardware is perfect for it and that bottom screen isn't doing anything with these ones.



Omega said:

Honestly, the first computer games I've played have the nostalgia too, even though they are terrible. Nostalgia typically always makes old things seem better than they were.



Makoto said:

For $2 that's not bad, but I'd much rather spend like $5 and get a whole collection of these.



Karakato said:

Great review, hopefully nintendo releases other classic G&W's like super mario bros., donkey kong, zelda, etc. That aside, I don't think I'm gonna get this one because I didn't really get into the nes game. Is it me or is Donkey Kong better than DK Jr.



maka said:

I'll be getting this one. One of my favorites... btw, aren't they traps and not crocodiles?



Gizmo said:

I find the score is a bit high. For me the game is more a 6, and again it seems that many reviewers judges the 'Game & Watch' titles because of the memories, and not because of the gameplay.



cheapogamer4life said:

Ah yes Donkey Kong Jr., a must have DL for every DSi system.
@ Corbie- I see this and MCF have the same score, as far as the fun factor goes which one did you enjoy more?
@ maka- the in game manual says their alligators. I guess their the mechanical kind Mario is sending to you.



pixelman said:

Haha oh man, I had this game. It was a little orange mini-gameboy looking thing on a keychain that I got at Wal-Mart for $8. Fun times. :3



Betagam7 said:

200 points equates to a piddling amount of money that will be easily rewarded by the fun five minute sessions that this game will provide.

I have the original ticking away in my house and it still gets regular airing between myself and my partner. Great fun and in respect of the price (around £1) it more than deserves the 8/10, imo.



Adamant said:

Arguably deserves higher, too
But the same score as Vermin sounds about right. Those two games are the absolute best of G&W DSiWare



MeloMan said:

I too have this game ticking away in my closet. Seeing this release on DSi gives me a glimmer of hope to see Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, or Zelda (I have NEVER seen these G & W games up close). Here's hoping...



JoeDiddley said:

I will definately be picking this one up soon. I love the NES version but never tried this G&W as a kid.



Corbs said:

Although Mario's Cement Factory and Donkey Kong Jr. are very close in the fun department, I'd give Donkey Kong Jr. the slight edge. It's still my all-time favorite Game & Watch and one of the few actual Game and Watch units I've kept over the years.

And I labeled them as crocodiles and crows as that's what the manual called them. I thought they were called "snappers" in the original arcade manual, but that's been a long time ago.



Boman said:

Donkey Kong Jr. you barsteward!!
You made me overcook the pasta!
Cavatappi pasta: 8 minutes boiling time,
ok I'll have a short game in the meantime....... ..oh no....!!!!!
This G&W is truly marvelous,
ironicly i'ts even better than the arcade game.



Boman said:

WaltzElf, I find Manhole is slow and boring ; )
best G&W games so far in my opinion are:
Donkey Kong Jr - Helmet - Vermin



Boman said:

Mayhem,although the two screen version (I had as kid) is more complex and refined I still think this is more fun and accessible.



Corbs said:

I just don't care much for Manhole. I'd much rather stick to Vermin, Mario's Cement Factory, and Donkey Kong Jr. But to each his own...



room88 said:

First of all I like and dislike this title.

I dislike it because it's obvious Nintendo has decided to nickel and dime us for these small recreations rather than giving us a FULL BLOWN "Game & Watch Gallery 5"!. And since the DS is the direct descendent of the dual screen G&W's that can do all the games justice (rather than the squished dual-screens of the past collections) this leaves me very disheartened.

On the other hand, I love G&W Donkey Kong Jr.! It has some of the best gameplay of all the G&W's and is challenging enough to this day (although I have mastered it plenty for the past 20 years). Anyway, this conversion has been done great. I just wish they could give you the option to turn off the "ghosts" of the unlit LCD sprites. I don't know about you but in my Game and Watches you have a real hard time seeing the unlit sprites so the fact that they made them visible is a little untrue. Also I'd like to see them continue the tradition of making updated versions of the game.. a "remix" or have you. As is, we only get the direct port in this one. Oh well. Come on Nintendo.. GAME AND WATCH GALLERY 5 PLEASE.



Som said:

Well, I'm a mario & DK person. It took some getting use to to geting around, but it's a good mini game for if your board.



Crunc said:

I picked this up yesterday. At first I was perplexed by the jump required at the end, but a look up in the manual solved that. Probably the most addicting G&W game I've played and definitely worth the asking price.

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