DK Country Returns?
Image: Nintendo

It feels like Donkey Kong is everywhere at the moment. With the lovable ape’s significant appearance in The Super Mario Bros. Movie, the upcoming DK-themed expansion at Japan’s Super Nintendo World, and the safe, but enjoyable Mario vs. Donkey Kong Switch remake, you could say we’re in the midst of a Kong-aissance reawa-Kong-ing revitalisat-Kong... a return for DK. But something’s missing, right?

Yes, despite Nintendo’s renewed focus on Mario’s former nemesis, we’ve still yet to see the very thing that fans have been clamouring for since the 2014 release of Tropical Freeze: a brand-new Donkey Kong game. Of course, recent details surrounding the cancelled ‘Freedom’ project at Vicarious Visions have exacerbated an already-agonising wait, but it nevertheless feels like something might well be cooking within Nintendo’s iron-clad fortress.

The question, however, is what kind of game we’d like to see. Rumours from 2021 suggested that Nintendo EPD, the team behind the sublime Super Mario Odyssey, was working on a new Donkey Kong platformer, though specific details were (and still are) scarce.

The obvious choice would, of course, be a new entry in the Donkey Kong Country franchise. Once stewarded by Rare before Retro Studios took the reigns in 2010, the latter developer is currently hard at work on the upcoming Metroid Prime 4. Were a new ‘Country’ game to launch in the near future, it's likely that an entirely different team would handle development.

'Donkey Kong Country Returns... Again'? — Image: Zion Grassl / Nintendo Life

But then there are also so many other options for Donkey Kong. Might we finally see a return of the classic DK Bongos with a new Donkey Konga game? Or perhaps something more akin to the arcade original in which the titular character took on an antagonistic role? Or perhaps, just maybe, Donkey Kong and Mario could join forces in the next major 3D Super Mario game. Goodness, wouldn’t that be something?

We’d love to know what you think, though. So cast your vote in the below poll and let us know what kind of Donkey Kong game you’d like to see from Nintendo. Do you have something completely different in mind? Share your thoughts in the comment section, and give us your best renaissance- or return-related Kong puns while you're at it.

What kind of Donkey Kong game would you like to see next?