Classic Retro Video Game Reviews

Coleco Donkey Kong -Atari 2600
Retro Gaming Review

Atari 2600 VCS console Classic Retro Gaming Video Game ReviewColeco Donkey Kong for Atari 2600 Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review
Title: Donkey Kong
Manufacturer: Coleco
Platform: Atari 2600
Release Date: 1982
Part #: 2451
Rating: 3 out of 5
ESRB Rating: N/A

Rating: Coleco Donkey Kong Classic Retro Video Game Review Rating
Coleco Donkey Kong Screenshot:
Coleco Donkey Kong for Atari 2600 screenshot Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review

In an era when arcade games didn't have to make a lot of sense, I always had an affinity for Donkey Kong and the nervous apprehension of not knowing if a barrel would fall on me or mystically pass on the girder overhead. Still I wondered why an ape would take Mario's girlfriend and climb to the top of a building... and who left all those barrels up there?

As a kid, I found it hard to believe that Coleco was making games for the 2600 when they had their own console, the Colecovision (on which Donkey Kong looked much better). Around that time they were the only company to develop games for 3 different consoles. Regardless of the explanation, I was stoked to bring donkey Kong into my living room. It didn't escape me that the graphics redefined "blocky". Some games were more blocky than others, but Donkey Kong on the 2600 used pretty big blocks :)

The gameplay however was quite good! It was responsive and this made it fun to play despite the lackluster graphics. The arcade controls were idnetical to those offered onthe 2600 joystick. The game options were nonexistent as the fire button started the game without any other interaction.

Difficulty Switch Settings & Game Variations for Donkey Kong

The difficulty switches are not used and the game variations were more dependent on whether the power was on or off. So, you have 1 skill level and 1 player.

Holy shit! Check this out...
Donkey Kong hit arcades in 1981 released by Nintendo. It is the first example of a platformer with jumping capability. Nintendo was pursuing a license to make a game based on the Popeye comic strip. When it fell through, they decided to create new characters. Miyamoto eventually settled on a
gorilla-carpenter-girlfriend love triangle that mirrored the rivalry between Bluto and Popeye for Olive Oyl. Nintendo applied for a trademark on the phrase "It's on like Donkey Kong", in Nov. 2010, with the US Patent and Trademark office.

On top of that there were only 2 different screens to contend with unlike the 4 screens of the arcade. Most home console versions only had 3 of the 4 screens so don't feel too bad. The familiar hammer is present and allows Mario to rack up points while smashing barrels. As the counter closed in on zero, on the first screen, you have to get Mario to the top and rescue his girlfriend.

The second screen was te Rivit screen in which Mario must pass over (thus removing) the rivits which will cause some structural damage for the ape above. He has to hop over fireballs as he removes all 8 rivits. From here the game switches between these tow screens, getting harder as he continues his daring rescues. Each subsequent screen awards you 5,000 points.

With only 3 lives, the challenge mounts as the game gets harder. You can score points by smashing or jumping over barrels & fireballs and eliminating rivits. What you won't get are more lives! Donkey Kong brought the fun of the arcade version into homes, but later technology yielded much better releases... and a platformer was born!

Atari 2600 VCS console Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review
Final Judgement:

Coleco Donkey Kong

offers the gist of the arcade original, but like most "home" arcade games it suffered more than necessary escpecially with only 2 screens. But hey, It's fucking Donkey Kong and that shit is tons of fun!

Later releases had improved graphics and more levels.

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