King Kong

The folks who made King Kong were pretty annoyed with Donkey Kong. They saw it as theft of their property and sued Nintendo. The lawsuit lasted a long time and went nowhere. While they were doing this, they decided to officially license the game and had Tigervision crank out this middling title that is a pale shadow of Donkey Kong. I say shadow because the gameplay design/conventions are borrowed straight from DK. They are just not in the same league. Of course maybe they had no intention of making a good game. They just wanted to make the very first game, made purely for spite.

The cartridge and package look great and when you fire it up, the game looks pretty good. Kong looks horrible (worse than Atari Donkey Kong), but the woman and the man look pretty good. The level is clearly defined and if you played Donkey Kong it is clear what you need to do. Climb.

Game Control is smooth and I found the jumping response nice and clean with the added bonus of being able to jump forward and backward with ease. The barrel collision (I think they are barrels) is pretty forgiving and you will constantly be thinking you will be hitting them only to clear them. Jump and climb and you will reach the woman and move onto the next level. Which is…exactly the same as the first level. Only this time, the barrels move faster.

And that is about it. Is the game more difficult? A little, but not in any properly graduated way. The barrels go from reasonable to laser beam in 2 levels and you are left wondering why you Nana bought you this game instead of Donkey Kong? It will become an even bigger question when you discover your cousin received Donkey Kong that Christmas??!

I do not feel comfortable saying this game is horrible, nor can I say it has much merit….2 stars.

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Garry Vander Voort

Editor/Podcaster at Retroist
The Retroist is like a BBQ on a bun without the bones. You're only human daddy. Chomp!
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