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Release year: 1986 | Players: 1 player | Developed by Nintendo

Donkey Kong Jr. (NES)

Donkey Kong Jr. (AKA DK Jr.,Donkey Kong Junior or ドンキーコングJR. Donkī Kongu Junia in Japan) is an arcade platform game developed and published for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1986. This game is the sequel to the original Donkey Kong, released in 1983.

Before the Italian plumber, there was the ape who ruled the arcade universe. His name was Donkey Kong and arcade-goers were crazy about him. He was the star of the show and had very few rivals for the limelight. That was until NES gave birth to Mario and DK’s popularity began to wane. The developers tried to revive the franchise by releasing Donkey Kong Jr. for the console but it was a futile effort.

Mario plays the villain in Donkey Kong Jr. as he has captured the patriarch. The son must now rescue the father in the game as Mario tries to stop him by throwing objects in order to get Jr off the vines. Donkey Kong Jr has only four levels, and each level occupies just one screen. It’s as short as its predecessor as far as playing time is concerned. The limited number of challenges is its biggest flaw and it reflected in sales.

Donkey Kong Jr. cover box

Controls are at par with the original Donkey Kong. The character jumps over things but now he also has the ability to climb vines. But this variety is just not enough to save this aging game. It’s familiar so there’s no learning curve. But it’s also boring and repetitive. Why bother buying the Jr when dad plays the same?

Mario’s popularity should have boosted Donkey Kong Jr., but it did not. Graphics is what can be expected from an 8-bit game but it could have been better. NES is capable of rendering enough sprites that could have made this game more alive.

Soundtrack also hasn’t changed much. The developers relied too much on the success of Donkey Kong that they have become lenient and forgot to include new elements to the game.

Donkey Kong Jr. animated GIF

With better games released on the NES, it’s hard to recommend Donkey Kong Jr. His father’s popularity was gone before he was even born.

Donkey Kong Jr. has been ported to Arcade, Game & Watch, Intellivision, ColecoVision, Atari 2600, and NES (this version).

Donkey Kong Jr.
5 (100%) 11 votes

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Donkey Kong Jr.