What Is It?
A port of the 1982 hit of the same name, Donkey Kong Jr. is the fourth Nintendo Entertainment System on the Nintendo 3DS and the third Ambassador Program title (following Super Mario Bros. and Metroid). This time around you take control of the son of Kong, the great ape that is best known for terrorizing Jumpman. Here Junior is forced to climb vines, collect fruit and jump over enemies in order to grab the key and free his dad.
Donkey Kong Jr. was one of Nintendo's earliest home console games. Believe it or not, this NES game was originally released in 1983 in Japan, and the early design is apparent from the moment you start the game right up until you turn it off. The game offers only two modes, both of which are virtually identical. The game consists of only a few maps, all of which get repeated ad nauseum. On the other hand, this port does an excellent job of capturing Mario at his most evil.
Does It Still Hold Up?
The gameplay is stiff, which is to say this version of Donkey Kong Jr. feels a lot like the arcade original. The graphics are also nearly identical. Still, there isn't much here to do or see. The levels are short and the whole exercise becomes repetitive too quickly. Donkey Kong Jr. may be a classic, but there are elements of this game that don't hold up thirty years later.
Is It Worth The Money?
Sometimes I worry that people get the wrong message from my simple traffic light rating system. Donkey Kong Jr. is a fun game that everybody should play at one point or another. And if they ever make a movie called The King of Kong Jr., I'll be the first to be excited about playing this sequel again. But it's not a good buy on the Virtual Console. It's a whopping five dollars. That's a dollar more than Donkey Kong '94, a game absolutely packed with content. In fact, at five dollars, this paper thin version of Donkey Kong Jr. is more expensive than pretty much every must-own game on the 3DS Virtual Console. It's not worth it, even if the game is a genuine classic.
Donkey Kong Jr. is a genuine classic that deserves to be played, no matter who you are. But even with that high praise, this 3DS Virtual Console release is a giant rip-off. Priced higher than pretty much every must-own Virtual Console game, Donkey Kong Jr. lacks substance. The two game modes are nearly identical and the repeating levels get old too quickly. A great game marred by a horrible price point!
This product was submitted by the publisher for review. As a rule, Defunct Games does not review games we spent money on. However, that does not always apply to classic/retro games. This specific product, however, came straight from a PR guy for the purposes of being reviewed!