Donkey Kong Country is platforming perfection straight from 1994 and has a permanent home at the top of the list of retro games that are still fun to play to this day. I recently had the pleasure of replaying this game and had an absolute blast from beginning to end.
You fight through King K. Rool’s goons as both Donkey and Diddy Kong in this adventure, but some of the most memorable levels are played as their animal companions. The real fun comes from the situations and choices you’re forced to make in each level; “Do I collect the letters and almost certainly die, or do I race to the end?” or “Do I lob this mining cart towards certain death in an attempt to get the extra life balloon, or do I take the easy route?” These are the thoughts I replayed in my head during each level.
Donkey Kong can at one time be a slow paced thematic breeze, and the next level could easily be a quickened hellscape that you need to call quits on and return to after sleeping on the thought of ever returning to the game. I’d wager that most people’s fond memories of this game are the levels leading up to the Mine Cart Carnage stage, and that there really aren’t many memories being created after that point. Though, sticking with it and getting through the tougher stages is rewarding the entire way through.
If you’ve never experienced Donkey Kong Country please rectify that mistake and give it a shot. This isn’t just an average platformer from the 90’s, the polish and shine given to character and level design is unmatched by most games from this era. You can see clearly in all the nooks and crannies of this game that Donkey Kong Country is a labor of love and not some phoned-in platformer. I guarantee you’ll enjoy your playthrough each and every time.
Donkey Kong Country easily deserves a 10/10.