Sunday, February 13, 2011

Game of the Week: Donkey Kong for Atari 2600

Donkey Kong (Atari 2600)In the early 1980s, it seemed every company was making it big in the arcade business. Nintendo wanted to do the same thing, and how did they do it? They released on the market a game known as Donkey Kong.

Immediately Donkey Kong was a smash hit. It was the first popular platform game, meaning a game with jumping and climbing, and it included plenty of lovable and/or interesting characters.

Of course fans of video games wanted to be able to play Donkey Kong at home, and since the Atari 2600 was the most popular home video game system, it was a natural that Donkey Kong would eventually find it's way to the system.

Coleco was the company who gained the rights to release home game versions of Donkey Kong, and they wasted no time putting out a version of the game for the Atari 2600.

Unfortunately, some gaming lovers were less than impressed. The graphics for the Atari version weren't nearly as good as those of the arcade game, and there were only two different screens as compared to the four in the arcade game. Fans weren't completely disgusted, as they would be with the Atari 2600 version of Pac-Man, and fortunately most of them realized the at-home systems of the day were quite limited compared to the arcade games.

Personally, I think Donkey Kong for the Atari 2600 is a pretty solid game in its own right, and it's held up decently over the decades. Sure, it's not the same as the arcade Donkey Kong, but it doesn't have the worst graphics I've seen for a 2600 game and it does have pretty good sound and excellent gameplay.

If you're a collection of retro video games, you deserve to have an Atari 2600. And if you have an Atari 2600, you've got to own a copy of Donkey Kong by Coleco. Why? Because it's a classic game on a classic system.

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