Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Game of the week: Donkey Kong Junior for Colecovision

In 1981, Nintendo had a huge smash hit on its hand with the arcade game Donkey Kong. So it was a natural that the company would want to further benefit from that success, which it did in 1982 by released in the arcade classic Donkey Kong Junior.

There were some basic similarities in play between Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Junior, but the sequel game brought new ideas to video games by adding more climbing elements, brighter and more colors, etc.

Donkey Kong Junior proved popular enough on its own that home versions of it were made for many computer systems and gaming consoles in the early 1980s. Over the years many have considered the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) version of Donkey Kong Junior to be the most superior home port of the game, but the Colecovision port also has its fans.

Donkey Kong Junior (ColecoVision)Gameplay was relatively simple by today's standards. The player controls a baby Donkey Kong Junior who attempts to climb to the top of a screen to save his dad, Donkey Kong, from the clutches of Mario. Donkey Kong Junior, the character, has to climb vines, avoid traps, and keep on the move to finally reach the top of the screen. Once the main character saves his dad at the top of the screen, he advances to a new, more challenging screen with new challenges to overcome. Donkey Kong Junior can score extra points by touching hanging fruit.

The Colecovision version of this game was true to the arcade original. The colors are bright and superior in variety to the original Donkey Kong arcade game. The gameplay is solid on the Colecovision version, as are the graphics, and both are downright close to that of the arcade game Donkey Kong Junior.

As an added bonus to fans of this game, Donkey Kong Junior was made into a cartoon on the Saturday Supercade television show that aired on Saturday mornings from 1983 to 1985.

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