Donkey Kong Country [Game Review]

Video Game Review: Donkey Kong Country | Nintendo | SNES |

Title: Donkey Kong Country
Developer: Rare
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: 
November 21, 1994
How we got the game: 
We have the game on the Nintendo SNES Classic

Donkey Kong Country probably makes up some of my earliest memories of video games. It was one of the few games that our older sister played, with her mostly in control of the player one controller, and it was a fun activity for me to join her in. Hearing that this game made it on the SNES Classic’s roster wasn’t a big surprise to me.

I remember watching Kris and our other sister play this when we were kids. If I remember correctly, I think our Dad might have played a couple of times as well. Whenever I played I was also Diddy and never did very well, but it was still fun nonetheless.gameplay

Donkey Kong Country had some simple gameplay in terms of the controls. The D-Pad allows you to move left or right through the levels, and you had your basic jump and run buttons as well. Along with speeding up, the Y button allows you to pick up items, like barrels, to toss at enemies. Both Donkey Kong and Diddy, the two playable characters, had similar controls, but Donkey Kong was stronger and Diddy was quicker.

Donkey Kong was able to defeat certain enemies while Diddy was useless against them. Meanwhile, Diddy was faster especially in the underwater levels. All the levels were well done, each world catering to different types of biomes, if you will, such as jungles, wintery scenes, caves and mines, and more. The levels are pretty straightforward though they can be tricky.

Throughout the levels, there were sometimes other animals that were allies of Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong. A speedy ostrich, a strong rhino, a flashlight-carrying parrot… They’re all helpful additions and fun to see. They’re included in the bonus stages, each one able to collect tokens to help bolster your life count after you collect three golden pieces in their shape to access the bonus stage. Other bonus stages are hidden throughout the levels, most helping you collect more bananas or extra life balloons.

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Throughout some of the levels, there are hidden shortcuts as well. After completing a bonus stage, you’ll often get placed right back where you were or sometimes a little further into the level. There are some shortcuts that allow you to skip parts of the level – sometimes just about half of the level.

Some of our favorite shortcuts were the ones that allowed us to skip half of the level, haha! Donkey and Diddy weren’t the only Kongs in the game, considering they had half of their family playing important roles as well. Candy Kong was in charge of the save points and Funky Kong flew DK and Diddy to other worlds if need be. Cranky Kong gave out advice, if one deigned to ask him.

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I would actually be interested in playing as them. I think that would be fun. (Super Smash with just the Kongs, anyone?) The map outside of the levels was straight forward, a Diddy or DK icon on the completed level showing off who was the one who

The graphics of Donkey Kong seem to have held up well throughout the years. Being over twenty years old, the designs of the levels and characters are still well done enough to make the game fun without being annoying or frustrating. Sure, there are the occasional glitches here or there while playing, but for the most part, the graphics were still nice and nostalgia-inducing.

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If anything, the glitches made us laugh. But yeah, the graphics have certainly held up well and I think the level designs were great and aesthetically pleasing.

The music is some of the best, in my opinion, for Nintendo games. Donkey Kong has some iconic music, and every tune matched the levels well.

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This is the kind of music that I hum to myself in the shower or randomly get stuck in my head! I absolutely love it and wish I had the soundtrack. The sound effects are also great. I love the sound of collecting the bananas or the klaptraps’ (the little crocodile guys) mouths chomping.

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The banana horde has been taken! DK asks Diddy to keep an eye on the bananas, but he’s attacked and trapped inside a barrel. When DK comes back, he frees Diddy and then together they go off on a journey to get their bananas back.

…That’s it. The story is simple enough, prompting Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong traversing through multiple worlds to find King K. Rool, the fiend behind the banana hoard theft. Considering how many bananas are littered throughout the worlds, K. Rool didn’t do a very good job.


This is a game that we’ve gone back to once in a while, even if it’s purely for nostalgia reasons. There are a few modes to play — single-player, two-player cooperative, and two-player versus — when it comes to completing the levels and game, so that’s not too bad.

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We’ve come back to this game a couple of times within the past few years – we have it on the SNES Classic now, but we also have it on our Wii from the virtual console. It’ll definitely be a game we go back to again.

Donkey Kong Country gets…
5 out of 5 lives.

Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments! 

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Friday Favorites: Winter Levels

Double Jump Kris MiiWe made it to the first Friday of 2018! How are your resolutions holding up?

I’m typing this out as a snowstorm blankets my part of the world. It’s been predicted that we could get blizzard-like conditions, prompting my day job to have a very rare snow day. In honor of the snow, today’s Friday Favorites is dedicated to all of those winter levels in video games. If you’re getting snow where you are, be safe and warm!


Gorilla Glacier from Donkey Kong Country

The winter world in Donkey Kong Country from the SNES was one of my favorites. The levels tended to have some of my favorite music and the aesthetically-pleasing sparkle of snow and ice, such as Slipslide Ride, Ice Age Valley, and Croctopus Chase.

Cool, Cool Mountain from Super Mario 64

Baby penguins, ice slide races, a giant snowman… What more could you want in a level? Super Mario 64 was revolutionary at its time and is still one of the most popular Mario games. Cool, Cool Mountain was one of the earlier levels and gave the player a taste of 3D snow worlds. With its design and music, it’s one of the most nostalgic-inducing levels for me.


Ice Ice Outpost from Mario Kart 8

One of the main factors that helped Rachel and me decide to buy Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the Nintendo Switch was due to the fact that it had all of the DLC from the original game. With the DLC came the Triforce Cup, and one of the race tracks from that cup is Ice Ice Outpost. The twists and multiple paths surrounded by sheets of ice make this a favorite of mine, even if it is not my best course, haha!

Snowpeak Ruins from Twilight Princess

In the Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, you’re introduced to Snowpeak Ruins after snow-surfing toward a Yeti couple’s home. This particular dungeon blends the night, crackling fires, and snow flurries together to create a scene that can be deceptively warm on a winter’s evening. Snowpeak Ruins is a more puzzle-oriented dungeon while you chat and try to help the Yeti husband make a soup for his beloved wife. The boss fight is one of my favorites from the game as well!


What are your favorite winter and snowy levels in video games?

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Top Tuesday: Favorite Sidekick Characters

Happy Tuesday!

I have to admit, I still have Pokemon on the brain, so it took me a little while to figure out what I wanted to talk about for today’s list.

It’s a tad on the random side, but it’s video game related, so… there you go.

5. Tails

Tails from the Sonic the Hedgehog series is a great character. He’s like a little brother to Sonic, but is a great friend who also knows what’s he’s doing. He’s smart, can think quickly, and can fly. He’s the kind of character that the hero would be lost without.

4. Diddy Kong

Diddy Kong is a character who isn’t mentioned that often. I think most people forget about him pretty easily because they’re more focused on Donkey Kong. Yes, he’s stronger, but Diddy was always faster and… I just always preferred him for some reason.

3. Luigi

Some people may not consider Luigi a sidekick, but that’s how he originally started. He was always there to help or cheer on his big brother Mario from the sidelines. He even has his own game where he saves Mario… you can’t get a better sidekick than that.

2. Navi

People rag on Navi from the Legend of Zelda series because she’s “annoying” or “bossy” or whatever. Still, I always enjoyed her and she stuck around poor little Link as an adult and a child, which is pretty special, especially since he wasn’t a typical Kokiri.

1. Fi

I didn’t plan on having two characters from the same series, but I had to put Navi on the list and Fi… well, Fi is pretty awesome too. She’s Link’s sidekick in Skyward Sword as she is his sword. She’s the Master Sword and the game Skyward Sword is considered the first in the Legend of Zelda timeline. Which means… well, the way I see it, Fi is in every single Zelda game aiding Link along the way. If that’s not commitment, I don’t know what is.

Who are your favorite sidekicks? Let me know in the comments below and we’ll chat!

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Top 5 Multiplayer Games

Rachel Mii Double JumpHey everyone!

There are a lot of games out there that are definitely more fun to play with others rather than playing alone.

The games I mentioned in my favorite games to play with friends post, here are five games I enjoy playing in multiplayer mode!

5. Skylanders

This game is definitely playable alone, but I do enjoy playing with other people. I like being able to use more Skylanders at once. You can see more of the powers they have, level each Skylander up faster, and it’s always fun to have a sidekick by your side in a level.

4. Donkey Kong Country

Whether you’re playing the old SNES DK game or you’re playing the new Wii U version, this game is so much better with friends. I find it more fun to run through each level with DK and Diddy running separately with each player rather than together with just one player controlling them.

3. Yoshi’s Woolly World

This game is too cute not to play with friends. End of story.

2. Super Mario Bros.

Like Donkey Kong, this game is a lot more fun no matter which version you’re playing. Though I have to admit that the newer Wii U versions seem to be easier with more people playing. You can explore more of the level in less time and there are certain levels that I feel would be hard to beat without the help of another player.

1. Just Dance

Who wants to have a dance party by themselves? You just look like an idiot if you’re dancing alone. Plus, it’s a lot of fun to laugh at your friends when they in fact can’t dance.

What are some of your favorite multiplayer games?