Game of the Day! Donkey Kong Jr - Game & Watch
Donkey Kong Jr - Game & Watch was a more notable part of Nintendo's venerable Game & Watch line, a famous predecessor to their home console roll-out. This particular model released in 1982, a lite bit before "the big Crash.."
These devices where were Nintendo cut their teeth (what an odd saying!) in the handheld market, inarguably they were the forerunners to the GameBoy and ultimately the DS, of course (the DS itself bearing more than a passing resemblance to the 2-screen Game & Watch models). The initial Donkey Kong was, I would suspect, a rather big hit in this line and spawned at least 2 GW sequels - a 2-screen model (DKII) and of course this little dealie right here.
Based on the original arcade title, DKJR pits you in the role of Junior, tasked with rescuing your imprisoned Pa from the ruthless clutches of the Evil Mario! You must avoid birds and snapdragons while you seek to grab the swinging key - do this four times to unlock your imprisoned father's cage, and he is freed! Of course, immediately after you set the big guy loose, the story resets and the next round continues - as these things go! How ungratifying..
Well, not really. These games weren't necessarily about story progression(ha!) as they were really about skill, speed and persistence. As you advance through the consecutive rounds, the speed picks up drastically (and the odds in general). If you can make it to 300 points without losing a monkey, you'll get a (very handy) score multiplier. Also, the faster you can wing your way to that key, the higher your score will be, quicker (especially if you nail that multiplier!) For such a little game, it can get rather fiendishly addictive.
I miss the good old days! Simple games, simple pleasures - no joke, I could still sit in front of this litte game for a few HOURS and just hammer away. It's simple but charming, the little drawings have a lot of character. The nostalgia doesn't do anything to hurt it either, but basically a game like this is either really fun or it's not. I still give it a spin every now and again on it's very well-done GameBoy "simulator."
And look! Re-release for the retro set! You can pick up a keychain of this bad boy!! (might be a liiiittle too tiny though - but I want one!)