Thursday, April 22, 2010

Retro Game of the Day! Donkey Kong Game & Watch

Retro Game of the Day! Donkey Kong Game & Watch

Donkey Kong Game & Watch by Nintendo, released in 1982.

Ohhh, boy. This has to be one of my favorites from when I was a little kid. I think I was seven years old when I got this for my birthday or something. I saw a picture of it in the newspaper insert for Child World or something, and rushed my parents "It's ORANGE! It's so cool! I need this! Donkey Konggggggg!" (I was the original N64 kid.. call me the Game & Watch Kid)

G&W DK played a fairly different variation of the original arcade game, but I didn't mind. In fact, I might have enjoyed this one quite a bit more (it didn't hurt that you could take it everywhere with you, which was something very special those days!) You guided Mario up two screens of girders and construction equipment, avoiding (what else) barrels and the occasional cable-carried girder. Go up ladders, jump over obstacles, try to rescue your lady. New to this version was grabbing 4 keys to "unlock" rivets that supported Donkey Kong's platform. Grab each one and he'll fall, and then the round resets (only faster!)

The whole affair looks incredibly primitive by current standards, but to a kid in the early 1980s this was magical. The game was dripping with character (each "frame" of Mario emoted a different feeling.. fear, triumph, uncertainty, glee, etc). There was a special challenge to make it to 30 points on your first man and then you could double your scoring. Also - it had a watch!

There's been many famous old-school Nintendo Game & Watch titles, this is hands-down my favorite of the lot. So funny to see how the DS harkens back to it's design, too..

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