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Game Boy  header logo

Donkey Kong: King of Swing

For: GameBoy

Swing if you're winning. Then swing some more. And swing. And swing...

Product: Donkey Kong: King of Swing | Developer: Paon Corporation | Publisher: Nintendo | Format: GameBoy | Genre: Action, Platform | Players: 1-4 | Networking: link cable | Version: Europe
Donkey Kong: King of Swing GameBoy, thumbnail 1
Everyday life is full of misunderstandings. Consider, for instance, the girl or boy at the local sandwich emporium who you thought fancied you. Extra filling does not an unfulfilled longing make!

Equally, despite any understandable assumptions to the contrary, Donkey Kong: King of Swing is not a handheld lesson in early 20th century dancing featuring gorillas as instructors. Although, we've suddenly realised, that would undoubtedly make for a memorable title, King of Swing has enough presence of its own to make a suitable impression on the gaming floor.

For a start, what King of Swing does offer is refreshingly different. It's essentially a platform game, true, but it eschews the standard left to right scampering in favour of a vertical adaptation: most of the levels start at the bottom and have their exit at the top. Getting there unveils another innovative element, with Donkey Kong swinging from one anchor point to the next (levels are filled with these) rather than adopting a more traditional run-and-jump approach.

Naturally, certain staple platform elements like hazards and a cast of typically charismatic opponents are also present to ensure some form of challenge, but avoiding these only serves to highlight the fluidity and visual gratification of the game's novel control mechanic. The simplicity of the controls is also invigorating, for the majority of the time requiring only the use of the left and right shoulder buttons (right causes Kong to swing right and grab onto the first thing his hand comes into contact until the button is released, and vice versa). It can prove a little tricky to get used to and takes longer than most to become intuitive, but it offers a welcome new twist on an age-old formula.

It's a pity, then, that the game eventually feels a little repetitive, no doubt a result of forcing you to swing through 25 levels; less would have certainly been more here. Still, the enjoyable multiplayer games (rightfully centred on the game's novel control system) provide a little extra longevity.
Donkey Kong: King of Swing
Reviewer photo
Joao Diniz Sanches | 21 October 2005
A thoroughly entertaining title, though ultimately overly-focused on its new control dynamic
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