Donkey Kong Jr. is the first game that pits Mario as an enemy to the player character. The latter is the titular Donkey Kong Jr., who must rescue his father from Mario, who has caged the gorilla due to his repeated attempts to steal Mario’s girlfriend in the previous game.
As this game stars a primate, there is a lot of climbing involved. Donkey Kong Jr. must climb up vines, ropes, and chains while avoiding the obstacles Mario sends after him such as crocodiles and electrical sparks. He will climb slowly when transcending a single vine, but if he climbs two at once, he will move faster.
The level design is quite well made in this game. It’s still a single screen, like its predecessor, but there are now much more varied obstacles than before, including trampolines and chains that raise and drop in height. Because of this level of variety, I recommend this game even more than the original.
Like the first game, Donkey Kong Jr. was ported to many different systems, including the Atari 2600, Intellivision, Colecovision, Atari 8-bit computers, Nintendo Entertainment System, BBC Micro, Commodore-64, VIC-20, Coleco Adam, Famicom Disk System, and Atari 7800.
Also like the first game, outside of the original arcade version, the NES version was the most accurate of the versions. This version was emulated on the Nintendo 64 (in Animal Forest), e-Reader, Game Boy Advance, GameCube (in Animal Crossing), Wii, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, Famicom Mini, and the NES Classic Edition.
The game is a classic that deserves to be played by everyone. The best version remains the original arcade release, which was finally emulated in its entirety by Hamster as part of its Arcade Archives line on the Nintendo Switch on December 21, 2018.
4 out of 5