Donkey Kong

[Level 1] [Level 2] [Title Screen]
"Coleco really managed to make a mockery of Donkey Kong on all systems other than its own, leading many to conclude that it was a shady marketing tactic used by Coleco to make its own system look better than that of the competitors, especially the Atari 5200 and Intellivision. Some of its later releases, while inferior to the respective titles on the Colecovision, weren't too bad.
"First of all, the graphics were atrocious. All I know is that when I played this game for the first time, I noticed that there was no intro, and everything was pink: the girders; the ladders; the hammers; the oil tank; Donkey Kong's stash of barrels; and all of Pauline. When the game started, I noticed that the controls were not very responsive and there was no BGM, which made the game seem even more boring. Not only that, but the sound effects were all wrong! Mario (aka Jumpman) made a cool squeaking noise when he walked and an equally cool springy noise when he jumped. Now all I hear is an obscure four-note ditty while walking and some funky sound while jumping. There wasn't even a resemblance to the original arcade sound effects here. The barrels are low-res and poorly drawn, and the hammers were ugly too. Mario was colored in light blue and orange rather than the familiar red, tan, and blue, making him all the more unrecognizable. Pauline just stood like a zombie rather than move about and call for help, and there was no intermission between levels. Donkey Kong never grabbed Pauline, grunted, and climbed up to the next story. Instead, after a short tune (which kinda resembled something I heard in the arcade) I found myself magically on the next level. Now everything is blue instead of pink, and the moving obstacles look no more like fireballs than giant balls of lint. I lost my last life the first time I played on the first story of the second building, so imagine my surprise when, after a couple games, I discovered there were only two stages in this port. I could understand if there had been only three (leaving out the level with the conveyor belts and cement buckets), but there wasn't even the stage with the elevators and springs! I had anticipated the sight of the elevators stage just to see how ugly it would be and how silent the springs would be, but it wasn't even there!
"Exactly how long did it take Coleco to make this port anyhow? Does anybody care to use the Development Kit to make some -- any -- improvement to this game? I know the Intellivision can do better than this." Rating: 1/5 -- Mike Hayes
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