Donkey Kong, legendary arcade game and ported and cloned to death. Also the game which launched a certain Italian plumber’s career, one which shows no signs of slowing down yet. In this case we will be looking at the port to the ColecoVision, a port which is recalled fondly as a great game and superb port. With the rose tinted specs removed how does the game stand up to the memories?

As soon as you start the game the ColecoVision plays the music and it’s just as I remembered it, plinking away in the way only Retro Gamers can appreciate. The graphics too are as I recalled them to be, 8 bit pieces of art which come to life on the screen of your own Tv just as it did in the arcades all those years ago. So far everything is just as I remembered it, all the better because I was expecting to be disappointed and have my memories shattered when the game was actually running in front of me once again

The gameplay, as anyone who remembers the game will know, consists of you as Mario running around platforms made of girders, and avoiding obstacles as you work towards saving the princess from the overgrown ape which is Kong. The first level is the iconic one used in all kinds of Retro game related pics, but there are others including one where you have to walk over rivets until the structure falls, another with lifts you can use to go up or down and save your legs from all those ladders. Variety of a sort then for this single screen at a time platformer.

The enemies come in a variety of forms too, from the barrels thrown by Kong which roll at you, to the semi intelligent blobs which could almost be homing in on you at times. The enemies aren’t the only things which can take a life from you though, running into Donkey Kong is obviously a no no although he isn’t very animated so you only have to make sure you don’t walk into him as he stands about waiting for you. Falling from a platform is also not good for your health and will also result in death, so avoid that too. The mallets you can pick up along the way to deal with the enemies are great but you can’t climb with them, and they run out suddenly so as well as helping a little they can hinder you by wasting time (the counter is constantly ticking down) and if it disappears just as you are about to hit an enemy then they will have the last laugh.

So after all these years does the ColecoVision version of the classic Donkey Kong game live up to the memories? You better believe it does. The game is great, and the ColecoVision is a brilliant port with all the sights and sounds just as I remembered them. The gameplay is still as tough as I remembered too, and it takes a little thought and a little reaction to make it through even the first level.
For me then this game on this console gets a well deserved 9/10

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