Donkey Kong Jungle BeatShane Bettenhausen
If you have Samba de Amigo maracas lingering under your bed, a vintage NES Power Glove gathering dust in the closet, and the $200 Steel Battalion joystick still on layaway, you’re probably the kind of sucker who went gaga for Nintendo’s Donkey Konga GameCube bongo drums. Hey, we all fall prey to silly peripherals that really only work with one game at some point...but you’re actually in luck—Nintendo is readying a second bongo-controlled game, Donkey Kong Jungle Beat.
Videogame beatniks will be surprised to find that, despite using the drums, Beat is not a music game—it’s a platformer. “The bongos offer a new, unique way to play a game like this,” explains Team Nintendo’s Stephen Ward. “It’s definitely different, and it takes a few minutes to get the hang of the controls.” Less adventurous gamers might chicken out and opt for a GameCube controller, but it’s worth the effort to hit the skins. It’s not terribly complex, really: You guide Nintendo’s legendary gorilla through side-scrolling stages, pounding enemies, hoarding bananas, and generally flailing away at your drum set like a maniac. Here’s a quick guide to how your rhythmic expressions translate into gameplay....
DK Drumming 101
Make your ape shamble to the left or right by simply pounding the corresponding drum. Beat it faster to pick up the pace.
Some of Jungle Beat’s bosses engage Kong in Punch-Out style boxing brawls. Dodge their attacks, then let loose with drum-bangin’ fury to fell them. P
Clapping your hands (or hitting the sides of the drums) makes DK clap his hands, which can stun enemies, activate various environmental objects, and collect bananas.
Jumping requires you to hit both drums simultaneously. This takes a little getting used to, so be sure to master it before leaping over any lava pits.
Developer: Nintendo Tokyo
Release Date: March 2005
Copyright © 2005 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally appearing in Electronic Gaming Monthly.