Play the classic game of Donkey Kong with donkeykong1.com and learn about the history of this popular game.
Since it was first released by Nintendo in 1981, Donkey Kong has become one of the most classic arcade games ever created.
As one of the very first platform arcades, it requires patience and good eye-hand coordination.
Click with the mouse on the game to start, use the arrow keys and space bar to jump
About Donkey Kong
Donkey Kong is one of the most popular video games from the 80s that is played even today. It is a video game based on a few main characters - a gorilla, a plumber and a kidnapped blonde - and lots of barrels.
It was created in the year 1981, by an unknown Japanese artist. This was the time when arcade games were very new and very popular. Every fast food court, restaurant and gas station had one of those arcades that were so popular among kids and teenagers. So, in 1981, Nintendo took advantage of the arcade frenzy and released Donkey Kong.
During the time, all games were pretty much the same. They were all slight variations of one another. They all involved the same plot - you shot at people/things, they shot at you, and eventually you are either overwhelmed by their speed or numbers till you lost.
Then you proudly entered your name in the high-score memory of the game and challenged your friends to beat your score. But this was different. It was a welcome change in gaming history. The story line of this game was thin, but well-developed, interesting and very catchy. In this game, Jumpman, who is the heroic character, must rescue a damsel in distress known as Lady, from a giant ape named Donkey Kong (meaning "Stupid monkey"). The hero and ape later became two of Nintendo's most popular characters. The same three characters have remained, except that now the hero is known as Mario and the heroine is Pauline. The character of Jumpman is a carpenter/construction worker that saves his damsel in distress, by jumping over several obstacles and climbing up ladders in order to reach her.
Donkey Kong was released in several variations. The original game was simple yet addictive, which is a characteristic that has become a hallmark of many Miyamoto games that came after.
The player, playing as the hero's character Mario, started at the bottom of a small building that gorilla had ascended. You climb up and "jump" on till you reach the top of the building, where Pauline will be found. There were very few things the player could do in the game' very few movements. The player could walk left and right, ascend and descend ladders, and jump over obstacle barrels that Donkey Kong throws at him or use a hammer to smash them. The way the barrels fell was somewhat random in the original version whether or not they came down a specific ladder. So if the player, on his way up the building, was hanging on a ladder to avoid one barrel, there was always some tension as another one rolled by overhead. Level one of the game ended once Mario managed to reach the top of the building and rescued his girlfriend, Pauline. But this is when Donkey Kong came and simply snatched her away and took her off to level two.
Level one was almost too simple for anyone to complete it. But level two was much more challenging, since it had moving platforms and melting steel, making it more difficult to move comfortably. And then the third level was even harder, as the jumps became tighter and the gorilla now throwing iron beams at Mario (the player), instead of barrels.
The final level was level four. In the fourth level, the player had to trigger weak spots in the foundation of the building, so that he would fall down and crash on his head. But just when the player has completed his task and thought he had won, the gorilla would grab Pauline and climb back up the building.
In the last three levels of the game, there is a provision for Mario to pick up Pauline's personal possessions such as a parasol and a purse, for bonus points.
Following the success of this game, Donkey Kong Jr. was released in 1982. In this game, there was no more barrel-jumping. And the game consisted of climbing vines instead of ladders and dropping fruit on psycho-traps.
In 1983, Nintendo released yet another sequel - Donkey Kong 3. In this one, Stanley the Bug-man/[pest controller armed with an unlimited supply of bug repellant, tried to keep the bugs from taking his flowers, while keeping the gorilla from coming down from the vines.
In all the Donkey Kong sequels, there were 4 levels, and total of 100 meters. The game becomes harder and harder, as the level increases. For instance, the gorilla will throw the barrels at the player faster and faster or even diagonally. It might seem very simple in today's world of high tech games, but one must not forget that Donkey Kong was one of the first games ever to introduce such features.