Donkey Kong (GB)Sp

Ha! My newest eBay purchase just arrived. It’s Donkey Kong for the Nintendo Game Boy. No, it’s not Donkey Kong Land nor is it Donkey Kong for GBA. It’s just Donkey Kong for the old GameBoy. You might not know it but it is one the most awesome games on the system.

Basically it seems like a simple remake of the old arcade machine. It even starts of with the 4 classic Donkey Kong levels. However the original arcade game was over after the 4th level. This one has 97 more levels after that! I love that kind of old-school approach. Establish some very basic, simple rules, stick with them and deliver masses of content. I would even classify it as a sub-genre: “the non-scrollable multi-level jump & run”. The first game of this kind was obviously Lode Runner. Other classics include Bubble Bobble and the less-known Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. There are even some contemporary games like n+ which follow the formula.

This kind of game design strategy works well even if the difficulty doesn’t increase. Overcoming the sheer amount of levels is challenge enough and you certainly feel as if you get a lot of value. Of course, today the game is ridiculously underpriced. I got mine for 5€ including shipment. If you see it somewhere in a second-hand store, I recommend you give it a try!

Krystian Majewski

Krystian Majewski was born in Warsaw and studied design at Köln International School of Design. Before, he was working on a mid-size console project for NEON Studios in Frankfurt. He helped establish a Master course in Game Design and Research at the Cologne Game Lab. Today he teaches Game Design at various institutions and develops independent games.

One response to “Donkey Kong (GB)Sp”

  1. Anonymous

    I found and bought it today. Suprisingly good. The jump is way smoother than it was on the atari.


The Game Design Scrapbook is a second blog of group of three game designers from Germany. On our first blog, Game Design Reviews we describe some games we played and point out various interesting details. Unfortunately, we found out that we also need some place to collect quick and dirty ideas that pop into our minds. Hence, welcome to Game Design Scrapbook. You will encounter wild, random rantings. Many of then incoherent. Some of them maybe even in German. If you don't like it, you might enjoy Game Design Reviews more.


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