DK: King of Swing

November 8, 2005

[floatleft][/floatleft]While many would say that Nintendo is king of gimmicks, I would maintain that they are one of the few companies developing truly unique games. [i]Donkey Kong: King of Swing[/i] is the newest GBA game in a franchise that has very old roots. Nintendo uses this franchise yet again to bring a fresh type of gameplay to the GBA.

[i]King of Swing[/i] is not like any other [i]Donkey Kong[/i] game you have played before. Instead of developing yet another [i]Donkey Kong[/i] platformer (and why would they with the [i]DKC3[/i] release right on the heels of [i]King of Swing[/i]), Nintendo based this game on Donkey Kong’s often overlooked ability to swing.

Everyone’s favorite evil gator K. Rool has stolen the medals for the Jungle Jam festival, and it is up to you to swing your way through each of the levels and recover the medals while avoiding enemies and using only an arsenal of swinging methods to defeat others.

[floatright][/floatright]The real unique part of this game is that you use the L and R buttons almost exclusively to control Donkey Kong. From the ground, pressing both shoulder buttons will make you jump. Once in the air, you will use the L and R buttons to grab onto various pegs and other mechanisms. Pressing either of the shoulder buttons while over a peg will cause Donkey Kong to grab the peg. Grabbing one peg will allow Donkey Kong to swing in a circle, while grabbing two pegs will stop your movement. There is a very slight learning curve to get the hang of swinging through the levels. Holding down both shoulder buttons will also allow you to charge and do a more powerful jump.

As you play through adventure mode, you will collect bananas which will become an integral part of your survival during some of the more difficult levels. Pressing B will dock you 10 bananas and restore one of your life hearts. Pressing A will make your character ‘Go Bananas,’ which is basically just invincibility (that costs you 20 bananas). As you travel through the levels, you should also be on the lookout for various items such as medals and diamonds.

[floatleft][/floatleft]In addition to adventure mode, there is also single and multiplayer Jungle Jam, which are various types of races that pit you against the CPU or a number of your friends. You also have the option to play as various other members of the Kong family such as Funky, Diddy, Dixie, Cranky, and Wrinkly Kong.

[i]King of Swing[/i] really is a unique game that will keep you entertained in short bursts while on the go. It doesn’t have awesome graphics or terrific music, and it may even lack a ton of variety, but it’s fun for the occasional game. If you’re looking for something to play on short trips, then be sure to give [i]Donkey Kong: King of Swing[/i] a look, but don’t expect a deep story or a ton of variety.

Score: 2/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.