For GameCube/Wii ESRB rated E 10+ Donkey Kong Jungle Beat is a unique action platform game that uses bongos for the controls. The story is pretty simple; in order for Donkey Kong to become the king of the jungle lands, he must clear out every kingdom and defeat the regional king. Each fruit based kingdom has two levels and a boss to conquer. Although there is no multiplayer, there are over forty areas to unlock.
This game is all about the bongos; I can’t imagine playing it with anything else. You pound the left or right bongo to go in the respective direction. Beating both of the bongos makes you jump. Clapping is used to activate certain areas and is a powerful attack move. Although the controls are pretty simple, don’t underestimate how much they will wear you out. I could only play a couple of levels at a time before needing a break.
Collecting bananas or beats, as they are called in this game, is critical. Beats represent your health meter and come especially handy when fighting the boss. When you complete a level your beats are tallied up and depending on the amount, you are awarded a bronze, silver, or gold crest. Crests are used to unlock new kingdoms. If you are unhappy with the crest you got, you can always replay the kingdom.
Donkey Kong has many friends in the jungle, sky and under water. There will be many monkeys offering to give you a hand and literally throw you around. There are birds you can hitch a ride on; just make sure that you don’t touch a wall or a foe. You can ride a bull and even a whale.
Enemies and bosses
There are lots of enemies ranging from monkeys, birds, jellyfish, sharks, puffer fish, bats and much more. Some of the enemies you can attack by jumping on or clapping near them. Others you have to stun, hop on them, and them pound them. A few enemies require you to throw objects at them to defeat them. Finally some bad guys you just have to avoid at all costs. Many of the maps are dangerous and you have to be careful not to freeze or burn yourself. There are a few boss types with more powerful variants as you progress throughout the game. You’ll encounter huge birds, warthogs, elephants and martial art wielding apes.
Each kingdom has a fruit based theme, and a big specimen of that fruit awaits you at the end of each level. The maps have a lot of game play variety and there are often alternate routes you can take to earn more bananas. After you complete the level you have an opportunity to grab as many bananas as possible within a small period of time. To do this you have to beat both bongos really fast.
I was thoroughly impressed with the graphics in this game. The maps are very colorful and nicely detailed. The animations are smooth and the characters have good facial expressions. The bosses have great detail and each enemy type looks unique. This game makes the GameCube graphics shine.
The sound effects in this game are very fitting. Each level has its own music and theme to it, but quite honestly nothing too memorable. One of the levels I played had music that reminded me of Castlevania. (There was a clock tower area not long after that music.)
This game has cartoon violence but no blood whatsoever. It’s rated E 10 years and up and I tend to agree with that rating.
I picked this game up for ten dollars with a free set of bongos besides the ones it comes with. I would highly recommend picking this game up if you see it for a good price. It’s fun, clean, and it offers unique game play. I have nothing bad to say about the game and feel that I have gotten my money’s worth playing it. It does get hard towards the end and there is no multiplayer. Fortunately you can go back and improve your score on worlds you have already beaten.