Mario Vs. Donkey Kong - GBA

Also known as: Donkey Kong

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Also for: Game Boy
Viewed: 2D Side-on, Scrolling Genre:
Arcade origin:No
Developer: Nintendo Soft. Co.: Nintendo
Publishers: Nintendo (US/GB)
Released: 19 Nov 2004 (GB)
24 May 2004 (US)
Ratings: PEGI 3+
Accessories: GameCube Game Boy Player


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As video games become more and more about who has the most money and the biggest licenses, Nintendo is one of the few developers bold enough to ignore the mainstream, instead choosing to produce games that show consumers there's more to life than a bunch of generic, uninspired movie-turned-game licenses and endless racing games. One such example, revisiting the happy days of the classic puzzle game, is Mario vs Donkey Kong.

After so many years without conflict, it's actually good to see two of Nintendo's greatest franchises going head-to-head again. When Donkey Kong decides to raid a toy factory in search of those popular, if elusive, Mini Marios, it's down to Mario himself to recover the stolen articles and put a stop to his old-school arch nemesis for good. And so the 50-level puzzler begins...

An old-school puzzle game in itself, Mario's adventure largely entails searching for a number of scattered toys in each level before searching for a key that will enable him to reach the next area. Before long you'll come across a number of Mini Mario toys in a given world that must ultimately be led to safety before progressing to the next. Of course Donkey Kong isn't about to make things easy, and so like the good old times of Donkey Kong in 1981, you must face and defeat him on occasion in order to carry your game forwards.

The puzzle element of the adventure if prolific throughout, and will have Mario exercising his usually library of platforming acrobatics that happens to include the use of one very familiar hammer. Levels design comprises of a number of platform elements that put Mario's skills to the test, both mentally and physically. Blocked paths, ladders, Pirhana Plants and Bob-ombs are just a few of the obstacles you'll have to overcome, and with progress, levels become much bigger and even more complex.

There are few people out there who will finish this one without finding themselves flummoxed on at least one occasion. Mario vs Donkey Kong is a real test of skill and wits and is deserving of a few hours of anyone's time.