The Definitive 50 GameCube Games: #32 Donkey Kong Jungle Beat

The series so far: The Definitive 50 GameCube Games.

Donkey Kong Jungle Beat is the second DK Bongo game to appear on the Definitive 50, but unlike the more traditional rhythm game that is Donkey Konga, Jungle Beat is actually a 2D platformer.

That’s right, the geniuses at EAD Tokyo actually found an intuitive way to control an on-screen character using a set of bongos. Pounding either the left or right bongo moves DK in the corresponding direction, while hitting both together make him jump. Clapping allows DK to interact with the game’s environment through sound.

The game can also be controlled by the standard GameCube controller, but that’s actually less intuitive, not to mention way less fun.

This is yet another monkey-themed GameCube game with a story I am unable to discern. Something about a quest to become king of the jungle lands, I think. In any case, you play as the mighty Donkey Kong, beat up on the other animals of the jungle, including some other apes, and collect as many bananas as possible.

Rather than just getting to the end of each stage, Jungle Beat requires you to earn as many points – or “beats” as the game calls them – as you can. This is done by collecting bananas, avoiding damage, and performing combos. The more beats you earn, the faster you unlock more levels.

Donkey Kong Jungle Beat eventually made its way to the Wii in New Play Control! form. Disappointingly, that version does not support the bongos peripheral, but it’s still excellent, and may be easier to find for purchase.

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