Donkey Konga Review – Definitive 50 GameCube Game #42

The series so far: The Definitive 50 GameCube Games.

Welcome back to the Definitive 50. Today, I’d like to introduce you to perhaps the GameCube’s greatest accessory: the DK Bongos. This is a bongo set shaped like a pair of Donkey Kong’s trademark barrels. They also include a Start button and microphone.

Four games with Bongo support were released for the GameCube: the three Donkey Konga rhythm games, and the exceptional platformer Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat. The Wii game Donkey Kong: Barrel Blast was originally planned as a GameCube game which would have also supported the peripheral, but support was dropped when the project changed systems.

42nd on the list of Definitive 50 GameCube games goes to the first of the DK Bongo games: Donkey Konga.

2004 was a simpler time. This was before the closets of gamers worldwide had been filled with useless plastic instruments, and “rhythm” was not a dirty word in gaming. It was the year of Donkey Konga.

This title allows you to slap along to Nintendo music and pop classics alike. Play focuses on smacking the left and right bongos, as well as clapping, in sync with music.

Unlockable mini games, multiple difficulty levels, and a two-player battle mode should keep you pounding out hits for awhile.

Perhaps Donkey Konga‘s only shortfall is its thin track selection. The specific songs you get to play vary depending on region, but you won’t get more than about 30 tracks in any case. In the North American version, there are Nintendo classics like the Super Mario theme, “DK Rap,” and Pokémon theme, along with a few hits like “All The Small Things” and “We Will Rock You,” it’s just too bad there couldn’t have been a lot more. Hope you like “Rock Lobster.”

Donkey Konga spawned two sequels. Donkey Konga 2, which maintained much the same formula of its predecessor, and the Japan-only Donkey Konga 3, which added a stack of classic game music.