Castle Kong Review (NSW)
Updated: May 2
Developed: Drowning Monkeys Games
Published: Drowning Monkeys Games
Genre: Arcade/Tower Climb
Release Date: Feb 25th, 2021
*Key provided by developer
''We need Kong. The World Needs Him''
Castle Kong is an arcade tower climb game that pays homage to classic arcade games such as Donkey Kong. Developed by Drowning Monkeys Games, the developers set out to make something that pays homage to the original title it's gotten inspiration from, but with their own little twists here and there to make it more original. Do the developers succeed at paying homage while also making something original? or should you just go back and play Donkey Kong instead? only one way to find out!
Princess Girl has been kidnapped by the dastardly Baron Man and it's up to you, as Pauper Boy to set out on a series of adventures to save her from his evil clutches. But is Pauper Boy up to the endless challenges that await him?
Castle Kong takes all its inspiration from classic arcade and tower climbing games like Donkey Kong, but it's not exactly a direct copy or straight up 1:1 with the title its paying homage to, nope, then what would be the point in actually making a game if that were the case?. While yes the game play is very similar and you may be doing some of the same thing's you would do in the actual Donkey Kong game, there are actually some key differences here in Castle Kong that makes it just different enough to stand out on its own.
You already know the main objective is to climb up and down the tower and save the princess, no real big mind blowing concept here, right? but it's how you get there that is they focal point here. In Castle Kong you play through 4 stages, those 4 stages house 22 missions overall for you to play and move through. Each stage you go through consists of the main castle wall, courtyard, the kitchen and finally the throne room and all 4 stages together offer you 22 different challenges to take part in based off the setting you're in. Now I know, I know, this sounds like a downer, ONLY 4 stages? That's it? Well trust me, you're not going to be complaining once you start playing, this is due to the difficulty level actually being pretty high. It is not a cake walk like Donkey Kong is, no way.
As you push your way through the stages, you'll come across a multitude of obstacles that range from guards throwing fire at you, arrows, pies and uhh even cooked chicken? Yeah I know, it sounds weird, and yes it is, but it's pretty damn funny to see the first time because you're left with so many questions afterwards. Much like Donkey Kong, you'll be taking Pauper Boy up and down ladders as you ascend and descend to the bottom or top of each stage to save the princess, but again, just like in Donkey Kong, you will receive a time limited weapon, the pitch fork. This pitch fork acts in the same way Mario's hammer does in Donkey Kong, only this time you're allowed to go up and down ladders with it, without having to stop and wait for the time to run out. It's a very small change, but it improves the game play immensely and allows you to climb at a faster pace than you normally would be able to in a game like Donkey Kong.
As stated before, this game is way harder than Donkey Kong, so much so that you might even rage quit a few times before wanting to continue. Even though four stages might seen like a quick one and done type of game, I guarantee you that just to get to stage two, its going to take take you 4 or maybe even 5 attempts at Stage 1's levels to even advance to it. You will not be able to do it in one go, no matter how good you think you are. Another reason why this game is so soul crushing is because you have to go through all 22 stages on just 3 lives. Yup you heard that right, you only have three tries to make it through each stage and their levels before you are given the game over and sent back to the beginning. So you're on stage 21 and die on your last extra man? tough luck kid, get your butt to back of the line, you're starting over. Oh ya, and just to rub salt in the wound, there's no save points either. It's old school, beat it in one sitting or go home. Like Cobra Kai, it shows no mercy.
At the end of the day, Castle Kong succeeds in being both a great homage to Donkey Kong and showcasing, why, till this day, the classic still stands up really well. But at the same time also tries some new ideas here and there that makes it just different enough to stand on its own as a worthy entry into the genre. If you love the classic Donkey Kong title and are interested in a really hard and challenging game just like it, then It's a no brainer to me, for $7, this is a title you need to play. So there's no monkeying this verdict, GameNChick says BUY NOW