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Download Games Roundup

Death! Megadeath! Village! Kong! TIC!

"I don't have time to play download games". It's a remark I hear frequently these days, but it's one that I find amusingly contradictory.

The very fact that you don't have much time to play games probably means that you should pay more attention to what's going on in the download scene.

Whether on your handheld console, mobile, tablet or laptop, there's no shortage of quick fix games out there that - in their own way - can be just as satisfying as the bloated big budget epics that pile up on your shelves, unresolved and, in some instances, unplayed.

If anything, by just adapting your gaming habits slightly, you'll probably end up sampling more, better games in short bursts of dead time - and without spending any more money in the process. On that note: more game to spend money on!

Donkey Kong

  • 3DS eShop - £3.60 / $3.99.

On the face of it, the prospect of a monochrome Donkey Kong port doesn't seem like the most exciting addition to the fledgling eShop line-up.

Indeed, running through those four levels of barrel-dodging, ladder-climbing platforming for the 9000th time of asking is enough to make you verbally abuse Pauline for being so bloody easy to capture. And, sorry, how much does Nintendo want for it?

But then the discovery that there are actually 97 more levels to follow is akin to picking up a bit of mouldy litter only to realise that you've got a winning lottery ticket in your shaking hand.

Mario Vs Donkey Kong: Part Zero.

It's not too bold to proclaim that this 1994 effort is one of the best Game Boy titles in Nintendo's rich canon. For anyone raised on the 1981 arcade classic that kick-started the whole thing, it's the stuff dreams are made of.

In the same fashion as the seminal original, your maiden-rescuing adventures are punctuated every fourth round by a face-off with DK himself, and so it goes until you eventually take on a mutated version of the grizzled beast.

In between, the level design is the perfect middle ground between the refined simplicity of Miyamoto's original and Super Mario Bros. Armed with new moves (such as the ability to handstand and spring high into the air) and a slightly more forgiving attitude to falling down, it's also a whole lot more playable over the long haul.

With extra lives dished out at regular intervals, progress is sure and steady - but don't let that fool you. The occasional fiendish level crops up to make sure you're worthy of the game's charms.

And what charms they are. If there are Game Boy titles as good as Donkey Kong waiting in the wings, we can all start banging on about what great value they represent. It's a pity Nintendo didn't issue it with the Super Game Boy 'enhancements', but that's about the only thing likely to activate your inner old man.


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About the Author
Kristan Reed avatar

Kristan Reed


Kristan is a former editor of Eurogamer, dad, Stone Roses bore and Norwich City supporter who sometimes mutters optimistically about Team Silent getting back together.

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