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Donkey Kong Jr. Math

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Released: 1986

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Nintendo R&D2

Submitted by: Steven Ronald Jackson

It is fair to say that when it comes to Nintendo they usually treat their franchises right. With each new Mario, Zelda, Metroid or Donkey Kong game, they are often followed by a mass of critical and financial success. Yet, once in a blue moon Nintendo decides to release a game for their beloved franchises which instead of gaining love, gains hate. One such case is the now infamous Donkey Kong Jr. Math.

Now even from the title you know this is going to be a bad game. Education being involved in video-games only leads to bad results (bar Brain Training) and this game falls into the infamous phrase/genre of “edutainment” (games which are made to be both educational and entertainment). Donkey Kong Jr. Math is by far one of the worst games ever made. This fact is justified by that it is the first (and only) title in Nintendo’s “education series”. Added to this the game was one of the lauch titles for the NES and of all the games to launch a system on they couldn’t have chosen a worse game if they tried.

There isn’t much to say about the actual gameplay. It is basically the same as Donkey Kong Jr apart from you don’t save Donkey Kong from Mario. Instead you solve a variety of (not very hard) maths problems by either adding, subtracting, multiplying or dividing. The music isn’t memorable and the graphics are standard. You can play a 2 player game if you wish but why you would want to subject a friend (or yourself) to this is beyond me.

All in all, Donkey Kong Jr. Math just plain sucks and is by far the black sheep of the franchise. I think even people who enjoy maths will think this game is rubbish. It has nothing memorable and isn’t even worth playing. The most bizarre thing is that this game has been re-released for the Wii Virtual Console and not for free either, for 500 Wii Points. When you have a choice on the Virtual Console between this and The Legend of Zelda you know which one to download.