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Donkey Kong Spinoff and Inspired games


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#1 wongojack ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:00 AM

The maze craze overtook arcades after Pac Man and created some games that may have even been better than the dot munching pizza based icon's initial effort.  Of course we had Ms. Pac Man, Baby Pac Man, and Jr. Pac Man, but there were others that we all know about like Ladybug, Mouse Trap, Pepper II, and Blueprint.  There was even the reverse maze classic Dig Dug that came out of the desire to innovate after the Puck.

 

But what about Donkey Kong?  The examples of spinoffs don't seem to come to mind as readily - certainly not great games like those we saw after Pac Man.  I've been playing a bunch of the "Sock Master" remixed versions of Donkey Kong and Dk Jr lately and they are truly great, unquestioned high-quality sequels to the original games that we never got bitd.  I went digging around looking for other games inspired by DK and I couldn't really find many that held my attention.  Possibly the best example is Intellivision's Beauty and the Beast which also seemed to be a primary source of inspiration for the fun little arcade game produced from the fallout of the Disney movie Wreck it Ralph.

 

So what other arcade games are "out there" that remind you of Donkey Kong (and are not just a rip-off)?  Space Panic came first right?  Popeye?  Kangaroo?  Maybe Lode Runner?  Feels like there should be even more.  Also feels like we should have gotten something that innovated more along the way.

 

Note - I do love me some Jumpman and Ultimate Wizard on the 8-bit computers, but I don't think those were ever in the arcade.



#2 Cynicaster OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:52 AM

I guess it depends on how loosely you define the parameters of what constitutes "similarity" to DK.  If it is sufficient to simply have a fixed-screen level filled with platforms and obstacles where a character runs, jumps, climbs ladders, avoids enemies, etc. then you've got games like Kangaroo, Pandora's Palace, Jump Coaster, Mr. Do's Wild Ride, and even Burgertime.  Miner 2049er comes to mind as well, although that one is more of a hybrid of DK and Pac-Man.  



#3 jhd OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:54 AM

It is rather obscure, but Canyon Climber for the Coco is very definitely inspired by Donkey Kong.



#4 wongojack ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:38 AM

Cool suggestions.  I didn't know about some of these.

 

I can't believe I didn't think of Burgertime when making my initial post  . . .



#5 Zoyous OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:07 AM

Congo Bongo adapts a similar style of play to an isometric perspective - particularly in the first level. After that, Congo Bongo branches out a bit to more fully forge its own identity. Incidentally both Donkey Kong and Congo Bongo were programmed by the same company, Ikegami Tsushinki. I think the platformer genre became so ubiquitous it could be argued that any number of games were inspired by Donkey Kong. I'm curious how many platformers came out before DK?



#6 Cynicaster OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:12 AM

Congo Bongo adapts a similar style of play to an isometric perspective - particularly in the first level. After that, Congo Bongo branches out a bit to more fully forge its own identity. Incidentally both Donkey Kong and Congo Bongo were programmed by the same company, Ikegami Tsushinki. I think the platformer genre became so ubiquitous it could be argued that any number of games were inspired by Donkey Kong. I'm curious how many platformers came out before DK?

 

As far as arcade games go, the only title I've ever heard of that can make a credible case for being a "predecessor" to DK in the platformer genre is Space Panic, released by Universal in 1980.  Indeed, there are some superficial similarities between the two games.  The only sticking point is that in Space Panic, your character doesn't have the ability to jump, and jumping is arguably a defining characteristic for platform games.



#7 wongojack ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:49 PM

Congo Bongo adapts a similar style of play to an isometric perspective - particularly in the first level. After that, Congo Bongo branches out a bit to more fully forge its own identity. Incidentally both Donkey Kong and Congo Bongo were programmed by the same company, Ikegami Tsushinki. I think the platformer genre became so ubiquitous it could be argued that any number of games were inspired by Donkey Kong. I'm curious how many platformers came out before DK?

 

You're right about Congo Bongo.  I didn't know they were done by the same company, but there is something about that game that reminds you of Donkey Kong for sure.

 

Welp, we are building quite the list of games here now.  Here are the ones mentioned that got an arcade release:

 

Burgertime
Congo Bongo
Jump Coaster
Kangaroo
Lode Runner
Mr Do's Wild Ride
Pandora's Palace
Popeye
Space Panic
 

maybe even Mappy fits?



#8 mr_me OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:17 AM

Arabian. I didnt know lode runner was made into an arcade machine. There's tons of home games inspired by donkey kong. Space panic preceded donkey kong as did Crazy Climber.

Edited by mr_me, Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:42 AM.


#9 wongojack ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 12, 2019 9:50 AM

Arabian. I didnt know lode runner was made into an arcade machine. There's tons of home games inspired by donkey kong. Space panic preceded donkey kong as did Crazy Climber.

 

Yeah - I didn't know it either until I saw all the different versions in MAME.  Apparently it got like 4 sequels too: KLOV Page.

 

I'm adding Arabian and Crazy Climber to the list.  I've never gotten the hang of Crazy Climber.  Seems like now might be the time to get over the hump.



#10 Shaggy the Atarian OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:11 PM

 

Yeah - I didn't know it either until I saw all the different versions in MAME.  Apparently it got like 4 sequels too: KLOV Page.

 

I'm adding Arabian and Crazy Climber to the list.  I've never gotten the hang of Crazy Climber.  Seems like now might be the time to get over the hump.

 

Lode Runner is like Spelunker in Japan - for whatever reason, both of those titles gained cult status there, so you got a few arcade recreations. 

 

Not many people know that Choplifter & Pitfall II were also turned into arcade games; I have Pitfall II, which is like a combination of Pitfall I, II and some Super Mario envy. It's weird, but charming.  



#11 wongojack ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 12, 2019 9:21 PM

I HAVE played arcade Pitfall II!

 

Here's the list as it stands:

 

DK-Like Games

Arabian

Burgertime

Congo Bongo

Crazy Climber

Jump Coaster

Kangaroo

Lode Runner

Mappy

Mr Do's Wild Ride

Pandora's Palace

Pitfall II

Popeye

Space Panic



#12 x=usr(1536) OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 13, 2019 1:07 AM

Stretching the bounds of what could be considered a platform game a bit: Universal's Jumping Jack from 1984.  Frankly, this always felt like it should have been the 5th game in the Mr. Do! series - but it's a good game in its own right.

 

Mr. Do!'s Castle is definitely a platformer in the Space Panic vein, just with a different mechanism for punching or filling holes in platforms.  No jumping in that one, though.

 

And given that 'rip-off' can be something of a broad definition: take a look at Century's Logger.  It's an awful, awful game, and clearly takes close to 100% of its inspiration from Donkey Kong - but it's such a piss-poor reworking of the original that it stands on its own.



#13 Cynicaster OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:07 AM

There's also Crazy Kong, which is pretty much a ROM hack of DK running on different (Galaxian I think?) hardware.  



#14 slab0meat OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:52 AM

There's also Crazy Kong, which is pretty much a ROM hack of DK running on different (Galaxian I think?) hardware.  

 

If going that route, there's also Congorilla.



#15 Ramses OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:18 AM

Mario Bros.

Caloriekun vs. Moguranian

Chameleon

Ponpoko

Amazing Adventures of Mr. Flea

Bagman

Boggy '84

Complex X

Dock Man/Port Man

Dr. Micro

Hopper Robo

Jumping Jack

Levers

Monster Bash

Mouser

Mr. Do's Castle

Peter Pepper's Ice Cream Factory

Roc'n Rope

Super Bagman

Super Glob

Super Mouse

Woodpecker


Edited by Ramses, Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:22 AM.


#16 x=usr(1536) OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:50 AM

There's also Crazy Kong, which is pretty much a ROM hack of DK running on different (Galaxian I think?) hardware.  

 

It depends.

 

Falcon's Crazy Kong was a Nintendo-licensed version of Donkey Kong.  Falcon manufactured it, using hardware that was effectively a variant of Konami's Scramble hardware.  This version was only licensed for sale in Japan, however.

 

Having said that, the game did find its way into pretty much every other territory in the world.  These are effectively the bootleg / hack versions, and typically run on either straight Scramble or Galaxian hardware, or modified versions thereof.  Crazy Climber was also used as a hardware base for certain of the Crazy Kong bootlegs such as Monkey Donkey and Big Kong.

 

Pretty much anything at the time with lower-end Z80 hardware and a close-enough sound chip was a candidate for having some version of Crazy Kong running on it.






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