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Children's Video Game Review:    Donkey Konga (for GameCube)

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Video Game Review: Donkey Konga

For Nintendo Game Cube

By Nintendo

Released: 2004

Reviewed: November 2004

Our Recommended Age: 8-up

Our Rating: B-




Buy: Donkey Konga















Donkey Konga is certainly a unique offering in the video game genre. The game comes with an interesting peripheral, the DK Bongo drum controller. Kids drum and clap along to songs that range from the Turkish March to What I Like About You, to Diddy's Ditties (a medley of children's favorite songs).


Players select a song and a difficulty level. (Higher difficulty levels are available, but only once players have earned enough monkey coins). Kids must follow the symbols that roll across the screen, which include prompts to clap, hit the left or right bongo, or hit both bongos at once. 


In Street Performance mode, a meter at the top of the screen tracks players' performance. Kids attempt to reach a goal by filling the meter to a designated level. Players earn monkey coins according to their performance, but can keep the coins only if they reach the target goal. In Challenge Mode, kids play along to the songs until the meter is empty. Missed notes or poorly-timed responses reduce the meter, and kids earn small boosts in the meter when they complete a song. The goal is to play as many songs as possible before the meter runs out. In Battle Mode, two players compete for the most points. The more accurate the responses, the higher the points earned. In Jam Session, up to four players can play non-competitively. 


Earning monkey coins has its rewards: players can use the coins to purchase sound sets, Bongo-related mini-games, and challenge modes.


The pace can get frantic on higher difficulty levels, and memory skills are needed for certain modes of play (Monkey Jam, Chimp Jam, and Gorilla Jam). Although we'd expect younger children to be the target audience for Donkey Konga, kids under 8 may find the game challenging, even on the easiest level of difficulty. 


A second player (up to 4) can use the regular game controller to play (although it really isn't as fun that way). Additional drum controller peripherals can be purchased separately. 


It's different, it's certainly a novelty, and it has some play value. This is a game kids will pull out when friends are over. However, it lacks some depth and breadth in gameplay.


For more information, user reviews, or to buy the game, follow this link:

Donkey Konga


  • A fun change in format for the video game genre.
  • An upcoming Donkey Kong adventure will use the included Bongo controller as well.
  • Exercises skills in listening, rhythm, and attention.

  • The game is somewhat of a one-trick pony—its appeal is decent, but it lacks some depth in play that would have given it long term appeal.




Our Rating:




[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Donkey Konga]




Reviewed November 2004


















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Buy Donkey Konga  at





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