Donkey Kong Jr. Math
Stats:
System: NES
Release Year: 1986
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Players: 12 Simultaneous
ESRB: N/A
Plot
Yadda, yadda, yadda, educational titles. This one doesn't
stand out in any big way. If there is a story behind this
one (which I doubt), then I don't know it. But it would
probably go something like this: once upon a time, three
little monkeys were making fun of DKjr and throwing
coconuts at him, because he didn't know how to count. He
told his dad on them. DK then asked "how many
monkeys were making fun of you?" DKjr didn't know
how to count, so he said "uhh...46!" So DK went
out and beat up the 46 nearest little monkeys. When the
monkey's parents found out, three of them tried to sue
him, and he was kicked off the PTA. After that, DK
decided that it was time for DKjr to learn how to count.
Overview
This game didn't seem very well thought out. There are
three game modes. In all the modes, DK stands around
holding a sign with a random number. The first two games
involve going head to head with another player, the
winner being the first to reach the number DK holds by
combining numbers with math symbols (add, subtract,
multiply, and divide). To add some DK elements to the
game, you have to manuever DKjr from vine to vine to
reach the different numbers. However, some of the numbers
that DK throws at you are quite large for an educational
game. The average little kid would need a pad of paper to
calculate some of those numbers. And also, why is it that
both these modes are twoplayer only? And why is the
second player just a pink rendition of DKjr? It would
have made more sense to me if the second player had been
Mario or someone like that. This seems like a lot of
nitpicking over and educational game, but Nintendo could
have done better than this.
The third
game mode seems like it had more time spent on it. It is
based on the last level of DKjr, with chains and keys,
crows, and buzzards, but they have virtually no affect on
the gameplay. You are given the the layout of a math
problem, but there are missing numbers all over it. DKjr
has to climb the chains to pick the correct number (with
one being at the bottom of the chain, and the numbers
getting bigger from there) to fill into each blank space,
which completes the problem. Although this doesn't make
too much sense (I don't know of anyone who does math that
way), it is unique and can be challenging.
Overall, this
game is quite baffling. I don't know why they picked the
DK series for an educational game, nor why they would
make such strange game modes. My guess is that this game
wasn't meant for younger kids, the way educational games
are today. This game will be very frustrating to someone
below a fourth or fifth grade math level. Interestingly,
Nintendo didn't release any educational titles for a long
time after this. Unless you are a DK game collector, or
someone who likes math a lot, buy something else. On a
scale of one to ten, this game gets a three.
