Personal Computer News


Crazy Kong
By Supersoft
Commodore 64

 
Published in Personal Computer News #031

Escape The Ape

A version of Donkey Kong for the Commodore 64 was always on the cards and it looks like Supersoft have won the race to get theirs out first. Like most Kong clones, this one stays close to the original plot.

Objectives

Kong holds a fair maiden Prisoner at the top of an unfinished building. Mario sets out to rescue her from Kong's clutches by scaling ladders and girders, and riding in lifts, all the while avoiding barrels and concrete tubs playfully hurled down by the ape.

It may sound bizarre to some of you, but to most it will all be desperately familiar.

Crazy Kong

Mario must finish off Kong, not be shooting him from an airplane but by knocking out the plugs supporting the scaffolding. Points are awarded for jumping barrels and tubs, for unbugging the plugs and for completing a screen in double-quick time.

Unlikely objects, such as an umbrella and a watering can, appear from time to time.

These award you bonus points if you grab them.

Crazy Kong

There are four screens in all but completing the last takes you back to the first again where the going gets rougher. Like a cat, Mario has nine lives but limited time. When either run out, goodbye Mario and bad luck maiden. An extra life is gained if you reach 10,000 points. Keyboard and joystick options are also available.

In Play

An instruction page with a smattering of animation is displayed and then on with the game. A rather wooden Kong stands passively aloft, barrels mysteriously appearing from around his left elbow. Down below, a cloth-capped Mario runs with a curious gait, more a hop and a skip than a sprint. The echo of his footsteps is like a typewriter clattering but the sound of the barrels rumbling down the tamps is particularly effective.

To make Mario jump vertically, the joystick fire button is pressed. Moving left, right, up or down is accomplished by appropriate joystick movement.

Crazy Kong

Jumping to the left or right takes a bit of practice - you must press the fire button and move the joystick, both at the same time.

Though the graphics and animation are weak, once you've mastered the controls the game is quite good fun. Mario falls flat on his back with a halo round his head when flattened by a barrel or having fallen off a ramp. When he's expired for the last time, an opportunity is given to enter your initials in the top score sheet.

Unfortunately, you cannot then get on with the game until a tune is played. While this is catchy, it is of the beep-bury variety and cannot be turned off or interrupted.

No use if made of the C64's impressive music facilities, but mine was a pre-release copy - I believe the marketed version is likely to have changes in this regard.

Verdict

While there are likely to be better versions around eventually, this is by no means a poor one. It fails to take advantage of the C64's excellent graphic and sound facilities, but still manages to provide an entertaining game. All in all, Crazy Kong is a fairly good attempt at one of the "standards".

Bob Chappell

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