Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze Review

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

Developed by Retro Studios, Monster Games & Nintendo SPD

Published by Nintendo

*There’s A Rumble in the Jungle*


The Story:

The story begins at Donkey Kong’s hut, where the Kongs are celebrating his birthday. Suddenly, one of the balloons flies off the Kong house and over the sea, where Snowmad ships are stationed. Far away from the island, a Pointy Tuck watches over them, locating the Kong house and relaying info to their leader, shrouded in a dark silhouette. Upon the leader nodding their approval, the Pointy Tucks bring him a horn which he blows, creating a large amount of wind, as well as an ice dragon. Just as he is about to blow the candles out, Donkey Kong notices a mysterious snowflake appear and put out the candle on his birthday cake. He turns away with a frustrated look on his face as he hears an uproar, and he and the other Kongs exit the house. The ice dragon from earlier flies toward Donkey Kong Island, turning the sea under it to ice. The Kongs are then blown away from the island by the ice dragon’s intense winds, landing on the Lost Mangroves island. Afterwards, a large ship stations itself where the Volcano from Donkey Kong Country Returns used to be, and the Snowmads seize Donkey Kong Island for their own, turning it into a frosty area with continuous snowfall.


The Gameplay:

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is a 2D Platformer that plays very similar to previous entry; Donkey Kong Country Returns. You control Donkey Kong as you must maneuver the different levels across 5 Islands trying to collect as many bananas and take out as many enemies as possible across dangerous obstacles. In addition to Donkey Kong, There is 3 additional characters available as sidekicks. First up is Diddy Kong, Donkey Kong’s trusty sidekick complete with Nintendo Cap who has the ability to use his barrel jetpack to hover across small gaps, Next up is Dixie Kong; The female sidekick of  Donkey Kong’s who has the ability to spin her ponytail into a propeller and slowly descend through the air allowing Donkey Kong to reach areas previously inaccessible. Finally was my personal favorite Cranky Kong; The original Donkey Kong who took on Mario at the construction site. It’s Cranky’s ability that is by far my favorite in the game with him using his walking stick to pogo across dangerous terrain and against enemies in a similar manner to Scrooge McDuck in the DuckTales game. In addition to this; all 3 sidekick characters have a special move they can perform with DK when a meter bar is filled with the moves performed varying depending on the character choice. There are also numerous collectables scattered through the levels with the initials K-O-N-G aswell as 4 pieces of a gold medal.While the gameplay is simplistic; The bosses in the game have a average to hard difficulty but are still fun nonetheless. One feature I personally enjoyed was Funky Kongs shop in which you could purchase additional lives, sidekicks or even go for a lucky dip with the coins you find in your campaign.


The Sound:

Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze is composed by David Wise who is well known for composing most of the Donkey Kong Country Franchise. The music sounds very familiar if you have played previous entries in the series however it still manages to add that new twist with the music styles changing to match each different level. I can’t really comment on the voice acting considering grunting and monkey noises is not exactly speech however it was done very well.


The Graphics:

The Graphics on Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze are where this title excels with beautiful graphical improvements so much so that you can pretty much see each hair in DK’s fur and it truly shows off the Wii U’s graphical capabilities. Each environment in the game is lush and vivid with plenty of color and imagination having gone into it however in some levels there is inspiration from actual places and objects which add to the already stunning view on offer in Tropical Freeze. As far as the cutscenes go aswell, They look just as stunning as the actual game itself with a great dose of comedy thrown in for good measure.

Funky Kong Shop

Lasting Appeal:

Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze has a pretty decent campaign length depending on how challenging you find the game plus there is plenty of collectables to find in the game that require some skill to get which in turn gives Tropical Freeze plenty of replayability.


All in all, Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze is a great game all around however it lacks a little in the story department however it makes up for the story with everything else and while its not exactly the Wii U game you should buy a Wii U for (Coming off the success of Super Mario 3D World); It is a game that is worth going alongside your huge title when you buy one however if you already own a Wii U, Then go for this title as it is a nice change from all the Mario games.


My Score – 9/10


The Good:

  • Beautiful Graphics that show off the Wii U’s Power
  • Fun & Imaginitive lands
  • Great Music score
  • Simple gameplay controls
  • Challenging Bosses
  • Great Sidekicks
  • Good Length depending on skill

The Bad:

  • The Storyline was weak

Donkey Kong Country Tropcial Freeze is available now from all good retailers exclusive to the Nintendo Wii U. Thanks go to Nintendo for loaning the title & the assets used in this review. Be sure to let me know what you thought of the review in the comments section below and be sure to stay tuned to UGNN for all your gaming news and reviews and remember to follow us on WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Reddit & YouTube.

Review by Matt McNamee


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