#184 – Donkey Kong Jr. Math

The Christmas present no one asked for.
At least the Kongs are getting some much needed family time.

PLAYERS: 1-2 simultaneous



GENRE: Edutainment

RELEASE DATE: October 1985

Is Donkey Kong Jr Math one of the most useless games in existence? It’s a math game that treats you like you’re an idiot; unless you and a friend play two-player mode, in which case it’s a tedious exercise in vine climbing and number arranging. As you’d expect, the game has you as DK Jr “solving” math problems, except you don’t really solve them. You push a lock up a vine and a bird solves them for you. The latter is the mode “Math Exercise” and it really is as simple and stupid as it sounds. The other mode of the game, “Calculate A +B” requires you to have a friend handy. Big Poppa Donkey Kong is holding a number at the top of the screen, and you are required (by law) to climb vines where the numbers 1-9 dangle precariously. Collect two numbers then add/multiply/subtract/divide the numbers together until you reach the number that Donkey Kong holds. Win five times against your opponent and you win the “game.” It challenges my sanity and my patience. Why did Nintendo think this was a good idea for a game? For the love of all things sacred and true, Donkey Kong Jr. Math was one of the launch titles! Granted, it was surrounded by a number of mostly decent games (sans sports titles). Still, no one deserved this humble pie in the Christmas of ’85. Pass up this game at every opportunity. If some vengeful retro gamer throws it at you, just throw it right back.


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