[New Retro Vault] Donkey Me

When it comes to retro games, we spend a lot of time panning classic movie licensed games (and with good reason – they were almost universally terrible). However, it’s about time we dig up something more positive – so allow me to present Donkey Me: a collection of movie themes applied to the classic Donkey Kong arcade format.

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Featuring 10 “skins” to choose from, there’s pretty much something for everyone here, whether it’s Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars, Rambo, or my personal favourite, Gremlins.

Donkey Me was released in the primitive year of 2013, by the same chap who did the also wonderful Star Wars: Battle for Endor. It’s one of those games that somehow passed us by despite being exactly the sort of thing we fancy, so it wasn’t until Indie Retro News mentioned it that I’d ever heard of it.

For the three people who have never played or seen the original Donkey Kong arcade classic (and mercifully don’t know who Garrett Bobby Ferguson Billy Mitchell is), this basically involves climbing up some arbitrary structure, jumping over hostile barrels/facehuggers/nazis/etc to rescue your girlfriend/droids/gizmo/etc patiently waiting up at the top.

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In Donkey Me, it’s pretty much straight up Donkey Kong but with a different coat of paint and fitting chiptune rendition for each. You can select from one of the 10 “skins” in the start menu, and each game mode plays in exactly the same way, whether you choose to investigate the Space Jockey in Alien or make your way through Little China as everyone’s favourite sentient mullet.

Although each movie is basically just a sprite swap, it’s pretty neat how each skin makes the game feel unique in its own way, with little flourishes such as facehuggers bursting out of chests to Conan shouting “Crom!” each time he ascends a ladder. There also does seem to be a slight difference between the speed and movement patterns of foes – the Alien version in particular seems particularly brutally punishing in that respect, which I guess reflects its source pretty well. Of course, it is a shame that it’s limited beyond this – for example one Indiana Jones stage has you nabbing the idol, but despite the infamous boulder standing by there is no daring chase back through down the stage, you just automatically move on to the next level.

Regardless, whether you begin your journey as Luke making his way to the Sandcrawler or slash through your foes as Conan, stumbling across a gem like Donkey Me is the kind of thing that makes me glad the internet exists.

Donkey Me | download

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About J.C

I grew up in the dark dingy arcades of the 1980s, blasting heads with Robocop 2, but grew up in an era that spanned the introduction of the x86 home computer, through to the 16-bit revolution, into the polygon age and beyond. I write about food, travel and of course, New Retro Games. I started newretrogames.wordpress.com and contribute to www.thecitylane.com. I am also a freelance business researcher, writer, and editor having published academic and corporate articles on innovation and intellectual property.

Posted on November 18, 2016, in Arcade and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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