Donkey Kong Country – Tropical Freeze: Varied, challenging and breathtaking

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze in Review

The monkeys are out! About three years after the release of Donkey Kong Country Returns, the new series version Donkey Kong Country – Tropical Freeze for Wii U was released, which will also be available for the Nintendo Switch from May 4. But this time more “funky” than before.

As usual with Nintendo, Tropical Freeze has been perfectly adapted for the switch. Like the original, the porting runs with a butter-soft 60 frames per second at a resolution of 720p on the handheld or 1080p on the TV mode. The implementation of the Wii-U Jumper is identical in scope and level, but a few new features have been added. One of them is the newcomer Funky Kong: The cool surfer.

Characters and New Features

After you have been thrown to a tropical island and landed in the first level, the game introduces you step by step to the different mechanics. So you can jump in typical jump’n’ run style and move left and right. The game shows you that you can destroy crates by standing on them and drumming them. Enemies in the vicinity can be stunned with it. You can also grab things that allow you to hang around overgrown cave ceilings, swing from vine to vine, or pull a variety of things out of the ground. Although you can kill many enemies with one jump, there are exceptions, because some enemies wear helmets with spikes. Fortunately, Donkey Kong can also play a role, so even these opponents are no problem.

But it would be a bit boring if our Donkey would swing through the levels alone. To avoid this, you can find one of his three friends in each level by grabbing the appropriate barrel and throwing it to the ground. Each of the three additional monkey partners has their own ability. With Diddy Kong’s jetpack, you can cover even more distance in the air. With Dixie Kong, you can gain a little more height and hover briefly in the air. Cranky Kong, on the other hand, opens up completely new possibilities for you. Thanks to his crutch, you can jump on anything pointed, be it thorns, spines or enemies with stings.

Donkey Kong and Dixie Kong
Donkey Kong and Dixie Kong

All easy with Funky against new enemies

But the most important innovation of the Nintendo Switch is the new Funky mode, which is part of an extensive help system that cushions the enormous difficulty, significantly reduces frustration and thus allows more flow when jumping and racing. If you start a game in Funky Kong mode, there are no pets for Funky, but you may switch between the levels to Donkey Kong. Funky combines double jump, glide and thorn resistance, he has five instead of two life hearts and prickly opponents behave more graciously. If you often fail in a level, you can skip it. In Funky’s shop, you also invest gold coins in life-prolonging bonuses.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze - Funky Kong in Action
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze – Funky Kong in Action

A minor story with a new opponent: the Viking Penguins and the Donkeys mop bananas. Six worlds of forests, meadows, and mountains you cross, on lava, desert areas and the water world with beaches and finally back to the snow-covered Donkey Kong Island. Some levels have alternative exists, in others rhino Rambi, with which you gallop through collapsing buildings and enemies, awaits you. Elsewhere you fly with the rocket barrel through the obstacle course, master rapid rides with the mine truck, such sequences are rarer than in the predecessor.

To finish the difficult levels despite several checkpoints is one thing. Finding and collecting all KONG letters, puzzle pieces, and secret rooms is another. You’re constantly discovering new tasks: you’re eliciting treasures from boxes and plants by drumming on the ground; you’re throwing stunned enemies and barrels on targets and booty bags. If the bar at the top left is sufficiently filled by collecting enough bananas, you can trigger a Kong special ability. Depending on which additional Kong you have with you, all visible enemies turn into a certain item and some mini puzzles can only be solved with new abilities.


Donkey Kong Country - Tropical Freeze Overall

Game title: Donkey Kong Country - Tropical Freeze

Game description: Your task is to steer the kongs through the action-packed levels using all kinds of jumping, running and rolling maneuvers. The aim is to recover Donkey Kong Island from the plundering cattle kings in the Arctic Ocean. Use the special abilities of each character to explore every corner of the six islands and discover special items and secret exits!

  • 92%
    GAMEPLAY - 92%
  • 89%
    STORY - 89%
  • 90%
    GRAPHIC & SOUND - 90%


Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is a nostalgic trip for SNES fans and platforming friends, which can still be seen four years after its first release. Six worlds full of levels with a crunchy level of difficulty have demanded everything of me, but also guarantee long game fun, which is extended once again if you want to unravel all the secrets. The game works better on Nintendo’s Switch anyway than on Wii U. After all, you can take Donkey Kong with you wherever you go and play only a short level in between


  • One of the best 2D jumping games of the last years
  • Full HD resolution
  • Great Coop-mode


  • Too less new features for the price

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