Castle Kong released on June 5th for Steam and will come to the Nintendo Switch a month later on July 4th. It’s clearly heavily influenced by the classic Donkey Kong games and a modern take on the iconic arcade-style gameplay.
This game is incredibly difficult and all about getting the highest score. You will die a lot. There’s actually a tournament running until the start of September – hold your place in the top scores and you’ll earn a cash prize.
From Drowning Monkeys, this modern take on Donkey Kong is full of pastiche and whimsical graphics. With highly-detailed pixel art levels, the platform and puzzles are notoriously unforgiving. You get one life (one coin at a time).
With 4 ruthless stages and 22 levels, you play as PauperBoy who is tasked with saving PrincessGirl from the evil BaronMan. Castle Kong is designed to play just like a classic arcade game, but with all the modern conveniences.
Yes, there is a kill screen, and yes, if you die you’ll need to go back to the beginning. Rather than placing coins into a machine, you can just run the game again. The various stages are pretty difficult.
The game is also true to its arcade roots in ways that can even become a little offputting. Castle Kong has obviously been designed to faithfully recreate the arcade games of old, but this means some odd movement mechanics (such as being unable to change direction in the air once you’ve jumped.)
There are two versions of the game currently, a free version and a full version which costs money to unlock. Consider the free version a sort of demo/a tester to see whether it’s a game for you. If you’re not big on arcade games you might struggle to get into this one.
The game plays okay on PC – it’s obviously not a very taxing game and just about any machine would be able to run it. It will be interesting to see how the movement/controls respond on Nintendo Switch using a joystick rather than a keyboard.