Saturday, December 4, 2010

It's On Like Donkey Kong

This arrived on my doorstep on the day before Thanksgiving, and in my frenzy of preparing for 26 people to descend on my house the next day I completely forgot to tell you about it. As usual, the people at Nintendo completely outdid themselves:

To introduce their new Donkey Kong Country Returns, they sent over a copy of the game, boxed up in a miniature crate and surrounded by rubber bananas. Being a former art director, I had to take a few minutes to marvel at their promotion prowess and packaging ingenuity. My kids, however, took one look at the shiny Wii logo and immediately snatched the game out of the box and headed for their controllers. Then they started throwing the bananas at each other. At this point they weren't even listening to my lecture on the fine points of advertising and marketing strategy.

If you're old like me you'll remember the classic Donkey Kong arcade game from the '80's. Here, let me refresh your memory:

Can't you just see me standing in front of this in my leg warmers and shoulder-padded blazer? I'm pretty sure my boyfriend was standing next to me humming a Flock Of Seagulls song.

Donkey Kong was one of the few video games I remember playing, and I always liked the humor of that big ape tossing barrels around. The game has come a long way since then, but I'm glad they've managed to keep Donkey Kong alive. The new game still stars that familiar ape, but according to my 12-year-old is pretty challenging and apparently beyond her mom's Donkey Kong 80's abilities. I'd like to see her try and play while you're balancing a stack of quarters and a can of Cactus Cooler on your knee. 

I'll have a full review from that 12-year-old, who hasn't had a chance to write it because of a full homework load. Kids these days and their priorities.

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