Review: Mario vs. Donkey Kong


PlatformStudioReleasePlayed
SwitchNintendoNovember
2023
January
2024

Mario vs Donkey Kong is a remake of the puzzle platformer originally released on Game Boy Advance in 2004. Throughout the more than 100 level you control Mario collecting the Mario puppet toys Donkey Kong stole before. The focus of the game is on puzzles by applying buttons and switches and control Mario safely through the levels. Throughout the end of the game exact timing and controls become more important with a higher focus on the platforming. The time limit given to finish a level becomes more important towards the end, but it can be activated by selecting the casual mode.


Boss fights against Donkey Kong at the end of each world are a true highlight as they place the known gameplay into different challenges and ways how to defeat Donkey. In special levels at the end of each world you must guide small toy Marios safely throughout the level into a target box. Those levels add additional variety as you need to care not only about Mario but also how to bring home all mini Marios safely.

The difficulty of levels increases gradually, and the design of the different worlds is excellent. After a first play through more levels are available for additional challenges and typically for Nintendo the game is perfectly polished with crisp controls and a technically flawless audio-visual experience.


Positive

  • more than 100 well designed levels
  • fair and gradually increasing difficulty
  • technically flawless (graphics, soundtrack, controls)
  • well designed boss fights against Donkey Kong

Negative

  • Nintendo-typical very minimal story

Verdict

Sample Title 89%

89

“Very good puzzle platformer in the Mario universe with a lot of variety in level design and gameplay.”

Sources:
Screenshots: own screen captures