(Nintendo, June 1986)

There are a lot of great Virtual Console games on the Wii and some of these gamers even believe they are better then many of the current Wii discs (take that lame Chicken Shoot for example) at 50 bucks. Every week though Nintendo has to fill a quota for new VC releases so there are titles that have people just shaking their heads and questioning their religion. One of those games is definitely Donkey Kong Jr. Math. Yeah, back in the early NES era Nintendo attempted to go educational and here we have a rather uninteresting little math game where characters of the early Donkey Kong games are solving various brain teasers. OK, the idea sounds absolutely horrible as a crap sandwich but see why in my opinion this is one of the better educational video games I ever played.

The game has no story, you just control a bunch of young apes trying to solve the math problems from Donkey Kong himself. I guess Donkey Kong is worried about his kids getting stupid and in order to become the favourite in your parent's eyes you have to totally pwn your brother so he gets sold to another family or something. That Donkey Kong is a real jerk, eh?! In the two Game A and B modes you get to compete against a friend to see who can reach Donkey Kong's selected number the fastest. Just like the game Donkey Kong Junior you can climb ropes with ease and you can get + x - % symbols to help you calculate that right answer and get the victory.

The two player modes are fun but if no ones wants to play with you there is a single player Exercise mode to help sharper those math skills up. Here you can select from the size and style of the questions and then try to answer 10 of them to score points. It sounds easy but you lose points for wrong answers and you have to be quick too if you want to earn that elusive full 1000 score because you are under the clock. The game's graphics and sounds are decent enough for a first generation Nes title but they where lifted right from Donkey Kong Junior which is a little lazy. At least Nintendo didn't recycle the sprites and music from lamer games like
Urban Champion and Clu Clu Land.

DKJM is a hard sell (I think I'm the only one who bought it actually) but I like how the game can be played with a friend and it's also a great feeling when you have a game cart that gives you something back. I know a lot of people won't touch this game with a ten foot pole and I already seen dozens of negative reviews on sites like Gamespot and Ign but when you think about it's great move by Nintendo. This game was re-released in September 2007 along with the anticipated Brain Age 2 and this is a time when a lot of kids and parents are thinking about school again and having titles that focus on education entertainment is a excellent strategy. C'mon, a little math isn't going to kill you and with the different challenges available here Donkey Kong Jr. Math can be fairly addictive.

*Available in the 5 screw cart
*Uncommon NES game

Donkey Kong Jr. Math
overall rating: 70/100

Find Donkey Kong Jr. Math on eBay here!

For 1 or 2 players
Rated (E) for Everyone

graphics: 4/10
sound: 4/10
gameplay: 6/10
replay: 7/10

(Ryan Genno) 2007

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