Donkey Kong Jungle Beat is a Nintendo GameCube video game featuring the ape Donkey Kong and played with the DK Bongos. It was released in Japan on December 16, 2004, in Europe on February 4, 2005, in North America on March 14, 2005, and in Australia on March 17, 2005. In 2008 and 2009, the game was re-released in the New Play Control! series of revamped Nintendo GameCube titles. This is the first game to be rated E10 by the ESRB.

Also in series

Donkey Kong Banana Kingdom
Donkey Kong Banana Kingdom
Donkey Kong Jungle Fever
Donkey Kong Jungle Fever

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One of the more creative and really neat Ninty games out there with the most ??? control scheme known to mankind.

dude carpal tunnel is literally so cool like actually the sickest mechanic in any video game

I'm not quite finished with this one - there's a whole new set of levels once you finish the game, and I still want to go back and get platinum ranks on all of the levels I missed. Having said that, I can't see my opinion changing too much.

I bought the DK bongos on a whim off of ebay. They were fairly cheap, and more than anything else, I just wanted to own this item since I was in a DK mood. I was obviously interested in the various Gamecube games that required use of the bongos, but besides Jungle Beat, I wasn't exactly foaming at the mouth to play them.

I always found Jungle Beat peculiar, being a platformer controlled solely with four buttons, though I suppose inputs would be a better term for it. You can run left or right by tapping that side of the bongo, you can jump by slamming your hands on both sides at once, and if you clap into the microphone, Donkey Kong will also clap his hands to interact with certain objects and collect bananas. This input is a tad inconsistent, and caused me some frustrations throughout the course of the game, but not enough that I consider it a significant flaw. With these limitations in place, Donkey Kong Jungle Beat could never test you with quick precision platforming, so the developers took an entirely different approach.

My best comparison, at least of the games I've experienced, is Pizza Tower. Doing certain actions increases your combo counter - ground pounds, wall jumps, swinging from vines, defeating enemies etc. - and the number your combo counter is on is the amount by which the number of bananas you collect is multiplied, and this resulting number is called 'beats'. The aim, then, is to finish each level with the most beats possible, with different medals earned for certain milestones, up to 1200 beats for the coveted platinum medal. The twist is that if your feet touch the ground, the combo counter resets to 0. Additionally, while a combo is still going, any damage taken will deplete every beat you've gotten since you last touched the ground.

There's a nice ebb and flow to Jungle Beat, you look for opportunites for big combos and then carefully position yourself to maximise your combo counter before taking on a tricky execution test where you try to collect as many bananas as possible before that combo ends, as the opportunity likely won't return in most cases. You can eke out some ridiculous combos in odd spaces, using tight inputs to backflip, ground pound and wall jump before messing about with every interactable in the room. Once you set up a tough combo, there's a lot of pressure to execute from then on, collecting as many beats as possible before you're forced to touch the ground again.

Each stage concludes with a boss fight which are never bad by any means, but typically not something to write home about. There's a small selection of 'template' bosses that are remixed throughout the game, but the threat loss isn't dying, it's losing your beats. You don't gain any new beats from boss fights, instead being drained of them every time you take damage. Sometimes this will mean nothing; the surplus of beats is too high for any amount of damage to impact your score. On other occasions, a single hit is enough to kill the run, so you'll be on the edge of your seat during these encounters.

I feel as if I've sold this game, but I can never truly do it justice. You won't get it until you've held the bongos in your hand, you've felt the visceral impact of slamming against them to defeat a boss while on precipice of being knocked down a rank. The bongos are a joy to pound on, and I often worked up quite the sweat chasing high scores in this game. This game will get your blood pumping should you chase after its highest ranks and while there are some slight inconveniences here and there, you're just not going to find another experience like Donkey Kong Jungle Beat.