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Donkey Konga
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Console: Nintendo GameCube
Region: US United States
Year: 2004
RFG ID #: U-076-S-03350-A
UPC: 045496962432
Developer: Namco
Publisher: Nintendo
E (ESRB): Comic Mischief

Genre: Music/Rhythm
Sub-genre: Music Simulator
Players: 1-4
Controller: DK Bongos, Standard Controller
Media Format: GameCube Optical Disc
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Collection Stats:

  • 257 of 7611 collectors (3.3%) have this game in their collection
  • 13 of 7611 collectors (0.1%) have this game in their wishlist.
  • 0 of 7611 collectors (0%) have this game for sale or trade.

  • Standard Controller
  • DK Bongos
  • Memory Card (3 blocks)

Donkey Konga is the GameCube's first significant music beat game which uses the new DK Bogo controller. Players must drum, beat, and clap their way through the rhythms of a variety of popular songs. In the same vein of Sonic Team's Samba de Amigo and Namco's own Taiko: Drum Master, Donkey Konga is aimed not only to please old fans of the genre, but also to bring new ones in. So far, this seems to be happening.

The text from the back of the case follows:

Jungle Boogie!
Le boogie de la jungle!

Grab your DK Bongos and let the rhythm move you! Clap your hands and drum to the beat of over thirty songs, from kids' medleys to classical remixes and pop favourites. Donkey Konga puts the music in your hands!

Attrape les DK Bongos et faisse le rythme s'emparer de toil Frappe des mains et bats le rythme de plus de trente chansons, des airs les plus populaires auprés des enfants, aux classiques et aux succés de la musique pop. Avec Donkey Konga, tu as la musique entre les mains!


Is the rhythm in you? That is the question to be had in the cunning music game Donkey Konga. This is a game that revolves around you, the screen, and your pair of bongos. The premise of this game is simple—there are four blips that roll across the screen, in a very musically oriented sense. Each one corresponds to either hitting the left bongo, the right bongo, both bongos, or clapping with your hands, thanks to the bongos' built in microphone. That's right! You get clap wildly and beat your bongos in this game! What could be more fun?

In all seriousness, this game is all about rhythm, hence its tagline, "Is the rhythm in you," or for those of you speak that parle Francais, "As-tu le rthyme dans le sang?" As stated in the previous paragraph, the premise is in fact to hit the bongos or clap in the way the blips prescribe. (From this point on the blips will be referred to as notes, as that is in reality what they are) The notes conjure up a wonderful percussion / bongo line for the song that you are playing. Did you ever want to know how bongos would sound in the Turkish March? This game would be for you then. In addition to the Turkish March, there are a multitude of other songs (33 to be exact) that are there to test your rhythm. For those of us who happen to not be rhythmically inclined, there are three difficulty levels—monkey, chimp, and gorilla. The difficulty levels are designed to get you up to speed with your rhythmic side, and for those who will never have a rhythmic side, well, there are the monkey and chimp levels.

Donkey Konga also features a coinage system, where the player accumulates coins according to how well you complete the stage. Depending on how the player hits a note corresponds to how many coins he or she gets. The notes can be hit in four different ways—great, ok, bad, and miss. The player amasses coins for hitting notes great or ok. In addition, the player can accumulate a combo for every great or ok note hit. Hitting notes ok or great also increases your rating in the clear meter, which starts in the red. Once the meter hits yellow, the player has cleared the level, and he receives a silver ranking and the coins that he has accumulated. If the meter becomes completely filled, then the player receives a gold ranking in addition to the coins accumulated. The coins accumulated can then be used to buy mini games, new bongo noises, or the song in the gorilla difficulty level.

The game also includes several modes. There's street performance, which I described in the previous paragraphs, there's challenge mode, which is an endless street performance, and then there are the multiplayer modes, Jam Session, and Battle. Battle mode, as the name implies, is a battle to see who is the better drummer, you or your friend, while the Jam Session has you and up to three of your closest friends working together to make some beautiful music. Challenge mode can also be played with two players. While your friends can use the normal GameCube controller as their "bongos," I personally recommend that for the best experience the game must be played with real bongos. There is a certain fun that can't be translated when playing the game with the ordinary GameCube controller.

There are some people who would say that Donkey Konga is much akin to another music game franchise, Dance Dance Revolution. My response to that is that those who think that are dead wrong! The game is actually a Nintendoized version of Namco's Taiko: Drum Master in almost every way! Is that a coincidence? Of course not, since Namco is the developer of Donkey Konga! While Donkey Konga may have some striking similarities to other music games the game is still extremely enjoyable. Those who enjoy musically oriented games such as DDR or Samba de Amigo need to check this game out. Those who are repulsed by DDR and its "Dancing" should also still check this game out, as this game is missing the "Make a fool of yourself" dancing element that DDR has. GameCube owners and Music Genre Lovers should definitely try this game out.

RF Generation Review Score


Extra Media:

  • Donkey Konga box front
  • Donkey Konga box back
  • Donkey Konga bongos controller
  • Donkey Konga Spanish instruction manual
  • Donkey Konga Nintendo Power registration card
  • Manual Back

    Console Reg. Type Title Publisher Year Genre
    Nintendo GameCube Germany S Donkey Konga [Pak - Bongos Bundle] Nintendo 2004 Music/Rhythm
    Nintendo GameCube Germany S Donkey Konga [Without Bongos] Nintendo 2004 Music/Rhythm
    Nintendo GameCube United Kingdom S Donkey Konga [Pak - Bongos Bundle] Nintendo 2004 Music/Rhythm
    Nintendo GameCube Spain S Donkey Konga [Pak - Bongos Bundle] Nintendo 2004 Music/Rhythm
    Nintendo GameCube France S Donkey Konga [Pak - Bongos Bundle] Nintendo 2004 Music/Rhythm
    Nintendo GameCube Netherlands S Donkey Konga [Pak - Bongos Bundle] Nintendo 2004 Music/Rhythm
    Nintendo GameCube J S Donkey Konga [Bongos Set] Nintendo 2003 Music/Rhythm
    Nintendo GameCube U S Donkey Konga [DK Bongos Bundle] Nintendo 2004 Music/Rhythm
    Nintendo GameCube Canada S Donkey Konga [DK Bongos Bundle] Nintendo 2004 Music/Rhythm
    Related Games:

    Console Reg. Type Title Publisher Year Genre
    Sony PlayStation U S Dance Dance Revolution Konami 2001 Music/Rhythm
    Nintendo GameCube U S Donkey Konga 2 Nintendo 2005 Music/Rhythm
    Sega Dreamcast U S Samba de Amigo Sega 2000 Music/Rhythm
    Sony PlayStation 2 U S Taiko Drum Master Namco 2004 Music/Rhythm
    Game Trivia:

    • Rated 'E' for 'Everyone' by the ESRB for comic mischief.
    • Donkey Konga is the first game to support the DK Bongos controller.
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