Like the original Donkey Kong before it, Donkey Kong Jr. was also followed up with a Game & Watch adaptation. Interestingly, while I prefer Donkey Kong to Donkey Kong Jr. when based only on their original game, I think that the Game & Watch Donkey Kong Jr. is better than the Game & Watch Donkey Kong.
Like all Game & Watch games, the premise is simple. Donkey Kong Jr. has to get to some vines, so he can climb up onto a canopy of trees, then grab a swinging key and thrust it into the key hole of Donkey Kong’s cage. You have to jump at just the right time to get the key and if you miss, you’ll fall down and lose a life. Plus, along the way you have to avoid little Snapjaw crocodiles and Nitpicker birds.
The first few times you climb up, it’s easy enough, but it slowly gets harder and harder as more enemies appear. Eventually, it becomes almost like a delicate dance, with Donkey Kong Jr. having to expertly move back and forth to avoid the onslaught. You can also toss down fruits to destroy enemies and it’s possible to destroy three of them at once (for lots of extra points) and it’s fun waiting to get the timing just right.
I have to admit, that when I first played this, I didn’t quite like it. But about a year or two ago, I gave it another try and my opinion changed quite a lot. Now I’d go so far as to call it one of the best Game & Watches. If you get a chance to play it, I think it’s definitely worth it.