Why we love Donkey Kong Country

October 25th, 2023   •   By Gio


In this post we’re heading back in time to 1994. Nintendo publishes Donkey Kong Country (SNES), developed by the legendary British game developers Rare.

First of all… Who is Rare?

Rare was founded in 1985. The studio is known for creating some of the most popular video games in history, especially during the 1990s and early 2000s. Rare was acquired by Microsoft in 2002, and they continued to develop games for Xbox and Xbox 360.

Their most well-known titles are classics such as Donkey Kong Country, Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest and Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!, Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie, GoldenEye 007, Perfect Dark or Killer Instinct.

Why is Donkey Kong Country (still) so great?

It remains one of the most beloved platformers of all time, considered a SNES master piece:

  • Incredible visuals. It was one of the first games to use pre-rendered 3D graphics on the SNES, giving it a very unique look compared to most other games at the time.

  • Tight gameplay, with a great variety of levels to explore, having a multitude of collectible, shortcuts, and hidden bonus areas. Overall, it has the perfect balance of difficulty and accessibility for casual players.

  • Catchy music!  Many of the tracks, such as "Jungle Hijinx" and "Aquatic Ambiance," have become iconic in their own right.

  • Memorable characters, of course including Donkey Kong himself, his nephew Diddy Kong (also playable), and their animal buddies Dixie Kong, Cranky Kong, and Funky Kong. 

Donkey Kong Country game play

One more thing: Let’s talk about the intriguing Go Ape! CD

The "Go Ape!" CD was included with the original release. It’s a promotional CD, part of the marketing campaign by Nintendo and Rare to promote the game.The CD contained a selection of music, featuring tracks from the game's memorable soundtrack, composed by David Wise. It also included gameplay footage, behind-the-scenes information about the game's development, and various promotional content.The inclusion of such promotional materials and CDs was not uncommon in the 1990s, as a way to generate excitement.

These CDs were often bundled with magazines or included in special promotions as a way to showcase a game's features and build anticipation among players, but, in the case of Donkey Kong Country, it was included within the game box itself.The "Go Ape!" CD has since become a collector's item and is considered a piece of gaming history.

Where to buy a copy of Donkey Kong Country?

Whether you're a nostalgic gamer or a newcomer, now's the perfect time to experience the magic of Donkey Kong Country.

On Mage you can find cartridges at the moment selling from £14, and complete in-box copies at £60 (some including the Go Ape! CD).

Game on everybody!



A normal lad talking about games and Mage stuff.