Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze

DKCTF is colorful, fun, timing-based, and fairly difficult. In short, classic Nintendo platforming.

The story is that some penguins show up and freeze things. And then you go through a bunch of stuff to unfreeze it or whatever. Who cares?

Everything in this game is quite good, but there’s little that stood out to me as spectacular. The music got stuck in my head. Several of the levels are inventive, but not so creative that I’m sure I’ll really remember them or care a year from now. There was a thing with bobbing giraffes on sticks?

This game is pretty, and polished, and suffers mainly because it doesn’t do anything new. Essentially every mechanic was something I’d seen before.

It’s also possible to pretty much buy your way to the end (with bananas, that is). There are fall recovery balloons, extra lives, extra jumps for choosing Funky Kong, extra damage you’re allowed to take, extra hearts for your vehicles. If any level is too tough, it might make more sense to take a quick visit to the store rather than up your game.

Possibly the best part of the game was the intermittent boss fights—various animals that stand between you and victory. I liked the polar bear and the monkeys. The fights end a bit abruptly, but I guess that leaves more time to get started on the next world’s platforming.

Play it if

You’re looking for a cohesive platformer, enjoy cute animals, notice quality art, or love blitzing through levels ignoring collectibles