Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is a 2D platforming game developed by Retro Studios and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Wii U in 2014. It's a sequel to the 2010 Nintendo Wii game Donkey Kong Country Returns.
A port for the Nintendo Switch was released in May 2018.
Why It Rocks
- Just like Donkey Kong Country Returns, the game faithfully replicates the feel of the classic Donkey Kong Country games while still adding new mechanics of its own.
- Great graphics with gorgeous visuals with lots of variety in the themes for the levels.
- Fantastic controls.
- Very diagetic level design, where platforms and obstacles always feel organically integrated into the level's theming.
- Excellent soundtrack composed by David Wise.
- Hardcore platforming difficulty, however, difficulty curve is more forgiving than its predecessor.
- Unlike most Nintendo platformers which usually stick to a single gimmick for each level, Tropical Freeze levels use multiple gimmicks at once for very creative and varied level designs. Levels are much longer now because of this.
- Some levels have hidden exists that lead to bonus levels.
- The rather awkward blowing mechanic that required Motion Controls from Donkey Kong Country Returns is replaced with a new "pulling" mechanic where Donkey Kong pulls out switches buried into the ground to trigger mechanisms or find items. Pulling is much faster and easier than blowing so it doesn't interrupt the pacing.
- The minecart and barrel blast levels return and this time they have two hit points which makes them significantly less punishing then before while still challenging.
- You can also equip shields that protect your vehicles from damage.
- In addition to Diddy Kong, Dixie Kong and Kranky Kong are now available in Kong Barrels, each with their own abilities.
- Underwater levels return with significantly improved swimming physics so they're not tedious to play.
- Funky Kong is playable in the Switch version.
- A new cast of antagonists, the Snowmads. They have very creative designs based around Arctic/Antarctic animals.
- Creative and challenging boss fights that often change their attack patterns as the fight progresses.
- Each level in the final world is a revisit to the main worlds of Donkey Kong Country Returns in their frozen Snowmad-filled forms.
- Dixie Kong is slightly overpowered.
- Long loading screens.
- There isn't much of a reward for getting Puzzle Pieces or beating Time Attacks, both of which can be very difficult and frustrating at times.
- The final boss is somewhat disappointing as it plays out just like the regular bosses.
- Funky Kong is basically super easy mode as he has 5 hearts, can breathe infinitely underwater and can hover in the air, defeating all the difficulty of the game.
- Also adding to the easiness of Funky Mode, you can bring items with you when you're in the level.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze received critical acclaim. It was nominated for Best Game of 2014, while it didn't win, it did win Best Platformer of 2014. When the game was intially released on the Wii U, it was mostly ignored due to the Wii U's lack of popularity and didn't sell very well. However, when it was ported to Nintendo Switch, reception was significantly better.