COVID Lockdown: Donkey Kong

Some Golden Age arcade retro gaming for this COVID Lockdown, Donkey Kong.

While we’re in our third lockdown I decided to revisit some old favourites, but with a twist. The plan is to take a look at some of my all time favourite retro games but on a different system. Today I’m playing Donkey Kong on the Atari 7800.

Donkey Kong

Donkey Kong
Usual Version Played Current Version Played
System: Arcade Atari 7800
Publisher: Nintendo Nintendo
Release Year: 1981 1988
No. Players: 1  1
Genre: Arcade: Platform Arcade: Platform

Atari 7800 Donkey Kong
Donkey Kong on the Atari 7800

I wasn’t expecting much graphically, knowing the capabilities of the Atari 7800, pitted against a Golden Age arcade game (yes, I played Pac-man on the 2600) but they didn’t do too bad. The level setup animations are missing, which is a shame, but I’d rather that be the case with the limited ROM space.

Music and Sound FX

For anyone that has played DK Country on the Super NES the title screen music may sound familiar. The level music is there along with the sound effects albeit in a rather robotic, electronic way remiscient of a beatboxing Stephen Hawking. The audio is very Atari 7800 for those familiar with the console but I’m glad it’s in there.


Playability-wise it’s very much like the arcade version. Jumpman/Mario feels to move a little faster on the Atari 7800 version but that could just be my perception of it. It’s disappointing to see the arcade level two (the one where you have to run over the pins to make the girders fall) is missing from the Atari 7800 version but, again, I imagine that’s due to ROM space.

Atari 7800 Donkey Kong (2)
Donkey Kong on the Atari 7800

Arcade Donkey Kong
Donkey Kong on Arcade

Donkey Kong on the Atari 7800 isn’t as bad as I imagined it would be. It’s a reasonable version for a home system although probably not as good as versions available for other systems of that time. If my only option back then was the Atari 7800 version then I would’ve been happy with that inbetween arcade trips.