Donkey Kong Jr. Math (NES) Retro Review

Donkey Kong Jr Math is a 1986 edutainment game for the NES developed and published by Nintendo. It shares similarities with Donkey Kong Jr like climbing vines but this time you were solving maths puzzles. It was the worst selling game in the US NES launch library and bad reviews from practically everyone.


Loading the game you’re met with a similar and a tune just like the other Donkey Kong games but i really didn’t like the tume tgis time. The game had 2 modes to choose from this time, Calculate A + B (B simply being a harder version of A) as well as +-×÷ Exercise.

They're staring right into your soul...

Getting into calculate it was obviously meant to be a 2 player game with a pink version of junior standing there but it didn’t really change anything, in fact with 2 players the game would probably take longer to ‘win’. The graphics were ok but the tune in the background repeated every few seconds and got annoying very fast. You’re character wasn’t very fast at all and the fact numbers were on vines and symbols on the floor somehow managed to give me the feeling of backtracking even though i was always on one screen. If you make a mistake you might as well carry on because pressing B doesn’t just reverse said mistake but sets your current number total back to 0 meaning you have to start collecting even more numbers and symbols. I ultimately had to agree with past reviewers that it was really boring.


+-×÷ Exercise was slightly more interesting, harder and quicker with you choosing numbers depending on how high you are on each rope before switching to the next one. However if had the exact same problems as the first game with the repetitive music and it still felt slow. On top of this by completing all 10 questions you get no reward which is a bit dumb if you’re trying to make kids do something they usually would never choose to do.

Overall I can sympathize with Nintendo for trying to use something popular for a good cause like teaching kids maths but ultimately it isn’t that easy. The game would of been boring even if it wasn’t edutainment and i just can’t recommend it at all.


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