Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is the latest Wii U port to hit the Nintendo Switch and if you missed its initial release in 2014 and are planning on picking it up, then you’re in for a treat…perhaps banana themed treats!  Here’s kinda how the plotline goes with Tropical Freeze; the Kong’s are celebrating Donkey’s birthday and their celebrations are ruined by invading Snowmad ships and their home has been taken over by an evil army of penguins, seals and various other inhabiting sea creatures.  So it’s up to you; Donkey Kong with the help of Dixie, Diddy and Cranky to reclaim your home, eat tons of banana’s, ride dangerous Rhino’s and rail carts!

If you’re family with Donkey Kong games of old, then you’ll feel right at home here as its traditional platforming gameplay at its finest, only with multiple characters with their own skill-sets, as well as the added charm that only Nintendo can deliver.  All in all, we have four main playable characters for the main campaign, with Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Dixie Kong and Crank Kong, as well as a new playable character exclusive to this version with Funky Kong and his Funky mode.

As previously stated, each character has their own set of skills, Diddy Kong has a jetpack that helps you and Donkey cross large gaps, Cranky Kong has a pogo-stick-like ability, similar to the mechanic seen in the DuckTales videogame and Dixie Kong, who uses her ponytail much like Tails’ tail in Sonic the Hedgehog to fly across gaps and reach heights that other characters cannot.  Finding barrels throughout each level will result in Donkey Kong having one of these characters assist him with their abilities and an added health boost bonus.  A second player can also join in to assume control of these characters for some good old couch co-op.

Finally, we have the aforementioned Funky Kong, who in the previous Wii U version was the in-game shop vender taking bananas for power-ups.  Who by the way, is taking double duty by still taking bananas in exchange for goods, as well as being a new playable character.  However, Funky Kong isn’t used in the same way as all the other characters in the Switch version of Tropical Freeze, because you can only play as Funky Kong in his Funky mode, which in essence is an easy mode without the ability to have companions helping you out.  In this mode, Funky moves at a faster pace, has five hit points instead of two (like the other characters), has a double jump, can hover in mid-air, breathe underwater and can even stand on spikes.  So in many ways, Funky Kong is practically invincible, which is perfect for perhaps a younger generation wanting to enjoy a game that is surprisingly challenging, as well as being a speed-runners delight.

Speaking of difficulty, make no mistake that while Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze easies you into the action, as you progress from the second stage onwards, you’ll notice that the difficulty cranks up somewhat after the teething period, perhaps more than some might expect.  While this may get frustrating at times, it helps give you a real sense of accomplishment after the more challenging (and frustrating) sections.  However, you can acquire plenty of extra lives through gameplay, bonus modes and Funky’s shop to help you progress.  So with the combination of the challenging gameplay, the Funky Mode and co-op, the Nintendo Switch version of Tropical Freeze does a great job in catering for all skill levels.

In conclusion, while I missed the initial Wii U release, I’m so glad that Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze has been re-released on the Nintendo Switch.  Not only does it look that little but sharper, run that little bit smoother and can be played at home or on the go, Tropical Freeze is a challenging, fun, addictive and rewarding title.  I know I might be a little late to the Donkey Kong party, but Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is one of the best platformers that I’ve played in years and is a title you must pick up for your Nintendo Switch.