Mario vs donkey kong

REVIEW: Mario vs Donkey Kong is a fun clash in the form of a puzzle

Avatar of Eduardo Rebouças
Mario vs Donkey Kong reignites the rivalry between two of Nintendo's greatest characters in a fun platform and puzzle game

Mario and Donkey Kong are vying for the attention of Switch players again, in remake from a GameBoy Advance classic. Is it worth getting into this fight? Check out our full review below!

Mario vs Donkey Kong: a long-standing rivalry

Mario vs donkey kong
BURGLAR! Catch the thief!! (Image: Nintendo)

The feud between two of Nintendo's most beloved mascots is long-standing. Mario and Donkey Kong have already been competing for the public's attention since the two characters' debut in Donkey Kong, the arcade game released in 1981 that put Nintendo's name on the map. In it, Mario wasn't even Mario, but the basic characteristics that make him the character he is today were already there.

In 1994, Nintendo brought back the clash between them as the central theme of a new game, also called Donkey Kong, for the GameBoy. Considered one of the handheld's greatest classics, it was used as inspiration for a new line of games that began on the GameBoy Advance ten years later, with Mario vs. Donkey Kong.

Now, twenty years and several releases later, which included titles on the DS, 3DS and Wii U, Nintendo has decided to rescue and fully recreate the GBA original on the Switch. Mario vs. Donkey Kong It's still basically the same, just much prettier and with some new features.

In terms of story, the game's plot is very simple. Donkey Kong is at home watching TV and is fascinated by the miniature Mario he sees in a commercial. Unfortunately for him, they are all sold out, but that doesn't stop Monkey, who decides to go to Mario's toy factory to get hold of some of the dolls.

Lots of jumping, climbing and clumsy

Mario vs Donkey Kong reignites the rivalry between two of Nintendo's greatest characters in a fun platform and puzzle game
The stages bring challenges that are enjoyable to complete. (Image: Nintendo)

Mario doesn't leave it cheap and goes after the thief, and that's how Mario vs. Donkey Kong start. In each stage, Mario has to jump, climb, carry and rescue gifts, and then retrieve the toys in a second part. The gameplay is very similar to older games starring the two mascots, especially Donkey Kong Jr., in the way Mario is able to climb vines and drop fruit on enemies' heads.

Each of the game's worlds has a unique visual theme and small gameplay updates. Divided into six phases, the confrontation between Mario and DK takes place after they are cleared, so Mario can recover some dolls that serve as lives for the two's fight. When defeated, the Nintendo jumpsuit leaves for the next world, and the game progresses. This new version of the game brings two more new worlds, each with new mechanics.

Mario vs. Donkey Kong It is far from being a difficult or very complicated game to play, which makes it an excellent choice for parents looking for games to have fun with their children. Aiming at younger players, Nintendo included a casual mode in the game, in which when taking damage, the level does not start from scratch, instead, Mario is taken back to the beginning, without losing the recovered items. 

There is also a two-player mode, which serves as the perfect distraction for pairs of different skill levels to enjoy this new release together.

Each stage takes place on a screen that extends both vertically and horizontally, but it's still very easy to see what's ahead during the challenge. It's perfectly possible to clear one without taking everything with you, but the real fun is being able to earn the gold star, which serves as a milestone towards achieving 100% success. Mario vs. Donkey Kong.

Everything is very pretty and super colorful

Mario vs Donkey Kong reignites the rivalry between two of Nintendo's greatest characters in a fun platform and puzzle game
The confrontations between the two characters are the highlights of the game. (Image: Nintendo)

The game is no exception and has a very colorful and attractive presentation, with scenarios and characters full of details and traditional Nintendo charm. There is little to comment about the characters' speeches, as Mario himself barely utters a word, apart from the expected screams and grunts.

The game's soundtrack is a remix of the songs from the original version, with some completely new songs. There's nothing that comes close to the franchise's classic songs, but they're not boring either. Overall, it falls a little short when compared to other remakes as Super Mario RPG

Price and availability

Mario vs. Donkey Kong is available for purchase in both digital and physical formats. To purchase digital media, simply visit the eShop website or through the Nintendo Switch app and make the purchase. The physical copy can be found in all major distributors across the country. 

Both options cost a trifle R$249,00, that is, a little below the usual value of games on the device.  


Compared to others remakes that Nintendo has already released, Mario vs. Donkey Kong it is the one that innovated the least, bringing little beyond graphical improvements for those who have already played the original version. But that doesn't take away the value of the game, as it's a bit complicated to get a copy of that version, not to mention the hardware, which nowadays can be quite expensive.

On other occasions, such as the 3DS or Wii U virtual console, the 2004 version was made available, but it is also a more complicated way to get the game, considering that the digital stores of both of Casa do Cogumelo's already outdated consoles were deactivated last year. 

These however make Mario vs. Donkey Kong on Switch is the best and calmest option for those looking to relive or play the friendly puzzle game for the first time.

Mario vs. Donkey Kong it is in fact a more than safe bet for Nintendo, and it is another step forward in its strategy of reusing classic games in the form of more beautiful releases on the Switch, the console that is undoubtedly a worldwide success. It is an excellent choice for younger players or those looking for a calmer gaming experience. 


Text proofread by: Pedro Bomfim

Mario vs. Donkey Kong

Mario vs. Donkey Kong
78 100 0 1
total Score
  • Graphics
    80/100 Great
    Colorful and flashy, the game's graphics are very beautiful, but simple.
  • Audio
    70/100 Good
    The game's soundtrack doesn't draw attention, but it doesn't bother either. Apart from Mario's screams, practically no one speaks.
  • Gameplay
    80/100 Great
    All of Mario's usual tricks can be used from level to level, but it lacks that fluidity of movement present in his normal adventures.  
  • Fun
    80/100 Great
    The overall difficulty of the game is low, but it is still entertaining. It's the perfect game for younger players or those looking for a more casual experience.


  • It's the most convenient way to play Mario vs Donkey Kong
  • For parents and children, it is an excellent choice
  • The casual mode will help a lot for those who are not used to playing


  • It's a game with few new features for those who have already had fun with the original version.

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