Is The Orginal Donkey Kong A Puzzle Game


The original Donkey Kong, released by Nintendo in 1981, is a classic arcade game that has captured the hearts of gamers for decades. While it is primarily known as a platform game, some argue that it also incorporates puzzle elements. In this article, we will explore the various aspects of Donkey Kong and determine whether it can be classified as a puzzle game.

Gameplay Overview

Donkey Kong revolves around the protagonist, Jumpman (later renamed Mario), attempting to save his girlfriend, Pauline, from the clutches of the giant ape Donkey Kong. The gameplay involves climbing ladders and jumping over obstacles to reach Pauline, while avoiding barrels thrown by Donkey Kong.

Puzzle Elements

Although Donkey Kong is primarily a platform game, there are indeed puzzle-like elements present. The level design requires players to figure out the most efficient routes to reach Pauline, often involving strategic climbing, jumping, and timing. The barrels thrown by Donkey Kong can be seen as puzzle pieces that need to be correctly navigated or avoided to progress further.

Timing and Precision

One of the key components of puzzle games is timing and precision, and Donkey Kong demands these skills from players. The barrels and other obstacles move in specific patterns, requiring players to time their movements precisely to avoid them. This adds an element of strategy and critical thinking, similar to what is found in puzzle games.

Problem Solving

Another aspect of puzzle games is problem-solving, and Donkey Kong offers plenty of opportunities for players to analyze and find solutions to overcome difficult levels. Each level presents a unique challenge that requires players to think strategically and come up with the best approach to reach Pauline. This problem-solving aspect aligns with the puzzle game genre.


While the original Donkey Kong is primarily classified as a platform game, it does incorporate puzzle-like elements. The strategic thinking, timing, and problem-solving required to progress through the levels share similarities with puzzle games. Therefore, it wouldn’t be entirely inaccurate to consider Donkey Kong as a platform-puzzle hybrid game, appealing to fans of both genres.

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