User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 133 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 17 out of 133

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  1. Aug 18, 2014
    Dayum this game is good. Best side scroller since Yogi Bear's Gold Rush on the OG Game Boy. This game is hard, I died hundreds of times. I love red balloons.
  2. Jun 27, 2014
    Perfect platformer! This is truly the spiritual successor to the Donkey Kong country series, well, that was until Tropical Freeze came out, but, I'll review it once I play it.
  3. Apr 20, 2014
    This game is pretty hard, but in a way that feels totally fair. When you screw up, it's your own fault. The physics feel good, and very consistent. The music is wonderful even on the tiny speakers of a 3DS XL. I never played the Wii version, so I don't know how it compares really, but this is a very solid 3DS experience.
  4. Feb 25, 2014
    All and all this game is ok, it stays true to the whole 2D side scrolling concept but falls short of entertaining. I have more fun playing Zelda, Mario, or Monster hunter currently and playing this game just feels like a choir. I would stay away from it and hope for a more innovative donkey kong country game to be released. Feels like a cheap mobile phone game. If the 3Ds would just release SNES titles on the 3DS already I would just pay for the SNES version of Donkey Kong Country, heck I would even pay $30 for the SNES version on the 3Ds over this garbage. I am rating this a 0 just to bring the score down as many of these reviews of a "10" is over nostalgia and may miss lead others into paying for this title. My honest score is a 5. Expand
  5. Feb 22, 2014
    This is easily on of the best games i have played in a long time. Fantastic level design, great graphics, smooth gameplay and remarkable soundtracks. Every level feels diffrent from the last, and theres so many hidden areas to explore, not to mention the great amount of collectibles. The boss fights are really great aswell. Highly recommend this game.
  6. Jan 4, 2014
    A perfect side-scrolling game, with complex levels and puzzles. It's the best 3DS game that I've played until now. And the extras challenges are fabulous!
  7. Nov 26, 2013
    I've played the old Donkey Kong Country games for years. I grew up with them. When I saw that there was a new Donkey Kong platformer, I purchased this game after reading some reviews. I am very displeased with this game.

    For starters, none of the game mechanics feel right. Donkey Kong doesn't jump as far as he usually does, and it can really throw the player off. Your roll attack now
    has a distance on it. The game places 3 enemies in a row, your natural reaction is to roll through it. You get through 2 of them, and take damage from the 3rd. Did I mention that you have health now? You'll need it because you're gonna end up getting hit multiple times.

    At least Diddy Kong doubles your health. And also gives you the ability to hover for a short distance. Which is great and all, but it's one of the only ways that the game is playable. Take away Diddy's hover and you're stuck meticulously misjudging every single one of Donkey's jumps.

    One of the things I wanted to find in this game was classic style controls, because honestly, I hate playing 2-d style platformers with the circle pad. Thankfully, there's a control pad option so you can control with the d-pad, but it changes every single one of the other controls. With the circle pad you can roll with y, but for some random reason when you switch to control pad you have to use the shoulder buttons. I tried to switch over to have a more classic style experience, but was left with having to meticulously re-figure out the controls while standing still.

    This game loses a lot of the old flow the old games had. All of the fun in the old Donkey Kong games was running through them as fast as possible, collecting bananas and Kong letters. It was fun. This game feels more like I'm doing housework, or it's reminding me that it's a kid game and I have to take it slow. Then it puts you in a fast paced level as you watch Donkey's pathetic athletic skills as he ambles and stumbles his way across the level.

    The game has it's cool points, don't get me wrong. The wall clinging feature is really neat, and the parts where you go into the background is pretty cool, if not difficult to see. The game looks great. It's just not a Donkey Kong game. I'm as much confused as I am disappointed with this title. If you want to play it, rent it. Don't shell out the 30 bucks to purchase it.
  8. Oct 21, 2013
    It's the donkey's bollocks. Nicely paced, graduating difficulty and vast replay scope if you are
    up for the serious challenges. Otherwise, the art style is lovely and the game has all the charm you'd expect from Nintendo. A must play if you love platformers and missed playing it on the wii.
  9. Sep 17, 2013
    Wii to 3DS, a nightmare fun

    when I played the Wii edition it took me a whole year termianr throughout the whole game, but as the years passed and I got the N3DS and find out about the Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, I said "Sere able to face once again to this jeugo in his edition of 3DS? I said yes, buy it and I never thought that I played a Wii game could be adapted so well to a
    portable, well-detailed levels, secrets are still impressive to even the world secret and not so complicated to use N3DS buttons to avoid any errors in levels and Monster Games developed Retrostudios a great job in this game. Expand
  10. Aug 22, 2013
    The game overall is excellent, but the controls are very unusual and it is also a poor design choice to embed the control options menu so many clicks deep. They really could have streamlined this much more effectively.
  11. Aug 4, 2013
    Great game to play on the go. Pretty much the same as the Wii version which was one of the best games for the console. A must have if you like: Platformers Donkey Kong Super Mario Apes and bananas Fun Good video games You havent played the Wii version The 3D is good, I do wish they would let you play multiplayer online. But other than that, you can't reallt find a lot of bad things about this game.

    A great addition to the 3DS library, 9 of 10.
  12. Jul 25, 2013
    I've rarely been put down so quickly by something that was presented as one of this console's "AAA" titles. The control is awkward, the game play is stale and the difficulty varies at complete random even within a stage itself. I could easily compare this title to Rayman Origins, but the only result of this would be I'd recommend Rayman Origins instead, period. Mario, Rayman, you simply handle this genre way better and Donkey Kong.... nnnnot soooo muuuuch (Borat voice). Expand
  13. Jul 6, 2013
    Wow, an amazing experience! I expected a fun sidescroller game and got so much more. A very dynamic world, much because of the background actually having a purpose instead of just being a backround. Very nice 3D effects and it still holds up very well if you decide not to use it. FLAWLESS, and I would like to emphasize, FLAWLESS level design, with every level being based on something new and interesting! Fun bosses, interesting game mechanics and a soundtrack to die for. I also liked the difficulty, a very hard and therefore also rewarding game. Easily one of the best games I've played on my 3DS, I don't regret bying it one bit. Expand
  14. Jul 5, 2013
    This game is simply awesome. It's essentially the Wii version, but with an extra world, a new mode for beginners, and running at 30 fps. Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D has amazing level design that blows away the Mario Bros. titles. The game controls very well, looks great, and sounds great. The game is quite difficult, even while playing in the easy mode, but is still fun overall. I highly recommend this game for your 3DS if you loved the Donkey Kong Country games for the SNES, or you simply want to play a challenging platformer. Expand
  15. Jul 1, 2013
    I would like to clarify that this is a review of the features added to the game itself, rather then the game. So the score you see is based on how much has been changed. My score for the original game Wii game would be a 10 by the way. So Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D is exactly what it sounds like, a 3ds version of the Wii modern classic. As the title implies, there is now a 3D effect as well. The 3D can be astonishing at times as it doesn't overdo it til your eyes hurt, but does it enough to not feel like a throwaway gimmick. The visuals are nearly as good as the Wii title, with the exception of a few muddy textures. The framerate now runs at about 30 frames per second rather then the Wii versions smooth 60. That being said, the framerate is the only thing in this version that can feel bad. However, it does have a few new positive features as well. Not seen in the Wii version are 8 new levels comprising a new world. While the levels are some of the funnest in the game, they are also some of the easiest. You actually have to collect all KONG letters and then complete the hardest levels in the game to access this world. This makes them come across as out of place though since they bear almost no challenge compared to the levels prior. My final note about the game being the replacement of motion controls with a simple button tap is an amazing one. The motion controls were my only gripe with the original so them being gone is a complete plus. So overall, if you purchased and completed the original title, then I don't recommend buying this version. While it does have some spiffy new features, they don't justify a second buy. So for that customer I would give it a 7 out of 10. However, if you have never played the original this is a better time then any and the original Wii score remains for the 3D version as a 10 out of 10. Expand
  16. Jun 22, 2013
    When Donkey Kong Country came out on the SNES it was a class above anything I'd ever seen before on a console. Donkey Kong Country Returns builds upon that game and brings it to the 21st Century though it's not the quantum leap from all other platformers that the original was.

    That being said, this is a very good platformer with great graphics, wonderful sound, and many challenging
    and fun levels. Overall, DK is back and this one will bring a smile to the face of those new to the franchise and those who have played previous games.

    The only people that will hate this game are Sony as it's yet another nail in the coffin of the Vita.
  17. Jun 20, 2013
    Lovely platformer on the 3DS and quite challenging in places when my son asks me to get him past a bit he's stuck on. The 3D works well with this title too.
    A refreshing addition and a really good game.
  18. Jun 18, 2013
    I'm not a DK fan. I did play the SNES games back then and liked them, but never been a fan of the series, just liked it and that's all. I was on the fence about buying this one, I read a lot of reviews but still, I had the feeling that DK was just not for me, and I was wrong.
    I decided to buy the game, played for 2 hours I think and found out that the game is awesome. Great gameplay,
    beautiful visuals, excelent music.

    This is what platformers should be like, there are a lot of things that make this game stand out from every other platformer I have ever played. Not even Rayman has this kind of gameplay, the stages are awesome, you are not just running ont he ground, you get to climb, get on some kind of boat, the mine carts, etc.

    As everyone mentioned, the backgrounds are just great, the stages feel alive thanks to that.

    I recommend this game to anyone, it doesn't matter if you are not a fan of the DKC series. Just go, and buy the game, you won't regret it.
  19. Jun 17, 2013
    I grown up playing DKC series on SNES and for those asking, YES the feeling is the same! they brought it back!
    Pros Graphics Sound Thrill of platforming
    Cons Circle pad response
  20. Jun 11, 2013
    A fun side scroller. But we been there, it was released before and it's still just a run-of-the-mill side scroller. I think we're in a time where there's almost nothing that can happen to make this genre great again.
  21. Jun 10, 2013
    I grew up playing the SNES DKC's and they were loads of fun and extremely challenging. I can say the same thing about this game. I didn't play the Wii version when it came out so this game is new for me. The graphics are great, but not perfect. That didn't deter me from the game at all though. The gameplay gets harder as you progress through the level and using power ups is a plus. The new mode is slightly easier, but still pretty damn challenging. There are a ton of collectibles and unlockables. This is a must-have game! Expand
  22. Jun 7, 2013
    It's a fantastic game, it's very challenging, but it also has the easier mode. Great scenery, great levels, great controls, great soundtrack. Brings back really good memories from the SNES version. -1 point for the frame-rate.
  23. Jun 1, 2013
    Prepare to be annihilated...again, and loving it! DKC Returns is one of the best platformer to be released in the 'last' generation or so. It still retains its hard as nail game play, but adapting it for portable play on the 3DS. I am embarrased to admit that I am one of the many who used the 'auto play' feature many times during the 'killer levels' on the Wii. Suffice to say, I am determined to finish this time with my own accord. For newbies, there is the New Mode that gave you a lot of extra 'freebies' to finish the game. But mind you, this is a Hard game but never unfair. The visuals are on par with the Wii version. Many have said that the frame rate was reduced to 30fps, but on a small screen, it doesn't matter that much. The controls are much improved due to the lack of 'waggling' for some of DK's action, sometimes leading to unexpected deaths in the Wii version. The question is: should you double dip if you owned the Wii version? Well, at least for me, playing it on a portable version allow me to slip a level during my free time. Getting killed of a mine cart level for the 40th time on world 4-3 feels less frustrating on the portable version. Just close up your 3DS and play another time. If you haven't played this on the Wii, this is an essential buy. Expand
  24. May 28, 2013
    Disclaimer: Donkey Kong Country is my favorite platforming series of all time. Out of all the amazing SNES games, I'd rank Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest straight at number one. Having never owned a Wii, I had been counting the days to get my hands on Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D.

    The good news is: it is absolutely amazing. Every production value here is through the roof.
    The graphics are incredible, with perhaps the best use of the 3D effect I have ever seen in a 3DS game. The music, another hallmark of excellence in the series, remains completely immersive, with the Kenji Yamamoto compositions doing justice to the incredible old tunes by David Wise and Eveline Fischer. The controls, which apparently were almost a dealbreaker in the Wii version, work perfectly. There is an "easy" mode, as well (but come on, the ridiculous difficulty is yet another DK trait you shouldn't miss out on).

    Thankfully, and as always, Donkey Kong's quest is filled to the brim with collectibles. The KONG letters are given newfound importance, while puzzle pieces are scattered through every world (often as rewards to the much-beloved bonus minigames). A source of disappointment, however, is the lack of DK coins. Finding one of those, huge and majestic, after lots and lots of searching, was a reward like no other. They had an epic feel that, sadly, no items here manage to recapture.

    Perhaps the saddest part of the game is the lack of animal buddies (only Ranbi the Rhino is available, while Squawks the Parrot has a small side role). They were one of the most fun parts of the SNES games, especially in the fantastic "animal barrel" stages, where you assumed full contol rather than merely riding them. Their absence is really unexcusable, and it's almost enough to compel me into dropping the perfect rating.

    Still, if you haven't played the originals, chances are you'll find nary a flaw in Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D. Feel absolutely free to dismiss my few points of criticism as ramblings of a huge fan of the series, who is naturally bound to be more demanding. This is an absolute must-buy if you're a fan of platforming, as it's quite likely the best game the 3DS will ever see in the genre.
  25. May 27, 2013
    10 out of 10. One of my favorite games of all time! This game does everything right, from the graphics, to gameplay, to music, to content, to overall presentation. DKC Returns doesn't just do everything right, it EXCELS in every aspect of what makes a game fun. Sometimes I even go into the "Extras" menu just to listen to the in-game music I've unlocked- it's THAT good! The ONLY thing I wish they would have added to this game with respect to the original, is an underwater stage with Enguard from the original trilogy. Oddly, Retro Studios did not see it fit to include any underwater levels in the original, and had Monster Games even added one within the 8 new levels of World-9, I could have died a happy man. Still this game is as close to perfect as they come. HIGHLY, HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommended!!! Expand
  26. May 26, 2013
    I barely touched the Wii version because the controls were flaky and the game didn't look great on a HDTV. Although the game is aliasing a lot on 3DS, it's much more comfortable for me and the controls are great on a 3DSXL (not sure if it's very comfortable on a 3DS classic because we need to use the triggers a lot).

    In a nutshell, best platform game for a very long time
  27. May 26, 2013
    I just can't believe they put a full fledged wii game on the 3ds. Diddy's Kong Quest was one of the best Donkey Kong games I've ever played and it sits in the top 10 best games I've ever played. This one is a whole new twist that doesn't take away from the originals. Retro has their own flavor and they respect the Rareware games as well by not using their enemies. Utimately it's a fantastic game that does better on the 3ds with all the entertainment coming at your face from the background. I'm just overly impressed and I hope that Nintendo keeps coming up with rereleases like this. I never got to play Skyward sword and am wondering if they could put that on the 3ds as well. I'm sure that would go over extremely well too. Expand
  28. May 24, 2013
    I have played this game for a few hours and it is wonderful. The game despite devolved for Wii, is much more suited on the 3ds due to the foreground to background play and keep all content from the original with a new world. My only complaint is the 30 fps but you get used to it quickly.
  29. May 24, 2013
    This is a great game, quite difficult since it's start. I can't feel the same Rareware magic that I felt while playing DonkeyKongLand2 for first time but it's still a great game.

    Welcome back Kong
  30. May 24, 2013
    This is a great game, quite difficult since it's start. I can't feel the same Rareware magic that I felt while playing DonkeyKongLand2 for first time but it's still a great game.

    Welcome back Kong

Generally favorable reviews - based on 62 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 62
  2. Negative: 0 out of 62
  1. Nov 2, 2013
    At a glance a cute and charming little platformer that will eventually become with your insight one of the most challenging and deepest contemporary platform games. A great remake that's annoying only because of its occasional troubles with controls and because of its complicated multiplayer game.
  2. Sep 16, 2013
    Still one of the best platformers of the last years – even though there is not a lot of new stuff to be found in the 3DS-version.
  3. Sep 10, 2013
    Donkey Kong Country Returns for the 3DS is basically the same game that launched on the Nintendo Wii for nearly three years ago. The smaller format has made some of the levels harder to navigate but it shouldn’t discourage anyone from checking out this portable version of one of the best platform games of all time.