Generally favorable reviews - based on 55 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 55
  2. Negative: 0 out of 55
  1. 85
    All that's missing in a room with this game (and four bongos) is booze and a bowl of Tostitos. A somewhat limited song selection is the only thing keeping the multiplayer aspect from being the greatest thing EVAR, so to speak.
  2. The DK Bongos are nice and responsive, the action can be genuinely fun, and though some of the music choices are extremely weird, there is, in fact, a little something here for everyone.
  3. The novelty of the controller could be compared to that of the lightgun. You don't really need it but once you play with it you can't live without it.
  4. If I wanted a fun, music-oriented party game, I'd much rather play "Karaoke Revolution" or "DrumMania." [Nov 2004, p.161]
  5. 80
    It's the fact that Nintendo continues using Rare's horrible Donkey Kong character designs. I mean, seriously. This is a great game; why am I being forced to look at Diddy Kong while I play it? Or frickin' King K. Rool?! Awful.
  6. 60
    It's certainly true that there are no official "endings" to these types of games, but once you've masterd all the songs and unlocked all the hidden features, there isn't much to do. [Nov 2004, p.106]
  7. We appreciate the simplicity of the idea, but in the absence of the hidden depths we normally expect from this sort of game - or the ritual humiliation we now demand - it ultimately wears thin far too quickly.
  8. The only thing that could be improved on for the sequel would be more songs and even more variety.
  9. What truly rocks is the game's affordability. Donkey Konga comes with one bongo accessory in a neat and tidy $50 package. What a sweet concept.
  10. 80
    Konga represents a somewhat hefty financial investment, especially if you want to round up enough peripherals to fill your GameCube's controller ports, but for sheer universal fun there's nothing else on the system that compares.
  11. 80
    Without a doubt, Donkey Konga is a ton of fun. It's offbeat, easy to play, and entertaining for one or four players. Kids will love the game, but don't let that put off older gamers, as the simple gameplay is fun for any age.
  12. When Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat! releases next year, we'll see how good the DK Bongos really are ... or not.
  13. It's far too easy for veterans in singleplayer, but with four sets of the ludicrous peripheral - an unlikely scenario, admittedly - and each player tapping out their own, interlinking rhythm the game becomes a uniquely entertaining experience. [Feb 2004, p.111]
  14. 'Licensed' tunes feel somewhat out of place and are cover versions that veer violently from the decent to the offensive in terms of both selection and quality. Does anyone really want to play bongos along to Blink 182's 'All The Small Things'? Didn't think so. [Nov 2004, p.120]
  15. Except for a few totally jive songs, this game is as solid as a rock-steady beat...It's deceptively simple. [Nov 2004, p.151]
  16. If you have a sense of rhythm and you'd like to own an interesting peripheral then DK is probably the perfect game for you!
  17. Donkey Konga is fun. It is a surreal kind of fun that you can't have in an arcade...This is the solidest, sturdiest, most accessible rhythm-game-that-requires-a-special-controller to yet be released. [JPN Import]
  18. An excellent party game - one that surprises even the most reluctant to play a video game of any sort. [Nov 2004, p.128]
  19. Some of the tracks in the game are troublesome and the graphics look like they're straight out of 1997, but honestly, what are you going to spend your fifty bucks on? "Pokemon Colosseum"? Yea, I didn't think so.
  20. 65
    The game play in Donkey Konga isn't as good as we were hoping. There is a severe lack of a proper long game mode which means that often the game didn't hold our attention for more than half an hour.
  21. Despite it lacking the scope of challenge that you get in "Dance Dance Revolution," as well as being not quite as show-off friendly, the sheer absurdity of sitting there hitting a pair of bongos and clapping in time to crazy Japanese salsa music proves to be irresistible – not to mention entirely accessible to pretty much any member of your average 2.4 family. [JPN Import]
  22. There are a couple slight disappointments, particularly the lack of more Nintendo themes, but unless you're already burnt out on music games, Donkey Konga is a blast to play and is easily worth importing. [Import]
  23. I just think the execution of the game is nowhere near as good as it could have been. The potential for this game is endless and I think Nintendo only brought us with an average gaming experience.
  24. It's frustrating to find the overall Donkey Konga experience restrained by some basic flaws in the design of the game; the fact that a group of you can't really enjoy it unless you've got multiple bongos is just crazy.
  25. The range of songs is highly impressive, despite being covers rather than the original songs.
  26. It's a perfect game for a lazy afternoon -- it's active, it's immersive, and it doesn't require any commitments to enjoy it. And with the bongos thrown in basically for free, it's a real steal.
  27. While "Samba De Amigo" (the most similar thing to it) had graphical and stylistic touches that kept the gamer going, Donkey Konga feels languid, and lazy. While at first it is fun, you will find that any long experimentation with it will lead to boredom, or tears. Or both.
  28. This game is definitely going to used a lot at our house. Suitable for all ages and skill levels this is a game that will make any games collection look that bit more sociable.
  29. The quirky sounds you can add to your bongos are a humorous touch and should be good for a few laughs.
  30. A funny little gimmick and quite a good party game, but that is all. In itself, it quickly wears out its welcome, even if multiplayer does stand the test of time somewhat better.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 16 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 1 out of 10
  1. Aug 12, 2012
    I consider a good game a game that accomplishes what it sets out to do. This method of scoring doesn't work when their goal is to make money, but in this case, Donkey Konga wants to be a music sheet simulator for the drum peripherals that are necessary to play the game. And in that case, this game is perfect. The controls work perfectly and there's even a few fan service songs like the Pokemon theme song. In short, the only question you need to ask yourself to know if you want to play this game is: Do I think I (or whomever you're buying this for if you are getting this as a gift) like playing with bongos? Full Review »