Generally favorable reviews - based on 77 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 65 out of 77
  2. Negative: 0 out of 77
Buy On
  1. Mar 13, 2014
    Everything in Tropical Freeze was made with extreme care and attention. From the landscapes and enemies to the music and level design. Each island has its own ecosystem so filled with details and different things to do that, as soon as one level is over, the question of what will Retro do next always looms around, and the developer always surprises.
  2. Mar 3, 2014
    Its blissful platforming is the stuff that inspires people to play video games and make even better ones. I loved every minute I spent getting the Kongs back home, and truly wish that Retro rounds off a trilogy with one last DKC game.
  3. Mar 3, 2014
    Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is oozing with quality and polish in every aspect, and easily surpasses the already outstanding previous instalment on the Nintendo Wii.
  4. Feb 17, 2014
    It's an incredibly crafted platformer with an HD sheen and an insane attention to detail, and any fan of the genre owes it to themselves to experience it. With the addition of control options to the already proven formula, Retro Studios' rendition of Donkey Kong is pretty much flawless.
  5. Feb 17, 2014
    The real challenge, of course, comes not just from beating each world, but clearing them completely and unlocking all goods hidden throughout. It may not take an exceptional amount of time to simply finish the game, but you’ll certainly put a lot more hours into chasing all the extras.
  6. Mar 2, 2014
    A truly fantastic arcade game that not only plays well (with a few 21st century tweaks) but looks amazing on this next-gen console.
  7. Feb 17, 2014
    With stunning audio and visuals, combined with gameplay depth and variety, Tropical Freeze has easily cemented itself as one of the best platformers I’ve ever played.
  8. 95
    If you’re a Wii U owner looking for something to play, you really can’t go wrong here. It’s exactly the kind of game Nintendo does well, and it’s among their best.
  9. Feb 17, 2014
    Donkey Kong returns in an outstanding game that, even though is not as surprising or as fresh as the Wii version, becomes one of the best 2D platformers.
  10. Feb 13, 2014
    Just like the previous game, I yelled alternating cries of agony and relief working through particularly challenging areas. Almost everything is fair and doable with enough focus and patience; the bonus stages are a little ridiculous, but that's to be expected. [March 2014, p.89]
  11. Feb 17, 2014
    Tropical Freeze is a great challenging plattform game. More difficult than its predecessor, better HD visuals and great gameplay. This game is not for all kinds of gamers, but if you're a core gamer, it's for you.
  12. Feb 17, 2014
    As challenging as the game is, it’s never unfair. It’s rare to come across a game that has you screaming profanities at the screen one moment in a fit of rage, and then jumping for joy the next as you finally succeed.
  13. Pelit (Finland)
    May 11, 2014
    The next generation of Donkey Kong is a solid platformer for the veterans. The difficulty level is straight from the nineties and the game doesn't give any slack. It's an thrilling adventure that frustrates at times, but on the other hand, it gives you a true sense of achievement. With these kind of games Nintendo will survive, no matter what the analysts say. [March 2014]
  14. Mar 9, 2014
    Tropical Freeze is a trip to a time when games didn’t hold your hand or treat you like some sort of imbecile. It revels in its challenge and while there will be many moments of screaming and frustration, it never feels unfair, and that’s what makes this game great.
  15. Mar 4, 2014
    Donkey Kong is a well-oiled machine perfectly functioning for more than 30 years, showing even this year it has no flaws. Quite the reverse, it scores with its breathtaking rendering of the game's world along with, quite possibly, a high level of difficulty. However, the difficulty is perfectly legitimate, reminding you of the amount of ways for a game to be creative.
  16. Mar 1, 2014
    Retro does it again with Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freee. The better controls and new characters Disie and Cranky Tropical Freeze make the game a successor that feels completely new. The level design is so perfect that you can't blame the game for a single lost heart. Thanks to the great music and cheerful, detailed levels, even dying isn't a punishment.
  17. Feb 24, 2014
    To make a name for itself in a well-established genre is no easy task. Tropical Freeze manages to do that by achieving rock solid level design and being thorough in almost every aspect. It's a shame that its co-op is not as polished as the rest of the game.
  18. Feb 21, 2014
    This is cool stuff. With Tropical Freeze Nintendo proves once again that the cult monkey still belongs to the platforming elite.
  19. Feb 19, 2014
    Another "job well done" by the masters at Retro Studios.
  20. Feb 19, 2014
    With Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Nintendo shows that is still knows best how to create an excellent platformer. Not only is it beautiful to observe, but the level design is amazing and it has many memorable moments.
  21. Feb 18, 2014
    Nintendo didn’t want us to talk about bonus levels and bonus worlds and more hidden goodies, but finding and playing these hidden levels is too good not to add to the report card. Nintendo fans have helped the company through thick and thin, but Tropical Freeze is a love letter to them.
  22. Feb 18, 2014
    You will try and fail, just to try again in an instant. Donkey Kong's relentlessly addicting simplicity scratches an itch that the more playful Marios and Raymans just don't.
  23. Feb 17, 2014
    It has an endearing quality that will capture you, and a challenge level worthy of even the most skilled players. The new characters and online features add just enough extras to keep things fresh.
  24. Feb 17, 2014
    We can't really say that Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze is revolutionary because in the end Retro Studios just follows the recipe that worked well on the Wii, but with undeniable success. The HD textures allow better graphics, and the dynamic camera adds depth to the environment. Though the gameplay is precise as ever, we still regret that the gamepad features were not used at all. A bad point when you think that the co-op was well improved during the treasure hunts. The try and die mechanics are quite rage-inducing, but not enough to shake Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze on its feet. Undoubtedly, this game is an instant classic of the Wii U, the first of 2014. Now we wait for the rest of the promised games.
  25. Feb 17, 2014
    Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze utilises the Wii U’s graphical capabilities beautifully, with levels both stunning in design and looks, and impressive set-pieces that never skip a frame and can test any gamer’s skills. As a single player experience it is near flawless, but the precision of the level design can lead the often fun multiplayer into moments of chaos.
  26. Feb 17, 2014
    The kongs are back in one of the most beautiful platformers we have seen in high definition. Maybe it lacks innovation, but its incredible rhythm and funny gameplay makes it a must-have for Wii U owners.
  27. Feb 17, 2014
    Tropical Freeze isn't the most ambitious game, but it throws its characters into unique and clever challenges with each new level. Nintendo would be pushing it if they went for another Donkey Kong game in this style, but for now, Tropical Freeze can sit alongside Super Mario 3D World as one of the finest platformers of this generation.
  28. Feb 17, 2014
    Tropical Freeze is a great platformer full of tense sequences and tough levels. Boss battles are a huge highlight, and it’s packed with hard-to-find secrets and collectibles.
  29. Feb 18, 2014
    An excellent platforming title with tons of style and polish. While it’s true that it doesn’t explore a lot of new territory, iteration within a genre is only bad to the extent which creativity and permutation are not applied. In other words, if it’s fun and feels fresh enough, it was worth the effort—and Tropical Freeze is every bit as enjoyable as its Wii predecessor.
  30. Retro's starting to pull the same trick it managed for Metroid - Tropical Freeze draws on decades-old ideas and punches them into excellent new shapes.
  31. Mar 7, 2014
    Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze might be a disappointment in theory, but once I started playing it, I couldn’t help but fall in love.
  32. Mar 6, 2014
    While Tropical Freeze is a great addition to the series, and having some new variation in singleplayer is much needed, the game really isn’t as fun without someone else playing alongside you.
  33. Feb 28, 2014
    The fifth entry in the Donkey Kong Country franchise, Tropical Freeze may not contain many surprises, but its an expertly-crafted game with an excess of personality.
  34. Feb 26, 2014
    The game’s difficulty will likely turn off a lot of casual gamers thinking they’re in for a routine Nintendo platformer, but the dedicated gamers who persevere through the toughest the game has to offer will find a satisfying game with loads of replay value that’s a blast to play.
  35. Feb 18, 2014
    There is really not that much to complain about. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is a solid platformer with all the charms of a Nintendo franchise.
  36. Feb 17, 2014
    Tropical Freeze is a challenging and finely crafted platform with some of the best level design we've seen in years. It's only true flaws are the absolute disregard for the WiiU gamepad and some tedious boss fights. Retro demonstrated once again why it's one of the few studios Nintendo trusts.
  37. Feb 17, 2014
    Another amazing platform for WiiU. It may not have the same elegance of the last Super Mario, but it's creative, colorful and extremely various.
  38. Feb 17, 2014
    Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is mostly very good, often great, but never brilliant. The lack of fresh ideas and the nonexistent GamePad and Miiverse support makes us think about the real weight of the project.
  39. Feb 17, 2014
    Tropical Freeze is a marvel. Though it doesn’t deviate from expectations in the slightest, it’s an exceptional, and exceptionally tough platformer that just about every masochistic Wii U owner should play.
  40. Feb 17, 2014
    Tropical Freeze adds intelligently to the formula, with new characters that imbue subtle nuance to the gameplay, a better-tuned challenge level and an increased emphasis on replay value. These features make Tropical Freeze consistently worth coming back to, and mark it as a high point for the series.
  41. Games Master UK
    Mar 10, 2014
    Extremely polished traditional gameplay enhanced by sumptuous presentation. Safe but sound. [Apr 2014, p.60]
  42. Feb 17, 2014
    Retro Studios confirms its great taste for platform gaming with a game that's a joy to play and a real challenge for every hardcore gamer. It's a pity that Tropical Freeze cannot retain the same freshness of Donkey Kong Country Returns.
  43. Feb 17, 2014
    That feeling of greatness when beating a particularly troublesome level is a reward in itself. Where Tropical Freeze seems to miss a beat or two is in its implementation of cooperative play, which personally I could do without.
  44. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Apr 7, 2014
    Still very hard, still very enjoyable. A no-brainer for all the fans of the series but also for anyone with a Wii U. [Issue #239]
  45. Mar 21, 2014
    Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze is in every way a better game than its predecessor. It contains more variety, more fun levels and wonderful David Wise-written music. Retro Studios has some way to go before they can compete with Nintendo in terms of gameplay, but otherwise, this is one of the more successful games in the genre.
  46. 80
    Because Tropical Freeze is so charming, and because the platforming is so wholesomely engaging, it's easy to forgive the fact that is really isn't enough of an enhancement on the previous game to be called something new.
  47. Mar 3, 2014
    Donkey Kong is back and looking better than ever. This platformer doesn't hold your hand, and offers brutal challenges along the way. Overcoming the obstacles offers a great feeling of accomplishment, and will leave you wanting more.
  48. Feb 27, 2014
    Tropical Freeze is exactly what we expected from the sequel of one of the best platform games of the last generation. There might not be many surprises, but this is still an extremely polished (and great) game.
  49. Feb 25, 2014
    As a traditional 2D platform game, Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze offers a very challenging and old school experience. It is the typical game that wants to provide immediate pleasure without great delay.
  50. Feb 21, 2014
    During its toughest moments, the game is pure action-platforming ecstasy; sweaty palms and a dry mouth are a small price to pay for the amount of unadulterated satisfaction that comes when completing a particularly arduous endgame segment.
  51. 80
    Tropical Freeze is a fun platformer that proves itself with wonderful graphics, plenty of personality and merciless challenge – most of the time. It also gets in the way of itself with bad pacing, and it will feel very, very familiar to anyone who played Donkey Kong Country Returns on the Wii.
  52. Feb 18, 2014
    Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze is a master class in the art form of 2D platformers, but it’s way too difficult for its own good and this makes the inherent flaws and limitations of the genre all the more obvious.
  53. Feb 18, 2014
    The variety on show is exceptional; one second you're throwing water balloons at burning rope bridges, the next you’re being hounded underwater by a kraken in a mad dash to the surface. The weight of Donkey Kong (accompanied by Diddy, Dixie and Cranky now, who appear in power-up barrels or as a co-op partner) means the pace of the jumping is more deliberate than Mario and less forgiving than Rayman, but this is still a game of flawless control and deliberate design.
  54. Feb 18, 2014
    Most disappointingly, however, is the lack of GamePad functionality from a first-party Nintendo game.
  55. Feb 17, 2014
    Though it fails to innovate in an engaging way, the base on which Tropical Freeze is built is solid as a glacier.
  56. Feb 17, 2014
    The gaming experience that Tropical Freeze provides may be rich, enjoyable, challenging and frequently hilarious, but it isn't anything conspicuously new.
  57. Feb 17, 2014
    You know what you are going to get when you buy a Donkey Kong Country game. Fortunately, that's a good thing and this is no exception.
  58. Feb 17, 2014
    Put simply, it’s old school platforming done right, a wonderful alternative to Mario that is definitely worth adding to any Wii U owners’ collection.
  59. Feb 17, 2014
    There is nothing better than a beautiful trip into the wilderness to rekindle primal platforming instincts.
  60. Feb 17, 2014
    At this point, there's not much written here that couldn't have been repurposed from a review of 2010's Donkey Kong Country Returns – and that's both the problem and the recommendation.
  61. Feb 17, 2014
    If you crave a challenge, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze will bring out the best of your platforming abilities. Those expecting a cakewalk will feel like they slammed headfirst into a brick wall of difficulty.
  62. Feb 17, 2014
    Once again, the Donkey Kong Country series returns to the spotlight. Tropical Freeze is a worthy successor and Retro Studios has done a fine work in bringing the series to Nintendo's current generation. Loading times and underwater controls could be improved, though, as they're standing in the way of an excellent platforming experience.
  63. Feb 17, 2014
    Donkey Kong County Tropical Freeze is an ode to the old platform games. Every single element from this genre has been pushed into the game from the developers. Too many water levels ruin the otherwise awesome gameplay rhythm. If you're looking for something new and different you should buy Sonic Lost World, Rayman Legends or Super Mario 3D World.
  64. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is a finely tuned and well crafted trial of reflexes that rewards tenacity and endurance with the satisfaction of having achieved something far from easy...Just don’t expect the kids to stick around and enjoy it with you.
  65. Feb 18, 2014
    Tropical Freeze offers up a ton of challenge (though perhaps a bit too much at times) and secrets to those craving a little break from the popular plumber. But I played this game already, back when it was called Donkey Kong Country Returns.
  66. Hyper Magazine
    Apr 9, 2014
    I hate Tropical Freeze, but I hate it for the right reasons. It's an invigorating hate: I really badly want to beat this game. And when I do, it will be oh so worth it. [May 2014, p.68]
  67. Feb 26, 2014
    A sequel that plays things a bit safe when we really wanted it to dig deep and offer up something truly new. It’s still the old Donkey Kong Country that we’ve known and loved for so long though, and for many players that’s going to be enough. We just wish it felt more like a proper sequel and less like an expansion.
  68. Feb 20, 2014
    What is here is a thumping, bubbly, precisely-engineered and consistently entertaining platformer, but one that lacks for ambition.
  69. Feb 17, 2014
    If Tropical Freeze is your first Donkey Kong Country game, you’ll probably hate it from the start, especially if your idea of a 2D platformer is based on New Super Mario Bros. U or Rayman Legends. Enemies and obstacles are not lined up neatly along your path of destruction; they’re meant to inconvenience you and continually break your momentum.
  70. Feb 17, 2014
    It’s impossible to say Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is a bad game; this has all the hallmarks of quality you’d want from a Nintendo game. But it doesn’t have anything new or exceptional to praise either, and that’s more telling of the problems of Nintendo these days than anything else.
  71. Feb 17, 2014
    Tropical Freeze is a good game, and aficionados of the genre will love it, but it does absolutely nothing to move forward either the Donkey franchise, 2D platformers in general, or the case for buying a Wii U.
  72. Feb 17, 2014
    Tropical Freeze does little to justify the Wii U’s existence, but it’s still mostly a fun, challenging platformer. Fans of the series will certainly enjoy this difficult, beautiful romp through Donkey Kong’s islands, but the game will frustrate less-enthusiastic players.
  73. Feb 17, 2014
    During Tropical Freeze’s most exacting sequences, you may yearn for Mario’s reliability, but the bludgeoning force of Retro’s presentation is enough to carry a powerful, if traditional, platformer over the finish line.
  74. Feb 17, 2014
    The likelihood, then, is that people who played DKC Returns will find Tropical Freeze a little uninspiring. It's a superior game - it looks nicer, it's easier to control on the GamePad than it was on the Wiimote, and there's slightly more to do - but like a lot of Nintendo's recent sequels, that doesn't feel like quite enough.
  75. This amped-up difficulty and the relative lack of new ideas make it tough to really enjoy Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, despite its beautifully inviting environs. While newcomers who haven’t played this sort of game a hundred times before may find it entertaining, veteran platformer fans are likely to find it trods a little too frequently on well-worn ground.
  76. Feb 17, 2014
    While it is undoubtedly better in most respects than Donkey Kong Country Returns, that game spent its goodwill as a nostalgic throwback. Tropical Freeze is left suffering many of the same weaknesses, but without the sheen of a comeback story to set it apart.
  77. Feb 17, 2014
    If the regular levels were as inventive as the boss battles, then Tropical Freeze would be a surefire hit, or at least a game that demands more of your attention. No matter how much I was looking forward to seeing DK in HD, it's difficult to maintain that enthusiasm when the end product plays it so safe: even the visuals fail to make an impact. They're nice enough, but like the level design, the environments are mostly bland.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 783 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 46 out of 783
  1. Feb 21, 2014
    Haven't finished the game, but from what I've played some of these low reviews are baffling. The level design and attention to detail are topHaven't finished the game, but from what I've played some of these low reviews are baffling. The level design and attention to detail are top class. The gameplay is fluid and intuitive. Lots of great, subtle ideas presented on a moment by moment basis, so I'm not sure what all the "lack of ambitious gameplay" is all about. Maybe these reviewers rushed through things a bit?

    Absolutely beautiful game, by the way. Maybe the best looking game on the Wii U (Close between this and Mario 3D World). David Wise on the soundtrack puts it over the top. Get it.
    Full Review »
  2. Jun 29, 2014
    This is what video games were meant to be. Entertainment found through challenge of skill-based gameplay, with flawless mechanics, top-tierThis is what video games were meant to be. Entertainment found through challenge of skill-based gameplay, with flawless mechanics, top-tier soundtrack, gorgeous visuals, expertly crafted level design, creative and unique bosses, and incredible replay value through time trials video uploads.

    I've loved Donkey Kong Country since I was a small child. And this game blows the breaks off its predecessors. Rare made a classic trilogy back in the 16-bit era, but the games fall incredibly short when compared to Retro's recent triumph. In fact, most games fall short of Tropical Freeze. I can't recommend this game enough. If you suck at video games, and like to be led through from start to finish with novice difficulty that makes you feel like a winner, this game is not for you. But if you are a real GAMER, and find entertainment through overcoming a challenge via practice, skill, and perfectly timed maneuvers, look no further. DKC Tropical Freeze is, at least in my opinion, the greatest 2D platformer I've ever played.
    Full Review »
  3. Feb 21, 2014
    The level design of this game is just perfect. I truly recommend this game if you like platform games and challenge. The boss battles are wellThe level design of this game is just perfect. I truly recommend this game if you like platform games and challenge. The boss battles are well thought. Full Review »