Generally favorable reviews - based on 49 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 49
  2. Negative: 0 out of 49
Buy On
  1. Nintendo Power
    It's so intuitive, it's like your brain is moving the big ape directly. [May 2005, p.88]
  2. Every once in a while, a game or system comes along that redefines gaming in some small way, and DKJB proudly stands in this category.
  3. 90
    Jungle Beat was never going to be a bad game but the innovative control scheme and the deep combo-mechanic have elevated it to a genuinely excellent one.
  4. AceGamez
    A very polished, well made game that breaks new ground in platforming; I highly recommend this game for anyone seeking a change from the traditional platformer or anyone who doesn't have a great interest in video games to begin with.
  5. The game is one of Nintendo's many hits, if not a masterpiece.
  6. Sadly it just misses true greatness because its benefit to cost ratio just does not balance. At half its price I'd give it the big five sharks without hesitation.
  7. An extremely entertaining game from start to finish with enough creativity to make this game stand out from other platform titles.
  8. 89
    A truly refreshing and innovative experience.
  9. 88
    A surprisingly addictive and well-made platformer with a unique control twist. Anybody who says differently either didn't take the time to really play it or has no business playing games.
  10. The graphics are beautiful and the gameplay is ituitive, addictive and amazingly good fun. It's a shame it is so short - we completed it in four hours - but it is perfectly formed. [GamesMaster: JPN Import]
  11. The fact that you use Bongos as the controller may seem very weird at first, but once you get the hang of it, the game is extremely fun and also very addictive.
  12. A new style of platforming that may catch on, but since it is so short I would suggest a rental only for this one.
  13. With great graphics, quirky sound and a very innovative use of the bongos, this game goes to show you that Nintendo still has great minds creating original and great games.
  14. Play Magazine
    It's one of the prettiest and exciting-to-watch games I've ever seen. [May 2005, p.52]
  15. Gripes aside, Donkey Kong Jungle Beat is a fantastic platforming game with plenty of new ideas and a great style to call its own. The game also features beautiful graphics which are reminiscent of the technical qualities of Rare's "Star Fox Adventures."
  16. Without the bongos, the game is a by-the-numbers action platformer, but it's amazing what such a simple change can mean for the overall experience.
  17. 85
    Jungle Beat's only main fault is its length... for people who simply want to play it from start to finish they're going to feel a little short changed as you'll see the end credits in only about 3-4hrs.
  18. Pelit (Finland)
    Nintendo really makes the most out of the bongos controller. A fun platform adventure. [Apr. 05]
  19. It's a game that allows non-gamers to take part in the action. People simply want to try the game because the controller is so inviting to them. For the hardcore gamers out there, the game is a bit short and tad easy.
  20. Though the enemies are very repetitive, you'll at least let off some stress while you literally beat the stuffing out them.
  21. This game is unbelievably fun, despite certain longevity issues along with recycled boss levels.
  22. Jungle Beat may be the only game to make good use of the bongos, but it does one hell of a job.
  23. Edge Magazine
    Game designers talk of emphasising character through dialogue or animation, but his may be the first incidence of a game emphasising it through a control method. Its immediacy means you'll share every inch of his swaggering, gleeful, unstoppable violence. [Feb 2005, p.78]
  24. Becomes so compelling that you're rarely at a loss for motivation. If you're not simply revelling in the design or your own massive combos, you're hopelessly addicted to securing the requisite number of bananas and coming through unscathed against the boss.
  25. Gamestyle can't recall any similar title that has been created for a peripheral so obviously detached from the maker's intent. If Nintendo really do want to concentrate on innovation moving forward, Jungle Beat is a most promising start.
  26. We know it's not for everyone, and we know it's short, but in the end we find it hard to fault a game that not only makes a mockery of standard gaming conventions, but delivers one of the most unique and entertaining (albeit tiring) experiences on the GameCube.
  27. It's been awhile since their was a 2D platformer to shout about, and in some way DK: Jungle Beat represents something of a renaissance for the genre, fusing next-gen qualities such as delicious visuals to hopefully ensure it's not just the older gamers clamouring after them bongos.
  28. Nintendo obviously spent a lot of time on enemy and level design so would it really have hurt to delay the game for a few months and stick some more levels in?
  29. 80
    Pass the bongos back and forth between stages and have a blast drumming Donkey Kong on his journey.
  30. 80
    It would be nice if the game included some of these types of events as mini-games that players could jump to at any point instead of only making them available in the middle of levels, but there are enough memorable moments in here to overshadow that.
  31. 80
    If you can get past its gimmicky aspect, Donkey Kong Jungle Beat becomes an interesting spin on the side-scrolling hop-n-bop action genre that ultimately relies on endurance as much as reflexes. [Apr 2005, p.82]
  32. 80
    Like "Samba De Amigo," and countless other monkey games with silly controllers before it, Jungle Beat's a winner, albeit a short-lived one.
  33. 80
    Deserves a look. Not only because the control scheme is something completely new and surprisingly effective, but because the game wrapped around the gimmick is the type of quality stuff we've come to expect from Nintendo's best games.
  34. While it conceptually doesn't offer anything new (because it is at heart just another Donkey Kong Country title), it's the innovative controls that set it apart from the me-too titles that clog its respective genre, and although it's a little on the easy side, the game has plenty of replay value.
  35. It is a charming romp through dazzling jungle environments via glistening ice chambers, volcanic caverns and aquatic wonderlands. But sadly, many players will complete Jungle Beat in just a few hours.
  36. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    It's just a shame the bosses don't reflect the creativity of the controls and level design - you'll face the same four foes, and as you progress, each one makes minimal alterations to its fighting style. [Apr 2005, p.134]
  37. Game Informer
    A gorgeous game with a couple examples of spectacular level design, but it doesn't have any tricks up its sleeve once the novelty wears off. [Apr 2005, p.130]
  38. 75
    The swimming is clunky, and the game is way too easy, and hence, short. Ultimately, it's the perfect rental.
  39. But the bongos are, indeed, special. They mean the difference between a predictable game and one that marches to a different drummer.
  40. You're sure to have a lot of fun the first hour or through the first ten levels, but after that, things just start to repeat themselves way too much.
  41. games(TM)
    Though the platforming doesn't push any boundaries and the game is rather short, it will put a smile on your face. [Feb 2005, p.102]
  42. A very inventive, unique game that has a ton of charm and is a blast the first time you play it. But don't blink, because the bad news is that this is also a game that you'll probably finish in three or four hours.
  43. netjak
    If only the game weren't so expensive, the added cost of the bongos notwithstanding, I'd be able to recommend it in a heartbeat, but the relative brevity and light difficulty keep me from being able to recommend Jungle Beat as anything other than a solid rental.
  44. Fun, but has only whetted my appetite for more bongo-compatible games. With time and resources, the bongo controllers can be used in better and cleverer ways as time goes on.
  45. Some may consider this a novelty but the gameplay is really tightly aligned with the bongo drums. To play it without the drums would be like going to a 3D movie without the 3D glasses.
  46. Yet despite its innovation, the game gets old quickly and simply doesn't have enough depth to warrant much replay, turning the once-proud ape into just another goofy monkey.
  47. The game lacks depth, and is just too short to be enjoyed.

Awards & Rankings

#12 Most Discussed GameCube Game of 2005
#22 Most Shared GameCube Game of 2005
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 37 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 37
  2. Negative: 1 out of 37
  1. Feb 5, 2018
    Somehow, Nintendo managed to make a Donkey Kong platformer that recommends that you use a pair of bongos as a controller. What's more, theySomehow, Nintendo managed to make a Donkey Kong platformer that recommends that you use a pair of bongos as a controller. What's more, they made it great! "Donkey Kong Jungle Beat" is a shining examples of how a "gimmick" can actually make a game a lot of fun. I'm not sure how many people can say that they came up with an idea for a platformer that used bongos, but Nintendo managed to pull it off wonderfully.
    Colorful visuals, great level design, responsive controls, the perfect mix of difficulty (it's simple enough for newcomers but also complex and difficult enough for hardcore gamers) and a thrilling combo system help make this game a real winner.
    Sure, it's not a very long adventure (some might yearn for a bit more) and the boss battles can get a bit repetitive, but all in all, "Donkey Kong Jungle Beat" definitely stands as one of the GameCube's more underappreciated gems and it deserves a spot somewhere in your GameCube collection.
    Final rating: 9 out of 10 "Awesome"
    Full Review »
  2. Oct 9, 2017
    Cool game with a really interesting concept. It felt pretty fun and satisfying to play, but at the same time it also felt pretty gimmicky. TheCool game with a really interesting concept. It felt pretty fun and satisfying to play, but at the same time it also felt pretty gimmicky. The level design does a good job of showing off the new controller, but other than that it didn't feel too special. Full Review »
  3. Jul 3, 2016
    Donkey Konga was a music game but using the bongos on an action game is amazing. This game is creative and overall fun. Not the best DK videoDonkey Konga was a music game but using the bongos on an action game is amazing. This game is creative and overall fun. Not the best DK video game but this game is really fun. I do enjoy this game with a great passion. Full Review »