He’s still got it – Mario vs. Donkey Kong on Switch Preview


Where has January gone? Say your co-workers. But despite their lack of grasp on the obvious, with January out of the way, it’s time for Mario vs Donkey Kong in just a couple of weeks. As a big fan of the original, I’ve been playing it for a while now and have a preview for you that should answer some of the big questions about the game. 

Mario vs. Donkey Kong is out on February 16th; we’ve already got a bargain guide together.  

What is Mario vs Donkey Kong? 

Mario vs. Donkey Kong is the spiritual successor of the Game Boy title, Donkey Kong. Over time, that’s now known as Donkey Kong 94; perhaps you’ve heard of it? It’s a puzzle game, a platformer, and a throwback to when Mario was just Jumpman in the arcade days, but it’s also its own little thing. This Switch game is a remake of the Game Boy Advance title released – oh god – twenty years ago. 

Why are Mario and Donkey Kong fighting? Can’t we all just get along? 

Newsflash: Mario and Donkey Kong have always been fighting – whether in the original arcade game or, more recently, Super Smash Bros, the two are always at it. This time, Donkey Kong has stolen Mario’s hoard of Mini Mario toys like some sort of amibo scalper circa 2016. Mario’s got to get them back, or he’ll be broke – at $40 a pop, those figurines aren’t cheap. 

You’ll move through the game’s world much like a traditional Mario game, moving from World 1-1 to World 1-2 and so on. Each of those levels has two parts. First, figure out how to grab the key, unlock the door and head to the second part of the stage and secure the Mini Mario toy. Each world also has a Mini Mario stage, and a boss stage. There are bonus stages that show up as well, which help fill your available lives. Later on, there are other types of stages and different ways to play those stages. 

Surely these stages are all super easy, thanks to Mario’s aerobatics?

While Mario is still aerobatic here and can perform handstands, do back flips and even swing around on wires, he doesn’t have all his normal moves like wall jumps and the like. You’ll also only get one hit before a stage is reset, and there’s a very short time limit on each stage – a combination of pressures. Lucky for you, the Switch version has a Casual Mode.¬†

Casual mode? Did they make the game too easy now? 

The entirely optional Casual Mode will make the game just a little bit easier for whoever wants to use it. Essentially, it adds checkpoints to the stage so you can make a mistake and get floated back to the checkpoint. Even if you haven’t hit the checkpoint, you’ll get floated in a bubble back to the start of the stage. You can do this up to five times before the stage will fail. It also removes the timer for stages, allowing you to try and figure out what to do on your own time. Even without the game’s new casual mode or the two-player co-op, the game is pretty welcoming to newcomers.

There’s much more to discuss with this Switch version of Mario vs. Donkey Kong. There are two new worlds: cooperative play and a whole lot more. But we’ll have to save that for our review. Having not played the game in any meaningful way since its original release, I’ve enjoyed what I’ve seen thus far. I think Mario vs Donkey Kong could find a whole new audience now on the Switch. 


Donkey Kong can still be a draw.

What's your reaction?
Oh wow!
About The Author
Daniel Vuckovic
The Owner and Creator of this fair website. I also do news, reviews, programming, art and social media here. It is named after me after all. Please understand.

You must log in to post a comment