Review by Dave Giarrusso



Graphics: 5

Sound: 7

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 8

“Kangaroo kicks ass!”

That was my original review. When I turned it in, Joe yelled at me, said something about me being a dumbass, and that this issue’s theme was “monkeys.” I already knew that I’m a dumbass, so I didn’t see his point. But I went back and fixed it anyway. My revised review was as follows:

“Kangaroo kicks ass! Also, monkeys! Peace out, y’all!”

Joe drop-kicked me across the room and into a pile of apples.

I must have hit my head pretty hard on something, because I was immediately transported away to a magical fantasyland full of fruit, bells, a damn dirty ape, and lots and lots of monkeys.

Oh yeah, and I was a bright yellow kangaroo. A Mama Kangaroo no less. Wearing big, bright red boxing gloves.

Atari’s “knockout arcade hit” coin-op is just that: a knockout. It’s got four different levels, bonus fruit (including pineapples!) and scores of pink, apple tossing monkeys. And I can’t think of a single other game that lets the player step into the popular marsupial’s boxing gloves in order to bash the living crap out of a monkey, can you?

The goal is simple: rescue baby kangaroo. He’s held captive at the top of the screen, and there are pesky apple hurling monkeys to avoid and/or whale on, tree branches to navigate, and points to collect along the way. Round one is the “easy” round. Up three flights and you’re all set. Level two is the “jumpy” round, lots of steps and gaps to jump over. Level three is the “monkey-totem-pole” round. Here, monkeys are actually holding the cage, and you have the option of either climbing up the side of the screen and jumping across to the cage, or knocking out all the monkeys in order to lower the cage down to the bottom of the screen. I always knock out all the monkeys – punching them is fun. Round four is the “climby” round, also known as the “ladder” round in some circles. This round features enough ladders to choke Donkey Kong himself, and there are several routes to take to the top of the screen. Clear all four rounds and you start over at the first round, on level two. Each successive level features more fruit, more hazards, and many, many more monkeys. And every time you clear a level, you get to see a groovy intermission!

As an extra, added monkeyshine bonus, Kangaroo features a big ape that shows up every now and then with one thought on his mind: thrash Mama Kangaroo. He’s a boxer of sorts himself, and if you aren’t quick enough on the draw, he’ll likely render your boxing gloves useless. Once that happens, you’d better hold out your white surrender flag, bub. The ape is one tough customer. Of course, if you do manage to knock him on his butt, you’re tallying up quite the big pile of bonus points! Stick and move! Great fighting, you’re an up and coming boxer.

Much of Kangaroo’s charm lies in its whimsical packaging. It’s one of those decidedly “cutesy” games, drawn in splendidly cartoony, brightly colored graphics. You’ll never see another game so full of this many pinks and yellows outside of Fantasy Zone. It’s wrapped in an upbeat musical package that recalls another Sun licensed Atari coin-op, Arabian, and the cabinet graphics, in standard Atari fashion, are fantastic.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

Kangaroo kicks ass. Also, monkeys!


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Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 03:27 PM