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Originally released on July 9, 1981 as an arcade game, Donkey Kong has since become one of Nintendo’s most popular and well-known franchises of all time. The original game actually has the player playing as Mario (then known as “Jumpman”), rather than the ape now known as Donkey Kong. This was the very first game that Shigeru Miyamoto designed by himself after joining Nintendo. He then went on to become an integral part in some of Nintendo’s largest games and franchises of all time, such as Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Star Fox, and Pikmin.


The success of Donkey Kong has been long-lasting; the franchise has sold more than 48 million games worldwide. Thirty-six Donkey Kong titles have been released in the 35 years since DK’s creation, most of them platform or action puzzle games. Even though the player was working against Donkey Kong in the original arcade release, the gorilla and his friends have become loveable protagonists in their own right, facing off against the evil King K. Rool and his minions.

The franchise isn’t limited to these side-scrolling platformers, though. Rhythm games, racing games, and edutainment games have also been released with the famous ape as their icon. Check out some of what Donkey Kong has to offer at one of our branches today, and don’t forget to come play some other classics at Fandom Fest at the County Library on August 6!