Kong: The 8th Wonder of the World Review
Kong: The Eighth Wonder of the World is the GBA version of the every-platform blitz of movie tie-in games for Peter Jackson’s giant ape remake. I’ll tell you up front that this review will be pretty short, but in my defense I have to say it’s not from a lack of having played the game. Instead it’s a result of the game itself – there’s just not a whole lot there. In fact, Kong feels almost feels like two mini-games bundled together to pad out the gameplay. Hmm, come to think of it, it is two mini-games bundled together to pad out the gameplay…
Kong’s two halves are divided by species. On the one hand you have a top-down adventure-style game featuring puny humans and on the other you have a side-scrolling fighter staring the King himself (not Presley, Kong). On the human side of things you control three characters from the film, Jack, Carl, and Ann, as if they were one multi-headed, multitalented beast. The characters are controlled as one and they follow each other around more closely than peanut butter sticks to jelly. You can select one of the characters as “the leader” which gives you access to that character’s special skills. Jack is the weapon-wielding defender of the group. Carl can interact with the environment by lighting torches and that sort of thing. He also carries grenades around to blow-up any obstacles that block the group’s way. Lastly, we have Ann. Ann seems to have an Olive Oyl type penchant for getting herself kidnapped, but when she’s around she can heal your group and scream to stun enemies.
So the basic job of the human crew is to try to get from Point A to Point B along the tightly constrained path laid out for them. Blocking their way will be occasional issues that I suppose could be called puzzles, but that’s giving them a bit more credit than may be due. Carl will need to blow up some cave-blocking rocks, you’ll need to find some wood and vines to build rafts to cross rivers, … that sort of thing. You’ll come across some wandering critters such as bats, crabs, and snakes, but they don’t really come out and attack you as much as they merrily wander about the screen. No matter what their intentions you’re expected to kill them anyway, although their scarce numbers make me wonder if they’re all on the endangered species list.
At seemingly random junctures you’ll be taken away from our small pink friends and put in control of King Kong. Here the gameplay becomes even more basic, or primal if you will. Kong needs to make it to the end of each side-scrolling level before a timer expires. As he makes his way along dinosaurs, tanks, and other typical hazards faced by giant apes scroll onto the screen. Your job is to either punch them or mash them as your only attack options are, well, punch and mash. Occasionally fast-moving dangers will fly across the screen such as stampeding dinosaurs and you’ll need to move Kong up and down the screen to dodge them as they hurtle past. Yup, that’s about all there is to it, time to move on…
… except that there’s nothing else to move on to. There’s nothing really more to the game other than an occasional comic book style still between levels. Unless you’re the most diehard of Kong fan, there’s not much that’s going to hold your interest past your first session with the game.
In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 50%. Kong: The Eighth Wonder of the World will leave you wondering why you’d want to play it.