Arctic invaders have turned Donkey Kong Island into their personal frozen fortress, and it’s up to you to save the day. Play as Donkey Kong in Original Mode and team up with Diddy Kong, Dixie Kong, and Cranky Kong—each with unique abilities—to overcome platforming challenges and frosty foes
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Don't Miss it This Time
by Kyle Hilliard
Bring the excellent, but underplayed, Tropical Freeze to the Switch with a new playable character that basically functions as an easy mode
Tropical Freeze looked great in HD when it debuted in 2014, and the transition to Switch went well. The fur physics stand out in particular
Thanks to the return of the SNES games' original composer, David Wise, Tropical Freeze's soundtrack hits all the right nostalgic notes. The new stuff is great, too
Moving the Kong family, pounding the ground, and rolling into a jump all feel great. Even swimming works well, though it's not as fun as running and jumping
Tropical Freeze stands among the best platformers of the last decade. Playing as Funky Kong is great for alleviating frustration or allowing skilled players to breeze through the game at high speed
When Tropical Freeze released on the Wii U in 2014, it was exciting because it marked Donkey Kong Country's belated entry into the world of high definition. It played well, included tons of nostalgic and novel platforming ideas, and offered a significant, but fair challenge. Unfortunately, simply by the nature of its underperforming platform, not many people played it. The Switch re-release offers a chance for those that skipped the Wii U to play a fantastic platformer, but even for those that played it four years ago, there is at least one incentive to make a return trip to Donkey Kong Country.
The transition from Wii U to Switch by the original developer, Retro, is seamless. The platforming is accurate and fast, the resolution improves from 720p to 1080p when docked, and the soundtrack is worth the effort of seeking out headphones.
The big addition for the Switch version is the inclusion of a playable Funky Kong, which changes the experience in some significant and fun ways. Tropical Freeze is hard, and if you want to play the difficult-but-fair original version, you can. Playing as Funky Kong, however, functions as an easy mode. He has more hearts and does not take damage from spike pits. He can also roll infinitely, breathe underwater, double-jump, and perform a floating drop. He's a combination of some of the distinguishing abilities of the other playable Kongs, and it makes it all much easier. If you found Tropical Freeze too difficult, Funky makes the challenge much more manageable, which is great for young or impatient players.
See more of the review at Game Informer
For a more accessible experience, start a game in Funky Mode to enjoy a range of gameplay updates and a new main-character option, spectacular surfing simian Funky Kong! His extra hearts and unique abilities make for a more relaxed gaming experience. And no matter which mode you choose, a wealth of collectibles and two-player co-op round out the fun!