Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Nintendo Switch) Preview

By Adam Riley 11.04.2018 2

Review for Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze on Nintendo Switch

Nintendo is carefully selecting key releases from its Wii U library that were critical darlings but sadly overlooked by the general populace due to the overall underwhelming sales performance of the Wii successor. After great success with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and the future release of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, another of its resurrected treats is none other than the sequel to the multi-million selling Donkey Kong Country Returns, the Retro Studios-developed Tropical Freeze. Cubed3 recently got the chance to go hands-on with the early parts of this deliciously delightful dish of platforming goodness.

Despite only getting to grips with the very early stages of Tropical Freeze, already its greatness shines through. Taking on Funky Kong brings in the ability to double-jump at will, breath easily underwater, survive longer thanks to his five hearts, avoid the perils of some spiky locations, and barrel-roll into a barrage of enemies easier than ever before. Oh, and he can use his surfboard to float in a similar fashion to Yoshi's odd little mid-air flutter move.

Okay, alarm bells might be ringing in the ears of those that adored the added challenge that Retro Studios brought to both this in its Wii U form, as well as its Wii predecessor, but that has not changed for those wanting to play through that original mode. With Cubed3's short time, and given how this writer has to admit to being awful at Tropical Freeze in its previous incarnation, it was with great eagerness that the Funky Mode was booted up, and it is indeed sublime.

Screenshot for Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze on Nintendo Switch

What Retro did with Returns (and obviously its 3DS port) was retain the tight platforming greatness of Rare's SNES classics, whilst upping the ante considerably to improve the balance and pacing of stages. With Tropical Freeze the formula was polished to sheer perfection, yet for those not quite as capable, the majority of its artistic wonder was wasted. Now, though, despite not being as easy as, say, Kirby Star Allies, the difficulty has been adjusted downwards by the extra abilities that Funky brings to the table.

However, there are still hidden items and secret stages galore, KONG letters to collect, ground-slamming action to smash apart seemingly unbreakable crates, a plethora of enemies to smash through or bounce off, all wrapped up in one very pretty package - Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze was fantastic to begin with, but now in its Switch format is proving to still be one of the most engrossing platformers of all-time. Now, if you do not mind, it is back to the action ahead of the final review!

Screenshot for Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze on Nintendo Switch

Final Thoughts

Anyone that loved the vanilla experience will be extremely pleased to know that the smooth action has made the transition to Switch perfectly intact. However, this is about appeasing those that are perhaps more likely to appreciate a softened experience, able to appreciate the fantastic design without struggling with constant failure. The introduction of Funky Kong and the Funky Mode make Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze more accessible than ever before, and it is all the better for it.






2D Platformer



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


Great stuff. I can't wait for this. I never got around to DKC Returns, and never got hold of a Wii U to try out Tropical Freeze. Got plenty of love for the original series. 

I have no issues with Funky Kong in this edition. If it weren't for the restore points on the 3DS Virtual Console, I'd probably never have got to the end of all three original DKC titles. Smilie 

( Edited 11.04.2018 18:42 by The Strat Man )

Tom Barry [ Reviewer - Editor - Resident Sim-Racer @ ] 

It's still tough Smilie I've been switching between levels using Funky or the DK+another combo and the latter is still very challenging. Very enjoyable, but I really am nowhere near as good at platformers as I used to be Smilie My reactions seem much slower than I remember Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

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