Donkey Kong Jr. is a 1982 arcade-style platform video game by Nintendo. It first appeared in arcades, and, over the course of the 1980s, was later released for a variety of platforms, most notably the Nintendo Entertainment System. The game’s title is written out as Donkey Kong Junior in the North American arcade version and various ports to non-Nintendo systems. Its eponymous star, Donkey Kong Jr., also called simply Junior or abbreviated as DK Jr., is trying to rescue his father Donkey Kong, who has been imprisoned. Donkey Kong’s cage is guarded by Mario, in his only appearance as an antagonist in a video game. This game is the sequel to the video game Donkey Kong, which featured Mario as the hero and Junior’s father as the villain.
Mario (known as Jumpman in Donkey Kong) has captured Donkey Kong and placed him in a cage as punishment for kidnapping his girlfriend Pauline. Donkey Kong Jr. must rescue his father from Mario by working his way through a series of stages. Mario attempts to stop DK Jr. by releasing animals and putting obstacles in his way. When DK Jr. succeeds at the final level, Donkey Kong is freed and kicks Mario into the distance, leaving him to an unknown fate.
Like its predecessor, Donkey Kong, Jr. is an arcade-style platform game. There are a total of four stages, each with a unique theme. DK Jr. can run left and right, jump, and grab vines/chains/ropes to climb higher on the screen. He can slide down faster by holding only one vine, or climb faster by holding two. Enemies include “Snapjaws,” which resemble bear traps with eyes, bird-like creatures called “Nitpickers”, and “Sparks” that roam across the wiring in one of Mario’s hideouts.
To pass the first three stages, DK Jr. must reach the key at the top. In the fourth stage, DK Jr. must push six keys into locks near the top of the stage to free Donkey Kong. After a brief cutscene, the player is taken back to the first stage at an increased difficulty.
DK Jr. loses a life when he touches any enemy or projectile, falls too great a distance, or falls off the bottom of the screen. Additionally, he loses a life if the timer counts down to zero. The game ends when the player loses all of his or her lives.