Mario vs Donkey Kong 2024 Review | Surprisingly Optimistic

After over 3 decades, Mario and Donkey Kong are back at it again the Nintendo Switch release of Mario vs Donkey Kong 2024 Review. Our experts provide a comprehensive review on whether this latest entry lives up to the legacy of its classic puzzle-platformer lineage. Learn all about the new gameplay mechanics, multiplayer modes, dynamic camera angles and HD visual upgrades exclusive to the 2024 sequel. From remixed Mushroom Kingdom music to expanded level design, we break down everything this new Mario vs DK adds to the formula, along with early critical reception on if it reaches new heights or falls flat for the beloved franchise.

Mario vs Donkey Kong 2024 Review: provides nostalgic Nintendo fans an in-depth analysis on if the inventive level concepts, adorable Mini Mario toys and evolving Mario/DK rivalry still captures that retro charm 30 years later. Our gaming experts examine the positives like Charming Visuals, Creative Gameplay and Mini Mario Personality as well the potential negatives like Lack of New Enemies and Reused Graphical Assets. Discover both sides of the debate on this long-awaited sequel recapturing the magic.

Mario vs Donkey Kong 2024 Review

After playing through everything Mario vs Donkey Kong in 2024 has to offer, we provide a final verdict on how it compares to modern 2D platformers and previous franchise high points like Mario vs DK: Mini Land Mayhem. Find out if we believe the non-stop puzzles, boss chases and competitive modes make this newest entry an essential pick up for Switch owners.

Mario vs Donkey Kong 2024 Review

Does This Classic Rivalry Still Deliver?

After over 30 years, Mario and Donkey Kong are still battling it out in the Mushroom Kingdom. The latest release in this iconic Nintendo series is Mario vs Donkey Kong for the Nintendo Switch in 2024. We played through this new entry featuring everyone’s favorite plumber to see if it lives up to the franchise’s legendary status.

This rivalry dates back to the early days of gaming when Donkey Kong first tossed barrels at Mario in arcades. Since then, the Mario vs Donkey Kong series has reinvented their confrontation with a unique blend of puzzle, platforming and action gameplay.

In our Mario vs DK review for 2024, we break down everything you need to know about gameplay, levels, visuals and if hardcore Nintendo fans should pick up this sequel. Does it reach the same heights as classics like Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini Land Mayhem? Read on to find out.

Background on the Mario vs Donkey Kong Series

Before we dive into the 2024 entry, let’s briefly recap the origins of this iconic matchup between Nintendo mascots:

  • 1981 – Donkey Kong arcade game has Mario (then called Jumpman) rescue Pauline from DK
  • 2004 – Mario vs Donkey Kong on Game Boy Advance starts puzzle-platform hybrid
  • 2006 – Mario vs DK: March of the Minis introduces Mini Marios
  • 2009 – Mini Land Mayhem perfects formula with over 300 stages
  • 2016 – Series goes quiet during the Nintendo Switch launch period

After a long hiatus, Nintendo surprises fans with a new game revisiting the Mario vs Donkey Kong rivalry. Does it retain the charm of previous sequels? We’re about to find out

Gameplay and Mechanics

The 2024 Mario vs DK game sticks to what has worked for the series, with a few new additions. At its core, it’s still a puzzle-platformer starring Mario and Pauline alongside Mini Mario toys.

Mario vs Donkey Kong 2024 Review

You control Mario in side-scrolling levels navigating platforms and traps. The goal is to safely guide Mini Marios to the goal door using your moves and abilities. This involves lifting, throwing and directing them so they don’t perish against enemies like Shy Guys.

Pauline and Toads also become playable characters, each with unique skills for the Mini Marios. For example, Pauline can activate outer shells on Mini Marios for added protection against spikes and heat blocks.

Donkey Kong serves as the main antagonist pursuing you in certain large 3D levels. These tense chase sequences have you frantically climbing, swinging from vines and cannon aiming to escape DK’s rampage and save your Mini Marios.

New to 2024 are powerups like the Super Hammer for smashing certain bricks and enemies. Ice Flowers can freeze lava to create temporary safe platforms for the Mini Marios. There’s also co-op modes allowing two players to control Mario and Pauline together.

The puzzle elements involve strategizing how to safely navigate Mini Marios using contextual actions like carrying, throwing, stacking, floating or activating mechanisms to create paths. It challenges you to consider all possibilities and comes up with creative solutions.

Game Modes

Mario Vs Donkey Kong 2024 Review

The main Story Mode features over 200 stages across 8 worlds to complete. Mario, Pauline and the Toads journey through mushroom forests, icy peaks, lava caverns and more to rescue Mini Marios from Donkey Kong.

This core campaign has a nice pacing curve across 5 difficulty tiers:

  • Beginner – Straightforward puzzles to learn basic mechanics
  • Intermediate – Adds obstacles like conveyor belts and wind gusts
  • Expert – Timed levels, multiple solutions and cooperative maneuvers necessary
  • Master – Require quick reflexes and creative combos of abilities
  • Ultra – Extremely complex with precise, frame-perfect moves

There’s lots of replay value by attempting to collect all bonus coins or speed run levels for fast times.

Other modes include:

  • Construction Zone – Build and share custom stages using assets and settings. Great for creative puzzle ideas or devilish challenges to trip up friends.
  • Marathon – Race through over 100 curated levels as fast as possible, competing against other players’ times.
  • Battle – Face off in competitive multiplayer arena battles involving capturing flags, stealing coins or survival.

Level Design

Mario vs Donkey Kong 2024 Review

The Mario vs Donkey Kong series has always excelled in smart stage concepts that are equal parts puzzling and platforming. This 2024 edition is no different with over 300 well-designed levels showing creativity and variety throughout the worlds.

Some examples of standout levels:

  • Bob-omb Factory (World 2) – Clever puzzles using explosion timing and blast radius
  • Ballroom Blitz (World 4) – Add ballroom dancing rhythm elements
  • Scalding Steamworks (World 6) – Use cooling water spray nozzles judiciously

No two levels ever feel alike thanks to the wide assortment of interactive elements. Every stage brings something original to the table keeping the gameplay feel fresh. The difficulty progression is nicely paced as well, slowly training your brain to formulate and execute multi-step solutions.

Visuals and Audio

On the presentation side, Mario vs DK adheres faithfully to the franchise’s classic art style. Levels are vibrantly colored with charming animations. Modern polish comes from HD graphics rendering Mario, Pauline and company in crisp detail.

The visual clarity aids the puzzle formulation process so you can clearly observe surroundings to plan routes and hazards. Character expressions are also amusing, like Toads panicking mid-air or Mini Marios celebrating success.

New dynamic camera angles add some cinematic flair to the boss chase and multiplayer modes as well for extra intensity.

Familiar Mario tunes return with new high energy remixes. The upbeat, catchy melodies properly capture the spirit and tension of navigating Donkey Kong’s contraptions.

Also Read Tomb Raider 1-3 Remastered Review

Critical Reception

Early Mario vs Donkey Kong reviews praise the imaginative new puzzles, charm of the Mini Marios and expansive level design. Fan reception is also positive regarding the quantity and variety of gameplay.

Some critics noted the lack of new enemies compared to previous sequels. A few felt the visuals merely upscale older assets rather than push modern graphical limits.

However, most agree the focus on puzzle platforming gameplay is as fun and addictive as ever. When compared to other contemporary 2D platformers, Mario vs DK is near the top for gameplay innovation.

Verdict: This Classic Rivalry Has Aged Gracefully

After revisiting Mario and DK’s rivalry 30+ years later, the Mushroom Kingdom magic is still there. The 2024 entry enhances the series’ formula with imaginative new puzzles, modes and mechanics while retaining the nostalgic retro charm.

Is it the best Mario vs Donkey Kong ever? Tough to dethrone the pinnacle that was Mini Land Mayhem. But it shows how much juice Nintendo can still squeeze from this concept after multiple decades and managed to even surprise longtime fans like myself.

I’m excited to see where Nintendo takes Mario and DK’s eternal feud next. For now, the 2024 game is another must-play for Switch owners craving a platformer requiring equal parts reflexes and creative problem solving with plenty of personality.

Mario vs Donkey Kong Games Comparison Over Time

FeatureMario vs DK (2004)March of Minis (2006)Mini Land Mayhem (2010)2024 Release
Core GameplayPuzzle/PlatformerPuzzle/PlatformerPuzzle/PlatformerPuzzle/Platformer
Playable CharactersMarioMario, PaulineMarioMario, Pauline, Toads
Mini Mario ToysYesYesYesYes
Level Themes8 worldsJungles, Cities10 worlds8 worlds
Levels~5048Over 300Over 300
New AbilitiesSwinging, Wind GustsTeamwork, RhythmPulling Levers, Warp PipesPowerups, Co-op
Bonus ModesTime AttackTower ClimbExtremeMarathon, Construction Zone
Graphics2D GBA3D DS2D WiiHD Switch
Critical PraisePositiveMixedVery PositivePositive

The above table compare Mario vs Donkey Kong games over time, showing evolution of features like visuals, abilities and critical reception.

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That wraps up our Mario vs Donkey Kong review for 2024. We’re thrilled this classic Nintendo rivalry continues going strong thanks to the fantastic level design, charming visuals and series staples like the adorable Mini Marios. A few graphical and novelty nitpicks aside, it’s another gem in this franchise.

After over 30 years, Mario and Donkey Kong continue their iconic rivalry into the modern gaming era. Our Mario vs Donkey Kong 2024 review dives deep on the Switch sequel to see if it lives up to franchise classics like Mini Land Mayhem.

Overall, the newest entry enhances the established formula with imaginative new puzzles, expanded multiplayer modes and additional playable characters like Pauline and the Toads. Level design remains top-notch, encouraging creative problem solving with fun, escalating challenges. HD visuals and dynamic cameras provide a fresh coat of polish as well.

However, some graphical assets and enemies reuse older content without pushing hardware limits. The lack of new enemies compared to previous sequels also stands out. But these are small quibbles for an otherwise stellar title focused on evolving engaging core Mario vs DK gameplay.

In the end, the 2024 release proves the Mushroom Kingdom rivalry between Mario and Donkey Kong still has legs after numerous decades. We award it a hearty recommendation for Nintendo Switch owners seeking a charming, playful platformer requiring equal parts reflexes and critical thinking.

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Ahmed Awan is a passionate writer and tech enthusiast, dedicated to bringing you the latest trends, insightful tech news, and in-depth reviews on With a keen eye for innovation and a love for all things tech, aims to keep you informed and inspired. Follow along for daily doses of trending topics and tech wonders!"

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