Congo Bongo is a classic isometric platform arcade game developed and published by Sega in 1983. The game quickly gained popularity due to its innovative gameplay, which involved players taking on the role of a hunter who must climb a hill and defeat the ape named Bongo. However, this is easier said than done, as Bongo and his minions will stop at nothing to prevent players from reaching the top.

Despite being released over 30 years ago, Congo Bongo has maintained a dedicated fanbase.  As one of the few retro games set in Africa, Congo Bongo has become a cultural icon, inspiring digital artists to create their own characters and even inspiring slot games in online casinos. The game’s simple yet challenging mechanics and bright, colorful graphics make it a beloved classic among gamers and collectors alike.

Overview Of Congo Bongo Game Stages And Obstacles

This game features four stages that progressively increase in difficulty and repeat after completion. Players assume the role of a hunter who must ascend a hill to reach the home of the ape Bongo. However, Bongo and his three little monkey minions stand in the player’s way, creating obstacles that require strategic problem-solving skills to overcome.

In the second stage, players must navigate a swamp filled with hazardous obstacles. Hippos must leap over, and venomous creatures such as scorpions and snakes avoided to cross to the other side. The third stage takes place in a field during a hippopotamus stampede. The player must evade these animals by diving into holes in the ground while simultaneously attempting to reach the stairs that lead to the game’s final level.

In the fourth and final stage, players must cross a lily field, which appears deceptively simple. However, lurking dangers and a group of angry hippos who are determined to protect their leader Bongo, who is taking a bath, stand in the way of completing the game.

Comparisons With Donkey Kong

Many gamers considered Congo Bongo to be Sega’s answer to the popular 1981 Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) game, Donkey Kong. Despite claims from Congo Bongo’s creators denying any allegations of plagiarism, the two games share numerous similarities.

Both games feature a large ape as the main antagonist who hurls objects to impede the player’s progress and has minions to defend them. The protagonists of each game, Mario and Congo Bongo’s hunter, share similarities in their physical appearance and abilities. Additionally, both games have four levels of gameplay, use an isometric perspective, and have similar graphics.

Although Donkey Kong was more successful in its day, Congo Bongo has now developed a cult following among vintage game collectors.

Congo Bongo’s Legacy

Congo Bongo, though at its most popular during the 1980s, has left a lasting legacy, inspiring artists around the world. The game’s antagonist has influenced various digital artists to create characters based on its design, some of which have even appeared in Congo Bongo-inspired games, including online slot games available at Congo sports betting and casino platforms. While Congo Bongo’s influence is felt in African countries such as Congo, where its gameplay is set, it pales in comparison to the impact of its rival game from the ’80s, Donkey Kong. Donkey Kong has had numerous sequels, a feat that Congo Bongo never achieved. Nevertheless, there is always the possibility that this may change in the future.

What Does The Future Hold For Congo Bongo?

Over the past few years, Sega has released remastered versions of several classic games from the 1980s, including Sonic the Hedgehog, Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap, and Panzer Dragon, among others. Congo Bongo also received a revamped version as part of the Sega Ages 2500 Series, although this occurred back in the early 2000s for the now-discontinued PlayStation 2 platform. Perhaps it’s time for Congo Bongo to receive another update?

While there have been no official announcements from Sega regarding a new version of Congo Bongo, who knows what the future may hold. If the game remains popular among fans, there may be a chance for another release in the future.

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