Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is the fifth entry in the Donkey Kong Country series, released in early 2014 for the Wii U. It is the sequel to the 2010 Wii game Donkey Kong Country Returns, and the first Donkey Kong game to appear on the Wii U. It is an action platformer that supports up to 2 players. A Nintendo Switch port was released in May 2018 that added Funky Kong as an additional character.
During a sunny day, they are having Donkey Kong's party. But a bunch of Snowmads in ships turns Donkey Kong Island into a wintery island. And it's up to Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Dixie Kong, and Cranky Kong to change their island back to normal.
It's similar to earlier games in the series (mostly Donkey Kong Country Returns), but with some new mechanics like multiple secondary characters (Diddy, Dixie, and Cranky Kong). The game is in "2.5D", a flat side-scrolling game with some 3D elements. Each character has different abilities.
Dixie Kong can use her Ponytail. Cranky can use his Crane to destroy objects and bounce over hazards. And Diddy uses a Jetpack to glide in the air. Diddy also has a Peanut Gun that he can use. Dixie also has a Bubble Gum Gun that she can use. and Cranky can use his Denture Gun.
Funky Kong returns to operate the shop. The shop is similar to the one in Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, including some additional items to help players. There are also figures bought from the store based on the characters and enemies though they are randomly received.
Funky Kong is added as a playable character as an option to replace Donkey Kong. All the other characters are usuable in co-op. Funky has an infinite roll, underwater corkscrew and hover. His surfboard also protects him from spikes.
The game was announced during E3 2013 with a release date scheduled for that Fall. There was also a Developer Direct that revealed several facts about the game. For one, the enemies were first chosen based on being animals and strong. That led to a Walrus with sea animals and then to Vikings for the enemies and premise of the game. The camera was changed to a revolving point of view to make the game feel more dynamic. The additional characters led Retro to place new secrets in areas only accessible with the different characters. The plucking and throwing mechanic originated from Tanabe's experience with Super Mario Bros. 2.
The game was delayed from December to early 2014 with a Nintendo Direct that August and at VGX, Cranky Kong was confirmed as the last additional character as well as a February 21, 2014 release date.
During a mini Nintendo Direct broadcasted on January 11, 2018 it was announced that the game would be ported to the Nintendo Switch. An additional mode featuring Funky Kong as a playable character was added exclusively for the new release on May 4.
The critical reception was good. It received a 83 from Metacritic and a 84.45% from GameRankings. Famitsu gave it a 35 out of 40.
The GameTrailers and Destructoid both nominated the game for the game of the year and won the GameTrailers' Best Platformer.
The game sold rather poorly compared to its predecessor, selling 130,000 in its first month, being the 4th best-selling software SKU for the month of February. According to Media Create, the game sold 35,717 in its first week and it sold over 100k by the end of April. By December 31, 2014, the game has sold 1.12 million. According to the 2020 CESA Games White Papers, it went on to sell 2.01 million units on the Wii U, as of December 2019.
The Switch port of the game sold 1.40 million copies by the end of June 2018. The Switch port managed to sell 1.67 copies worldwide by the end of September 2018. As of November 2020, the port sold 2.93 million units.
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- Official site
- Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze at GameFAQs
- Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze at Super Mario Wiki
- Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze at Wikipedia
- The name "Tropical Freeze" is a pun on the term "tropical breeze".
- In the Wii U version, Donkey Kong's idle animation shows him playing a Nintendo 3DS with one of the following games: Super Mario 3D Land, Mario Kart 7, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D.
- Funky Kong makes a The Legend of Zelda reference for the Crash Guards (very similarly to how Cranky Kong does in Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D with the DK Barrels) by saying, "Vehicle troubles? It's dangerous to go alone - take one of these!"
- This is the first title in the series since Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! in which the Banana Hoard does not appear.
- The game's plot bears a strong resemblance to that of Donkey Kong in: Banana Day 24, a Club Nintendo comic released exclusively in Germany.
- In the Nintendo Switch version, when shopping as Funky Kong, his parrot makes a reference to the Donkey Kong Country series, saying "Give 'em the old banana slamma, dude!" which was a line repeated by Donkey Kong in the series.
- 2020 CESA Games White Papers. ISBN 978-4-902346-42-8.