Some retro classics are well known because they broke the barriers of gaming, while others become infamous due to crippling game design. Both of these reasons, and other reasons as well, are reasons why some games are somewhat reasonably regarded as ‘classics’ in their own right. Now it stands to reason that if those reasons are reasonable, then it is also reasonable to assume that the games that were clones of classics can also reasonably be classed as classics if they have something reasonably great about them.
None of this really applies to Wally Kong on the Spectrum. Well the clone bit does.
Wally Kong was for all intensive purposes a clone of Donkey Kong – just in case you hadn’t figured that out already – but came with one major redeeming feature, it’s game box art. (Yes that old chestnut!)
Check it out!
I am a sucker for hand-drawn game box art, especially when it’s encased in a brittle plastic cassette tape case. In the case of Wally Kong is is made even more impressive by the name. I mean come on, who wouldn’t love Wally Kong?
I have played a bit of Wally Kong – although the game seems convinced that it is just called Kong – and I have to say that the only thing that sets it apart from the glut of ….Kong games is that name and that art (and perhaps the fact that Dixons gave it away with computers). It’s not on a par with Nintendo’s classic, but then Donkey Kong had a great logo, but a rubbish face in-game compared to the art, whereas Wally Kong looks like he has some form of special needs, and in-game he also seems to have some form of special needs, thus making Walltone Software’s clone more honest and truthful than the original.
Which I think makes my reasoning for designating Wally Kong as one of our questionable classics rather reasonable.