My Latest Purchase: Donkey Kong Hockey Micro Vs System.

So yeah, more Retro Nintendo time! Something you don’t see everyday, a Micro Vs System, Donkey Kong Hockey.

Instagram time! Let’s make some retro looking photos for retro games!
Released in 1984, Nintendo launched three Micro Vs Systems. Donkey Kong 3, Donkey Kong Hockey, and Boxing, which later on got re-branded as Punch-Out! The idea to the Micro Vs System was to provide simultaneous multiplayer gaming on a Game&Watch portable game. Before the GameBoy and it’s link cable, the only way to have a tiny machine to provide multiplayer was to include little game console-like controllers.
The System with it’s itty bitty controllers…
It’s bizarre that Player 1’s controller is on the right hand side of the system, rather than the traditional left hand side.
The System opens out like a clam shell where the controllers are kept inside.

The controllers are stored inside the system. You open it up like a clam shell, revealing the controllers inside and the controllers can be pulled out. The cables for the controllers are actually wrapped up inside and act as a reel, when you stop playing and close everything up, you reel the cables back in by turning a black disc on the back of each controller, and you would reel the cable up to a red ring that acts as a stop point.

OK, not an Instagram picture, but I needed a wide screen shot to take a picture of the screen.
So, what is Donkey Kong Hockey like, and how do you play it? Well, it’s pretty much a Pong clone, but it’s not a clone to verbatim. Donkey Kong Hockey changes a few things to the Pong formula, there’s a referee, moving discs on the floor called “Crazy Zones”, and Mario and DK wield a hockey stick, of course, this is Donkey Kong Hockey. The game begins as the referee would throw the puck towards either Mario (Player 1) or Donkey Kong (Player 2) and a game of pong begins, as the punk moves towards your character, you can just let it bounce from you by standing there, or you can hit it with your hockey stick to send the punk faster than how the referee threw it. The Crazy Zone discs move up and down, and if the puck slides over one of them, the puck moves even faster and changes it’s trajectory. But just like Pong, or many other object based team sports, you win a point by getting the puck in your opponent’s goal. The game changes a little when a player earns 5 points; the referee stays on the field and acts a bit like a crazy zone himself. However unlike a crazy zone, the referee kicks the puck back at you. The first player to earn 10 points wins the game.

DK Vs Mario in a game of Ice Hockey. With a silly referee getting in the way!
The game is OK, though I might say playing an actual Pong game on a real raster display with control paddles is better than this, but what would you’d expect from an LCD screen? The Crazy Zones and the referee do make the game that bit different compared to Atari’s Pong, and it’s a portable system too, back in 1984, if Pong fans knew about this game, they might very well love the fact that there’s a portable Pong-like game with a two player mode. Speaking of Multiplayer, the game really needs two players, there’s a single player mode, but it’s really damn hard, and not terribly entertaining either. This is the kind of game where you need a buddy to play with you just so that you have an equal to play with, the computer player on this is ruthless and knows where the puck is going, even at it’s highest speed and change in trajectory!
So, should you get one? Why not!? There’s only 3 of these in the Game&Watch series and it’s much an interesting system to look at. Personally I would love to get a copy of Donkey Kong 3 and Boxing to complete the series and know how they compare to this game gameplay-wise.