Kangaroo (video game)
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Kangaroo (Japanese: カンガルー) is an arcade platform game released in 1982 by Sun Electronics and distributed by Atari. Kangaroo is one of the first arcade games similar in style to Donkey Kong without being a direct knock-off. The player takes the role of a boxing glove-wearing mother kangaroo who is trying to rescue her child from fruit-throwing monkeys.
|Platform(s)||Arcade, Atari 8-bit, Atari 2600, Atari 5200|
|Mode(s)||Up to 2 players, alternating turns|
|CPU||1 × Z80 @ 2.5 MHz|
|Sound||1 × Z80 @ 2.5 MHz|
1 × AY-3-8910 @ 1.25 MHz
|Display||Raster, 240 x 256 pixels (Vertical), 24 colors|
Despite featuring jumping, there is no jump button. Instead, the player pushes up on the joystick—or up and diagonally—to jump.
There are four different levels. Each of them consist of the mother kangaroo on the bottom floor trying to reach the top floor where her joey is being held captive by some monkeys. On each of the levels monkeys throw apples which the mother kangaroo must either jump, duck, or punch. If she gets face to face with one of the monkeys, she can punch the monkey with a boxing glove. There are also pieces of fruit that she can jump up and get for points; if she jumps and touches a bell, more fruits will appear to replace the ones she has already collected. She must be wary of the big Ape, who will occasionally appear and try to take her gloves away from her. The level must be completed before the time runs out; otherwise, the player will lose a life.
Levels 1, 2 and 4 consist of different platforms that the mother kangaroo must jump onto or climb onto via a ladder. On the third level, the joey is in a cage held up by an troop of monkeys, and there is a horde of apples that the will be unleashed if five monkeys climb up to it. On this level, the mother kangaroo must punch each monkey in the stack several times until the cage is lowered and, when the cage has been lowered enough, the mother kangaroo must climb to the next floor to get to the joey before the cage is raised again.
Kangaroo has a number of clearly visible glitches in the graphics, such as sprites briefly flickering.
The game uses popular classical and folk songs for background music, including "American Patrol" by F. W. Meacham (used during regular gameplay), "Oh! Susanna" by Stephen Foster (used as level completion fanfare), and "Westminster Quarters" (used when a bell is rung).
Kangaroo was ported to the Atari 2600, Atari 5200, and Atari 8-bit family. The Atari 8-bit version was published through the Atari Program Exchange, which is unusual, as APX was created to publish user-designed software, not licensed ports.
Arcade Express gave the arcade version an 8 out of 10 in November 1982.
The Atari 5200 version of Kangaroo was later reviewed by Video magazine in its "Arcade Alley" column where it received mixed commentary. While describing the game as "an excellent piece of work", reviewers also admitted that it had "fail[ed] to bowl [them] over" and criticized the game's "animation-quality graphics" which appeared to be used primarily to "dress up rudimentary play-action".:39 It was later awarded "1984 Best Arcade-to-Home Video Game/Computer Game Translation" at the 5th annual Arkie Awards, where judges noted that "all aspects of the game look and play" as a "virtual duplicate" of the arcade version.:29
Four reviewers in a 1997 issue of Digital Press gave the Atari 5200 version 5, 7, 8, and 5 (all out of 10).
In 1984, Kangaroo and Space Ace replaced Pitfall Harry, Frogger, and Donkey Kong Jr. as segments on CBS's Saturday Supercade cartoon lineup. The basic plot-line involves kangaroos named Katy (voiced by Mea Martineau) and Joey (voiced by David Mendenhall), who lives in a zoo run by the zookeeper Mr. Friendly (voiced by Arthur Burghardt) and are good friends with Sidney the Squirrel (voiced by Marvin Kaplan). Katy and Joey would often thwart the plots of the mischievous Monkeybiz Gang (voiced by Pat Fraley and Frank Welker) consisting of Bingo, Bango, Bongo, and Fred. The Monkeybiz Gang cause trouble by trying to escape from the zoo and Katy would have to help keep them in line. The series has never been officially released on DVD or VHS in any form.
- Brundage, Darren (June 27, 2007). "Kangaroo". The Atari Times.
- "Kangaroo - Videogame by Sun Electronics". Arcade-museum.com. Retrieved 2014-07-18.
- Reichert, Matt. "Kangaroo". AtariProtos.com. Retrieved September 19, 2014.
- Kunkel, Bill; Katz, Arnie (November 1983). "Arcade Alley: Wintertime Winners". Video. Reese Communications. 7 (8): 38–39. ISSN 0147-8907.
- Kunkel, Bill; Katz, Arnie (February 1984). "Arcade Alley: The 1984 Arcade Awards, Part II". Video. Reese Communications. 7 (11): 28–29. ISSN 0147-8907.
- comicwatch (November 12, 2005). "Saturday Supercade (TV Series 1983–1985)". IMDb. Retrieved December 6, 2015.