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Congo Bongo
Box artwork for Congo Bongo.
Japanese title ティップタップ (Tip Top)
Developer(s) Sega
Publisher(s) Sega
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Action
System(s) Arcade, Apple II, Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64/128, Commodore VIC-20, ColecoVision, Intellivision, MSX, Sega SG-1000, MS-DOS, TI-99/4A
Players 1-2
Neoseeker Related Pages
Congo Bongo marquee

Congo Bongo is an arcade game released by Sega in 1983. The game has come to be seen as Sega's answer to Nintendo's highly successful Donkey Kong game that was released two years prior. While it employs the same isometric view that was made famous by Zaxxon, it contains too many similarities to the former ape game to be purely coincidental. Both games involve primates who throw objects at a player from a vantage point on top of a structure. Both games involve a large nosed protagonist whose only ability is the ability to jump. And both games have four different levels composed of one screen that re-start with a higher difficulty once completed. Even the graphics of the bonus timer look extraordinarily similar to Donkey Kong's.

The player takes the role of a red-nosed safari explorer who tries to catch an ape named "Bongo". The explorer seeks Bongo to enact revenge for an apparent practical joke in which Bongo set fire to the hunter's tent, giving him a literal "hotfoot". He must pursue the ape across four different screens, with the goal of moving from the lower left corner to the upper right corner of every screen. He must overcome obstacles like falling coconuts, charging rhinos, and avoiding falls into the water.

The game was a commercial failure when it was released, but was popular enough to be ported to nearly ever major platform of its day. In an unusual move for Sega they retained all of the publishing rights instead of licensing them out, as they had done with Zaxxon. They developed conversions for several systems including Atari's consoles, MSX, Intellivision, ColecoVision, Commodore 64 and IBM PC. Congo Bongo received an enhanced remake and port on the PlayStation 2 as part of the compilation Sega Ages 2500 Vol 23: Sega Memorial Collection.

Story[edit]

A safari explorer arrived in the jungle one day, and the animal inhabitants decided to cook up a scheme to get rid of him. Bongo the ape volunteered to chase him out with fire. One night, while sleeping peacefully in his tent, the explorer awoke to a fiery sight: the large ape Bongo had lit his tent on fire, but this didn't scare the explorer away. It only strengthened his resolve to push deeper into Bongo's domain and exact revenge for the cruel joke.

Title screen

Table of Contents

Gameplay Summary[edit]

  • You control the red nosed safari explorer. You can move in the four diagonal directions, and you can jump.
  • You are also capable of climbing up any cliff ledge that is exactly your height.
  • You must avoid contact with just about every animal, with the exception of the backs of several water-inhabiting animals like hippos and whales.
  • You must also avoid contact with any body of water.
  • The goal of every stage is to reach Bongo's position in the upper right corner of the screen.
  • Each of the four stages has a different theme and set of features.
  • When all four stages are completed, the sequence begins again at a higher difficulty level.