In 1981, Nintendo had their first blockbuster release with Shigeru Miyamoto's creation - Donkey Kong. Originally released in the arcades, Donkey Kong became a very popular game amongst gamers, eventually spawning many remakes and ports. In this game, Donkey Kong was the antagonist who kidnapped "Jumpman's" girlfriend (Pauline). It was later ported to the many home systems including the Atari 2600, the Collecovison and the Nintendo Entertainment System. This is a simple platformer, where the player must control Mario while jumping and avoiding obstacles and making it to Donkey Kong.
The following year, another arcade game was created, Donkey Kong Jr.. This time, the roles were reversed. Mario was the villain, and DK was a damsel in distress. Here, Donkey Kong Jr., Donkey Kong's son, had to save his kidnapped father from Mario. The gameplay is the same as the original Donkey Kong; Donkey Kong Jr. must avoid traps set off by Mario to save Donkey Kong by jumping and simply avoiding them.
Donkey Kong 3 was the third installment of the Donkey Kong series, where Stanley fought DK. This game differed from its predecessors in that it is a shooter/platformer hybrid and did not include Mario as a character.
Donkey Kong Jr. Math was Donkey Kong Jr.'s second game, an edutainment title released in 1983 for the NES. Donkey Kong will hold up a sign, and Donkey Kong Jr. must find the numbers and math sign to get to that number to get a point.
An obscure Japanese-only sequel to Donkey Kong 3, Donkey Kong 3: Dai Gyakushuu was developed and released by Hudson Soft for home computers in 1984. The gameplay is simplified compared to its forebear, with Stanley the Bugman's ability to jump removed, along with the need to remove plants, making it much closer to something like Galaga.
Donkey Kong Jr. is a Game & Watch edition of Donkey Kong Jr., based on the first level of the arcade game of the same name. As in the original arcade game, Donkey Kong is captured by Mario, and Donkey Kong Jr. must save him. There are two major revisions - the original version in the New Wide Screen series, and the colorized game in the Table Top and Panorama Screen series released the following year with an entirely different level and obstacle layout. Only the New Wide Screen version was ported to Game & Watch Gallery 3, Game & Watch Gallery 4 and DSiWare. The game also has an indirect sequel in the form of Donkey Kong II, based on later levels of the arcade game.
Donkey Kong II was a Game & Watch game that was very similar to Donkey Kong Jr. It was based on the third and fourth levels of Donkey Kong Jr. and had the same plotline, but Mario was absent. Its gameplay involved Donkey Kong Jr. unlocking several chains to free Donkey Kong. It was later re-released as part of Game & Watch Gallery 3.
Donkey Kong Jr. + Jr. Math Lesson is a game released for the Family Computer in Japan. It is a compilation of the games Donkey Kong Jr. and Donkey Kong Jr. Math. The game is not exactly a combination, but rather a "platter" of the two Donkey Kong-related games. Combining half of the 1- and 2-Player game modes from Donkey Kong Jr. and the +-×÷ Exercise mode from Donkey Kong Jr.
Mario vs. Donkey Kong is a game for the Game Boy Advance, which was originally planned as Donkey Kong Plus, a sequel to the Game Boy Donkey Kong. The final game retains most mechanics, but subsequent games in the series diverge radically from the template.
Donkey Kong no Ongaku Asobi (Donkey Kong's Fun with Music) is a canceled game set for release on the Nintendo Entertainment System. It would have followed Donkey Kong Jr. Math as one of the edutainment games in the early Donkey Kong series. Donkey Kong no Ongaku Asobi starred the cast of the original Donkey Kong plus series newcomer Donkey Kong Jr. The game never surfaced, and seems to have only been announced in 1983 in a Japanese gaming magazine.