Donkey Kong Circus

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Not to be confused with Circus Kong.
Donkey Kong Circus
A screenshot of the product Donkey Kong Circus from the Game & Watch series
Developer Nintendo Research & Development 1
Publisher Nintendo
Platform(s) Game & Watch
Release date September 6, 1984
Genre Platformer
Rating(s) N/A
Mode(s) Single player
Game & Watch:
Game & Watch:

Donkey Kong Circus is a Game & Watch title released as part of the Panorama Screen series on September 6, 1984.[1] It is a remake of the second Mickey Mouse Game & Watch game, which was released worldwide seven months earlier. The two games' codes even seem to have gotten mixed up, with Mickey Mouse being model "DC-95" and Donkey Kong Circus being "MK-96."[1] Neither the Panorama Screen Mickey Mouse nor Donkey Kong Circus was released in Japan.

Donkey Kong Circus's alarm bell
The alarm bell

The alarm indicator of this game is a bell that is located under the time/score, and the bell swings when the alarm goes off.


Donkey Kong Circus
Gameplay of Donkey Kong Circus

In this game, Donkey Kong balances on a barrel while juggling pineapples and avoiding the fireballs falling from the drums. Mario watches his performance. Donkey Kong receives a point every time he catches a pineapple. If Donkey Kong loses a pineapple, Mario will laugh at him, resulting in a miss. If Donkey Kong manages to grasp a fireball, he will flail, which also counts as a miss. If Donkey Kong reaches 300 points without any misses, the points will be worth double until he does get a miss. If he has any misses at said score, every miss will be cleared instead. When he gets three misses, the player gets a Game Over.


Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese ドンキーコング サーカス[2]
Donkī Kongu Sākasu
Donkey Kong Circus


The game start jingle
The excerpt of "Pop Goes the Weasel" on which the jingle is based
The jingle, slowed down and pitch-shifted to match the song's tempo and pitch, combined with the song itself
  • This game marks Donkey Kong's first playable appearance, predating Donkey Kong Country by over a decade.
  • Donkey Kong Circus used a slightly faster rearrangement of the first six seconds of "Pop Goes the Weasel" for the game start jingle.
  • While this originally had a Disney license that was dropped in favor of Nintendo characters,[citation needed] the previous Game & Watch game featuring Mickey Mouse was an alternate version of Egg released simultaneously in certain countries.
  • This is one of the few Game & Watch units to feature full color. This was actually due to Gunpei Yokoi's idea to move the background around the characters, rather than the other way around.


  1. ^ a b Donkey Kong Circus. In The Attic (British English). Archived October 27, 2021, 23:07:55 UTC from the original via Wayback Machine. Retrieved June 1, 2024.
  2. ^ HISTORY|ゲーム&ウオッチ スーパーマリオブラザーズ|任天堂. Nintendo (Japanese). Retrieved June 1, 2024.