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Congo (Unknown) (Proto)

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Sega Genesis

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Sega Genesis

Congo (Unknown) (Proto)

also known as Tip Top[b], is an platform game released as an arcade video game by Sega in 1983. A message in the ROM indicates it was coded at least in part by the company Ikegami Tsushinki.[4][5][6] The game is viewed in an isometric perspective, like Sega’s earlier Zaxxon (1981), but does not scroll. Numerous home ports followed.

The player takes the role of a red-nosed safari explorer attempting to catch an ape named Bongo who set fire to the explorer’s tent. The goal in each of the four screens is to move from the lower left corner to the location of the ape on the right or upper right. He must climb ledges, jump over water and gaps in the terrain, and avoid animal attackers.

Reception

In Japan, Game Machine listed Congo Bongo on their June 15, 1983 issue as being the fifth most-successful table arcade unit of the month.[12] In the United States, Time magazine initially reported in 1983 that the arcade game was a commercial failure,[13] before it went on to become a popular arcade game according to Computer Games magazine in early 1985.[14] The game went on to have a number of home conversions, which were commercially successful in the United States.[15]

Computer and Video Games magazine gave the arcade game a generally favorable review. They called its concept of Donkey Kong (1981) “in three dimensions” a “fascinating idea” while also noting the final level has similarities to Frogger (1981).[16]

The home conversions received a mixed reception. The ColecoVision, Atari 5200 and Intellivision versions were awarded “Best Videogame Audio-Visual Effects” at the 1984 Arkie Awards.[17] Ahoy! in 1984 stated that Congo Bongo for the Commodore 64 and VIC-20 “is fraught with problems; gameplay is repetitive, frustrating, tedious, inconsistent, and at times confusing, and the music not only got on my nerves but stomped on them. Plus, the whole thing is derivative”.[18] Computer Games magazine gave the Atari VCS version a C− rating, calling the “VCS version of” the arcade game, “for the most part, a disappointment.”[19] ST. Game readers named the Atari version of the game the worst Atari program of 1983, even worse than the notorious E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.[20]

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