Jump to content

Congo Bongo

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Congo Bongo
Ikegami Tsushinki[1]
Platform(s)Arcade, Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Atari 2600, Atari 5200, ColecoVision, Commodore 64, IBM PC, Intellivision, MSX, SG-1000, TI-99/4A, VIC-20
Mode(s)1-2 players alternating turns

Congo Bongo,[a] also known as Tip Top,[b] is a 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 (1982), 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.


The player crossing a bridge in the first level of the arcade version.

Congo Bongo has similar elements and gameplay to Nintendo's Donkey Kong from 1981, with the isometric perspective from Sega's Zaxxon released in Japan in early 1982. Both Congo Bongo and Donkey Kong involve primates who throw objects at the player from a vantage point atop a structure. Both games involve a large-nosed protagonist whose only ability is to jump. Both games have four different, single-screen stages. The goal of the first stage in both games is to climb to the top. Even the graphics of the bonus timer are similar to Donkey Kong's.


  1. In the first stage, the hunter must avoid coconuts thrown by Bongo and he has to climb a series of cliffs to reach the ape, while at the same time shaking off three monkeys that try to throw the hunter off the mountain.
  2. In the second stage, the hunter must cross a swamp platform by riding on the backs of diving and swimming hippopotamuses and avoiding both venomous snakes and scorpions.
  3. The third stage requires the hunter to cross a plain and crouch into holes to evade the horns of charging rhinoceroses, while climbing up large flights of stairs to proceed to the next area.
  4. In the fourth and final stage, the hunter crosses a second swamp with lily pads, fish, and hippos, to reach a gate of charging rhinos that are blocking the entrance to Bongo in a hot tub.

The game repeats from the first level with increased difficulty.


Congo Bongo was ported to the Apple II, SG-1000, MSX, Intellivision,[7] ColecoVision, Commodore 64 (first as a cartridge, then disk), VIC-20, IBM PC compatibles, Atari 2600, Atari 5200,[8] Atari 8-bit computers, and TI-99/4A.[9] Sega's ports for the Atari 2600, 5200, Atari 8-bit, Intellivision, and Commodore 64 (cartridge version) include two of the four levels from the arcade original, while the ColecoVision release is missing the "Snake Lake" level.

The Atari 2600 version was released in March 1984. The ColecoVision version was released in October 1984.[10][11]


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]


The original arcade release is included in the PlayStation Portable version of Sega Genesis Collection (as an unlockable game) and Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. An enhanced remake was released for the PlayStation 2 under the Sega Ages label as a part of Sega Ages 2500 Series Vol. 23: Sega Memorial Selection.


  1. ^ Japanese: コンゴボンゴ, Hepburn: Kongo Bongo
  2. ^ Japanese: ティップタップ, Hepburn: Tippu Tappu


  1. ^ a b c Akagi, Masumi (13 October 2006). アーケードTVゲームリスト国内•海外編(1971-2005) [Arcade TV Game List: Domestic • Overseas Edition (1971-2005)] (in Japanese). Japan: Amusement News Agency. pp. 35, 131. ISBN 978-4990251215.
  2. ^ "Congo Bongo (Registration Number PA0000184737)". United States Copyright Office. Retrieved 5 May 2021.
  3. ^ "Overseas Readers Column" (PDF). Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 209. Amusement Press, Inc. 1 April 1983. p. 30.
  4. ^ Ikegami Tsushinki
  5. ^ ドンキーコング裁判についてちょこっと考えてみる Archived 2010-03-12 at the Wayback Machine; Thinking a bit about Donkey Kong, accessed 2009-02-01
  6. ^ It started from Pong (それは『ポン』から始まった: アーケードTVゲームの成り立ち, sore wa pon kara hajimatta: ākēdo terebi gēmu no naritachi), Masumi Akagi (赤木真澄, Akagi Masumi), Amusement Tsūshinsha (アミューズメント通信社, Amyūzumento Tsūshinsha), 2005, ISBN 4-9902512-0-2.
  7. ^ Intellivision Rarity Guide
  8. ^ Atari 5200 Manual: Congo Bongo (1983)(Sega), archive.org
  9. ^ TI-99/4A-Pedia: Congo Bongo
  10. ^ "Year-End Index" (PDF). Computer Entertainer. Vol. 3, no. 10. January 1985. p. 156.
  11. ^ Congo Bongo, atarimania.com
  12. ^ "Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25 - テーブル型TVゲーム機 (Table Videos)". Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 214. Amusement Press, Inc. 15 June 1983. p. 27.
  13. ^ Alexander, Charles P. (October 17, 1983). "Video Games Go Crunch!". Time.
  14. ^ "1985 Software Buyer's Guide". Computer Games. Vol. 3, no. 5. United States: Carnegie Publications. February 1985. pp. 11–8, 51–8.
  15. ^ Lendino, Jamie (27 September 2020). Attract Mode: The Rise and Fall of Coin-Op Arcade Games. Steel Gear Press. p. 177.
  16. ^ "Jungle Revenge in 3D: Tip Top". Computer and Video Games. No. 21 (July 1983). 16 June 1983. p. 30.
  17. ^ "1985 Arcade Awards" – Electronic Games January 1985, pages 22–28.
  18. ^ Hallassey, Dan (March 1984). "Congo Bongo". Ahoy!. p. 60. Retrieved 27 June 2014.
  19. ^ "Reviews: Video Game Buyer's Guide". Computer Games. Vol. 3, no. 2. June 1984. p. 56.
  20. ^ "The Best and the Rest". ST. Game. Mar–Apr 1984. p. 49. Retrieved 28 July 2014.

External links[edit]