Nintendo released Donkey Kong Jr. Math at a prime time to capture on Back to School fever. Parents who want to buff their kid’s math skills might pay attention to it over the long weekend instead of glossing over it. Never fear though there are some good virtual console games online. Landstalker and Bonk 3 are both worth your pocket change. Adventure Island, not so much if you already bought New Adventure Island. The games are extremely similar except New Adventure Island has better graphics and a few extra enemies.
Adventure Island (NES®, 1 player, rated E for Everyone – Comic Mischief, 500 Wii Points): A mysterious tropical paradise known as Adventure Island is the setting for this side-scrolling action game. The evil Witch Doctor has kidnapped Tina, the true love of Master Higgins. To save her, you must safely guide Master Higgins through eight perilous stages – including dense forests and creepy caves – while defeating all of the enemies in your path. Each area is made up of four rounds filled with enemies determined to stop you in your tracks. In addition, as time passes, Master Higgins’s vitality is automatically drained. To keep going, he must eat constantly by grabbing fruit, milk and whatever other goodies he can as he races toward his goal. Sometimes eggs containing miraculous items like axes to throw at enemies or honey that grants temporary invincibility will appear. Use items skillfully to help you clear the areas. At the end of each area you’ll face the Witch Doctor, who you must defeat to advance. Go, Master Higgins, go!
Donkey Kong Jr. Math (NES, 1-2 players, rated E for Everyone, 500 Wii Points): Learning can be fun, especially when you play along with Donkey Kong Jr. Practice addition, subtraction, multiplication and division by directing Junior, a cute little monkey who must climb up and down vines to collect numbers and math symbols to solve the math problems his father gives him. Compete with a friend in a race to solve problems in Game A or add more challenge with Game B. Of course, you can also practice on your own. This game is perfect for younger players who are looking for a fun and easy way to develop their math skills.
Landstalker: The Treasures of King Nole™ (Sega Genesis, 1 player, rated E for Everyone – Mild Fantasy Violence, 800 Wii Points): After hearing of the legendary treasure of King Nole, the elvish treasure hunter Nigel undertakes a quest to gather various pieces of the famed loot. His journey takes him through Mercator Island’s villages, caves and dungeons that hold King Nole’s riches. Along the way, he’ll have to help the inhabitants of the island while fighting against the treachery of Duke Mercator, who is searching for the treasure as well. A variety of obstacles and foes will try to deter Nigel, who must use all his wits and skills to defeat Duke Mercator and uncover the secret of King Nole’s treasure.
Bonk 3: Bonk’s Big Adventure (TurboGrafx16, 1-2 players, rated E for Everyone – Comic Mischief, 600 Wii Points): The hard-headed hero is back for more side-scrolling action in the third installment of the popular Bonk series. It’s up to Bonk once again to thwart the plans of the relentless evil King Drool. There are seven rounds scattered throughout the Dinosaur Kingdom, each one filled with fun contraptions and comical enemies. Grab a Flower Copter or exchange 16 Smileys at the end of each round to play up to eight different bonus stages. Or you can change the size of Bonk by grabbing the new red or blue candy items. Depending on the situation, you can change your size to bonk your way through a dead end or to get a hard-to-reach item. And if that’s not enough, you can grab a friend and put your heads together to defeat King Drool in the new two-player mode.