Worst Levels in Donkey Kong Country

The Top Ten
1 Mine Cart Carnage

The cart levels can be quite frustrating at times because you move so fast it's hard to time most of your jumps. Not to mention that it's very easy to get ambushed by an enemy as they can pop up while giving you very little time to react.

2 Loopy Lights
3 Misty Mine
4 Trick Track Trek
5 Manic Mincers

Our first underground level on the list. The underground levels for the original Donkey Kong Country are some of the most soothing because they offer a really calming song, Cave Dweller Concert, and are just beautiful in general. However, the dark grey aesthetic for this particular underground course makes it kind of unappealing.

It's one of the only levels that features Rambi the Rhino, the other being Jungle Hijinxs, which alone makes it a pretty memorable level. The main gimmick is obviously those mincers that go up and down and provide a kind of frustrating challenge. It's an okay level, but there are definitely many better levels than this one.

6 Elevator Antics

Elevator Antics is another simply okay underground course. The underground levels for the original Donkey Kong Country are some of the most soothing because they offer a really calming song, Cave Dweller Concert, and are just beautiful in general. And Elevator Antics is your above-average underground level.

Its biggest flaw? Clickbait. This level is called Elevator Antics, but the lifts only come in the second half of the stage, which is kind of disappointing. The level itself is kind of forgettable. Nothing to really write home about - just avoid some enemies and yadda yadda yadda.

7 Tanked Up Trouble

From this point on, I like all of the levels on the list. To be fair, this game has one of the best collections of levels in 2D history. Sure, there have been six slightly mediocre levels I've just talked about, but now that we're in the good territory, the levels take a huge step in quality.

Tanked Up Trouble is basically a better version of Trick Track Trek, just like Loopy Lights is a better version of Misty Mine. Similar to Trick Track Trek, it's another relatively slow auto-scroller, but it's much better in many ways. Instead of just slowly waiting on a platform, you need to make sure the platform doesn't run out of fuel by constantly hitting fuel barrels, or else you will lose. It makes an otherwise dull auto-scroller kind of hectic and interesting.

That said, it's still a slow auto-scroller set in a Walkway-themed level, which is a bit of a bland level theme. So ultimately, it can't be any higher for me.

8 Torchlight Trouble

It's a surprisingly okay level. Squawks is easily one of the better animal buddies in the Donkey Kong Country trilogy, but that was only after the second game. In the first installment, he has a single level, and his only objective is holding onto a flashlight. You know what that means - a dark level where our only source of light is a lantern.

It's not a bad level despite that, but it's easily one of the less fun ones, closing in the top ten worst of this game. It's also pretty short, so this annoying gimmick doesn't drag. It could've ended up being an even worse level than it is, but as it stands, Torchlight Trouble is okay.

9 Necky Nutmare
10 Poison Pond
The Contenders
11 Snow Barrel Blast
12 Winky's Walkway
13 Reptile Rumble

Reptile Rumble is the first underground level that you play in this game, and it does leave a good first impression. The entire level has a pretty laid-back feel to it, with the decent Cave Dweller Concert ambiance in the background, the moderately easy-to-find secrets, snakes, and the nice-looking background. Other than that, there's not much else to add, as it's a pretty basic level. But it's good.

14 Jungle Hijinxs

A great first level. At first glance, it might not seem like a very extraordinary first level. It's very short, straightforward, and not much else. However, there's actually a lot of interesting things going on.

For one, you can go inside DK's house to get a free 1-Up. You can also go to his storage to see his whole banana hoard stolen. And you can traverse the entire first half of this level just by walking on the treetops using Diddy. There are surprisingly many things to do with this level. But alas, it's still just the first level, so it would be unfair to rank it any higher than this.

15 Platform Perils

Chimp Caverns has a pretty bad level selection overall, so it's nice to see that Platform Perils somewhat redeems the world and finishes it off on a decent note. Platform Perils, as opposed to the rest of the levels in Chimp Caverns, is actually a great level. It's fun and unique enough for me not to brush it off as just another cave level.

You traverse this level by walking on arrowed platforms in different directions. Sometimes, these platforms are owned by un-stompable enemies, so you need to take them out to get onto that platform before the platform you're currently standing on sinks into the abyss. It's a really exhilarating level that keeps you on your toes, and it's a bit sad that none of the other Chimp Caverns levels are this unique and fun. But at least there is one great level.

16 Rope Bridge Rumble
17 Tree Top Town
18 Ropey Rampage
19 Barrel Cannon Canyon
20 Coral Capers
21 Clam City
22 Ice Age Alley
23 Bouncy Bonanza
24 Mine Cart Madness
25 Stop & Go Station
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