Codex Gamicus

Kangaroo (カンガルー?) is an arcade game that was released in 1982. It was manufactured by Sun Electronics but distributed by Atari. The game bears a strong resemblance in terms of gameplay and plot to Donkey Kong as well as the Popeye video game. The player takes the role of a mother kangaroo who is trying to rescue her son. She must climb through treetops, while disabling pink monkeys that attack the kangaroo with apples. Points are scored for defeating enemies, eating the fruit scattered through the levels, as well as for punching out hostile monkeys (or by punching either whole apples that are thrown at the kangaroo, or apple cores, which are dropped dropped on her from above). Additionally, a bonus score is awarded for each level completed, with the size of the bonus determined by how quickly the level is solved.


Mama Kangaroo must save Kid Kangaroo from an entire gang of nasty monkeys. She must climb up ladders, jump onto platforms, leap across gaps and so on to rescue him. The monkeys will oppose her by throwing apples at her, either overhand or underhand. If they throw apples at her underhand, Mama Kangaroo must jump over them, but if they throw them overhand, she must duck. The monkeys will also drop apple cores and Mama Kangaroo must either avoid them or punch them to score points. Mama Kangaroo can also collect fruits and vegetables (including strawberries, pineapples, cherries, tomatoes, etc.) to score points. Mama Kangaroo can also ring a bell to make more fruits and vegetables appear.

Whenever Mama Kangaroo is close to a monkey, she can punch the monkey and knock him out. There is also a boxing gorilla called Big Ape who will occasionally appear on some levels and will try to deprive Mama Kangaroo of her boxing gloves and leave her defenseless, but she can punch Big Ape to knock him off the screen. If Mama Kangaroo is disarmed of her gloves, she must reach Kid Kangaroo before the dangers increase.

There are four different levels. The first level just has three floors connected to three long ladders. The second level is the same as the first except that on each floor, there are platforms that Mama Kangaroo must jump onto to get to each short ladder on each floor. On the third level, the cage in which Kid Kangaroo is imprisoned is held up by an entire stack of monkeys and there is an entire horde of apples that the monkey will unleash if five of them climb up there. On this level, Mama Kangaroo must punch each monkey in the stack several times until the cage is lowered and when the cage has been lowered enough, Mama Kangaroo must climb to the next floor to get to Kid Kangaroo before the cage is raised again or before the monkeys have the horde of apple cores unleashed. On the fourth level, there are odd connections of floors, platforms and ladders and the monkeys will throw apples and drop apple cores more unpredictably.

On each level, Mama Kangaroo must rescue Kid Kangaroo in order to proceed to the next. Everytime Kid Kangaroo is rescued, he says "MOM" while "Oh! Susanna" plays. After all four levels are completed, the game starts over again and with increased difficulty.

Jumping is kind of tough in this game because you have to make a quick direction change. The game play would be improved if a jump button had been added to the original control panel. The graphics in this game have a lot of glitches.


The Atari 2600 versions of both this game and Jungle Hunt were used in an ad promotion for an "Atari Safari" contest held by Atari in 1983.