Gameplay for the Donkey Kong JR Coleco Tabletop Arcade Mockup
(Coleco - 1983)
The game play for this tabletop Donkey Kong Jr game is unknown as the mock-up was built from existing Coleco Donkey Kong parts, so like the Donkey Kong unit, the small VFD color screen features the steel girders and ladders.
It would have been great if this unit had made it to production... I can imagine the fun of climbing vines and jumping islands to free Donkey Kong from his cage.
But like the other units in the series, movement would be a little tricky until you got used to it. Since the other games in the series can move only one space for each time you move the joystick. So if you wanted to move to the left two spaces you would push the joystick left twice.
This is just one of those times we have to use our imaginations to picture the game play. Since this game was slated to come out a year later than the first games, it would have improved game-play based on consumer feedback from the original set of Coleco tabletop arcades.
I would surmise that a debugging feature would be incorporated into the system by the development team like the others before it, by pushing the joystick up as you turn the game on, you would most likely have gotten eight lives.
Like the Donkey Kong version I would also have to surmise that you would have been able to grab bonus items like fruit for extra points... as well as dropping items on the chomping jaw traps.
As a kid, I played the full sized arcade version of Donkey Kong Jr for hours on end... It was my favorite game for months and is the only arcade game I ever played all the way to the kill screen. So needless to say, this would have been one of my purchases back in the 80s if I had the money at the time.