Gamers Go Ape Over Donkey Kong Tournament at Spacebar Arcade

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Boise Weeklys New Media Czar Josh Gross attempts to topple the top score.
  • Andrew Crisp
  • Boise Weekly's New Media Czar Josh Gross attempts to topple the top score March 28 at the Spacebar Arcade.

Boise Weekly previously took you below ground to Spacebar Arcade, where a group of classic arcade gamers battled it out in a Galaga tournament Feb. 21. After the success of that tourney, more than a dozen players turned out March 28 to try their hand at a similar competition—this time featuring the Nintendo classic Donkey Kong.

For those unfamiliar with Donkey Kong, the premise is simple on paper. A giant ape has kidnapped a pretty blonde lady and a Mario-esque "jumpman," as he's called, must save her. To do so, players jockey a knob and a button to jump over barrels.

For the competition, each player had a single quarter to drop into the machine and five minutes to achieve a high score. Unfortunately for me, I'm better at downing suds than I am at dodging barrels.

On my first run, I scored a paltry 2,200 points without getting past the first level, whereas BW's Josh Gross scored 7,800. Meanwhile the frontrunner, Mike Ramshaw, scored 32,000 on his first shot.

Alas, a second run did me no better. I scored 1,500—less than 10 percent of some of the other competitor's scores. Ramshaw walked away with first place at 32,000 points, Joel Wallace achieved second place with 29,500 and Cam Gunn took third place at 29,100.

Each took home swag—including hats and pint glasses—from tournament sponsor Ninkasi Brewing Company from Eugene, Ore. A Pac-Man competition is planned for April.

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