Donkey Kong Coconut Crackers was a puzzle game developed by Rare Ltd. and announced by Nintendo in 2001. The title featured both an isometric gameplay grid and Donkey Kong-themed levels and modes. In 2002, it was cancelled when Nintendo sold their share of Rare Ltd.
Original announcement from Rare:
If Diddy Kong’s heading off to make a name for himself on the Game Boy Advance, DK wants in on it too! So here he comes with his very first foray into the puzzle game world, which, like all classic puzzlers, works around one simple principle: in this case, score points by creating shapes – specifically, squares and rectangles. DK’s coconuts fall towards the game board in various formations, and fortunately for you he’s taken the time to fill them with paint…
Naturally, there’s a bit more to it than that. The paint comes in two colours, and while you can cover one colour with another, you can’t drop, say, red on red or green on green. Plus you’ve got some opposition in the form of those dastardly Kremlings, who can never keep their snouts out of business that doesn’t concern them. Even as you’re rotating and dropping the coconuts and building up your shapes, there’ll be a lone Kremling sneaking around the outer edge of the game board, rendering useless any square it crosses and giving you less and less room to work with. Fortunately for you, finishing off a shape will call in one of DK’s animal buddies to drive the scaly troublemaker back and reclaim some of that lost space.
Donkey Kong Coconut Crackers comes with a whole barrel-load of playing modes, including an addictive adventure across the crazy terrain of Kong Island, head-to-head battles with boss Kremlings and a series of challenges set by everyone’s favourite grouchy monkey, good old Cranky Kong. You can even take on your friends in a multiplayer showdown to see just who really is king of the jungle. Yep, DK really has thought of everything…
In 2003, THQ decided to publish a reskinned version of Donkey Kong Coconut Crackers. As It’s Mr. Pants, the game featured Rare’s very own mascot. The isometric view was scrapped as it made the puzzle tiles difficult to see.
The ‘Crayon Snake’ that circles around the board in Marathon Mode eating the game pieces was originally called the ‘Pants Snake’. THQ thought that this was a bit too risqué and requested the name change.
Beta: It’s Mr Pants: