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Wii classic Donkey Kong Country Returns gets an HD remaster

Retro Studios
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This story is part of our Summer Gaming Marathon series.

During the June 2024 Nintendo Direct, Nintendo announced that an HD remaster for Donkey Kong Country Returns will release on January 16, 2025 for the Nintendo Switch.

It’s unknown which studio is handling the remaster, but the game’s original developer was Retro Studios. It was the first game in the Donkey Kong series that did not involve original developer Rare, which Microsoft acquired in 2002.

The game’s trailer shows off a few of the levels with their upgraded visuals. The HD remaster will include the levels that were in the Nintendo 3DS version, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, which was developed by Monster Games. The game will have 80 levels total and will feature two player local co-op.

Donkey Kong Country Returns HD – Announcement Trailer – Nintendo Switch

So far, it doesn’t seem like Donkey Kong Country Returns HD will get any new content. It will just be complete package containing both the Wii and 3DS versions.

Donkey Kong Country Returns got a sequel later in 2014 with Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze on Wii U. While it was critically acclaimed, some criticized it for its high difficulty. When it was ported to Switch in 2018, it offered a new “Funky mode” that was essentially the game’s “easy mode.”

Retro Studios also handled Metroid Prime Remastered last year, and is currently working on Metroid Prime 4: Beyond. Its development was rebooted in 2019 and it is finally coming in 2025. However, it’s unclear whether it’ll launch for the current Nintendo Switch platform or its successor. In the meantime, Retro Studios is working on the Donkey Kong Country Returns HD remaster.

George Yang
George Yang is a freelance games writer for Digital Trends. He has written for places such as IGN, GameSpot, The Washington…
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