...and not surprisingly, it's well done and a lot of fun.
The phenomenom of rhythm- and music-based games has been going strong in Japan since Dance Dance Revolution hit arcades there in the mid to late 1990s. Even today you'll find arcades packed with games where you can play guitar, be a DJ, play a huge taiko drum, play a trap set or any number of other variations. Not to mention, each of these games has many (sometimes dozens) of home versions.
Unfortunately, with the exception of DDR, these games are hard to find in the U.S, at the arcade and at home. Only recently are developers starting to realize the profit potential of a genre that appeals to all ages and both genders.
So here we have Donkey Konga, Nintendo's first rhythm game, and it comes with a pair of bongos - a good deal for $50. The bad news is that, despite looking like bongos, they don't play like bongos. The heads are rubbery and soft, not tight like real bongos, and they don't make a bongo sound, except through your TV speakers. So if you had planned to jam on these sans GameCube, forget it.
The good news is the game is competent and a lot more challenging than I thought it would be, given the "kiddie" premise. There are about 30 songs, which, unlike the J-pop and original songs in DDR, will be familiar to almost everyone. I especially like the classical music and the new versions of old Nintendo theme songs. There's also oldies, swing, pop and rock.
Basically, like any rhythm game, the goal is to watch scrolling symbols and hit the drum at the right time - either one or the other, both at once, or clap your hands together (or, easier, slap the side of the drums). Surprisingly, even the middle level (equivalent to "standard" in DDR) has some pretty tough songs. Even if you can pass them, you'll have trouble getting all "greats" (equivalent to "perfect" in DDR).
The only thing I'm really wanting in this game is perhaps a bigger songlist. Thirty songs will get mighty boring after too long, I predict. But I'm hoping this won't be the last game to utilize the bongos - and I hope it sells well enough to convince other developers to make rhythm games.