Never fear! We have the beginner's tips you need to collect puzzle pieces and gold coins while avoiding the many dangers in the game. On top of that, you can go in depth withPrima's official eGuide.
Don't Worry About a Time Limit
Years of playing Super Mario games taught us to fear constantly ticking clocks. Thankfully, you literally have all the time in the world to explore, solve puzzles and crush bad guys in Tropical Freeze. Go ahead and take your time.
Tip: Collect all of the bananas in bonus rooms to receive puzzle pieces.
Keep an Eye on Your Air Meter
Unlike Mario, Donkey Kong can drown. That said, be mindful of his Air Meter while underwater, and look for air bubbles that'll recharge it instantly. None to be found? Head to the surface to avoid death, even if it means leaving collectibles behind.
Utilize Diddy, Dixie and Cranky's Abilities
Let's face it, we all have our favorite secondary character(s) in Tropical Freeze, and this goes far beyond looks. Sure, Cranky's a cool guy, but we prefer Diddy's Barrel Jet ability to the old timer's bouncy cane. Meanwhile, Dixie's Hair Propeller can take a while to get used to. Bottom line, it's important to find the character ability that works best for you and/or the given situation.
Look for the Checkpoint
See a pig sitting inside of a barrel? That's the level checkpoint, and you'll breath a sigh of relief once you activate it. This lets you continue from that point in the stage, should you die and have Red Balloons to spare.
Collectibles are Oftentimes Located in Unlikely Places
Sure, you'll find gold coins and puzzle pieces while underwater and exploring secret caves, but the developers were especially tricky hiding these items. Should you come upon a bunch of bananas, collecting them all may reveal a puzzle piece, which is something we did not expect. This goes back to not worrying about a time limit. Explore as much as possible, and use the Ground Pound to break things. That's the best way to locate secret rooms.
Tip: Collect 100 bananas for one Red Balloon.
You may need to jump on a critter's head to reach a hard-to-find coin or banana. Did you kill an enemy by accident? If so, go back the way you came for a little while and then return to the bad guy's location. He'll be there again, and you can keep doing this an infinite number of times.
Monitor the Heart Situation
Both Donkey Kong and his buddies have red hearts that signify health. Run out, and you lose a life. Partners like Diddy and Cranky get affected first and disappear. Once they're gone, Donkey Kong will be susceptible to damage. Of course, you should always know how many hearts a character has.
Spend Gold Coins at Funky's Fly 'n' Buy
Pay Funky a visit and purchase a handful of items that you'll equip throughout the game. This includes special balloons, Banana Juice that makes Donkey Kong invincible for a limited time, a Crash Guard to protect him from damage while riding the Mine Cart or Rocket Barrel and Squawks that alert you to nearby puzzle pieces; you can only use one Squawk per level. Keep in mind that you can equip up to three items per stage.
Unleash Kong Pow
Collect bananas to fill this meter, then activate DK's special ability to transform nearby enemies into items. Now you can reap those sweet rewards.