Timber is at home, relaxing on his island, when suddenly Wizpig, wanting revenge, swoops down in his spaceship and lands somewhere far off on the island. Timber quickly calls his friends, but when they arrive, Wizpig runs by and snatches everyone. Diddy Kong manages to crawl out from his hand, but the others are captured and taken away. Timber and Diddy then go to rescue their friends and defeat Wizpig. However, they need 7 pieces of Wizpig's amulet to challenge him, and they must also collect golden balloons.
This game is a platformer with 8 worlds, not counting the hub, which is the main area as seen in Diddy Kong Racing. Each world and the hub has several golden balloons (the amount varies) and one piece of Wizpig's amulet. You start off with only one world, Dino Domain, but getting more golden ballons will unlock more. Regular balloons give you powerups. You can choose who you want to play as every time you enter a world. Once you leave, you will still be that person. Each person has different abilities. When you start the game, you always choose between Diddy and Timber. Every character has a meter with 3 hearts, which is your health. Beating a boss will add another heart.
- Diddy Kong: Diddy can run faster than most and shoot his Peanut Popguns to hit enemies and targets. He is not good at close-range combat.
- Timber: Timber can jump from high places without getting hurt and uses his claws to attack. Because he is a cat, he can cross ropes suspended in the air, poles, and other areas that are too small or thin or wobbly for other sto cross.
- Bumper: Bumper can dig if there's a red X on the ground (or a wall.) Also, sometimes large object have a bumper face emblem floating above them, signifying Bumper can pick it up. He uses his paws to attack, and is the strongest character.
- Pipsy: Pipsy can crawl in small spaces because of her size. She is the weakest character but also the fastest and attacks with a frying pan.
- Tiptup: Tiptup is the slowest character in the game, but he can hide in his shell to prevent taking damage from enemies. He can also charge his shell to do a shell slam, sliding forward very fast to hit switches and walls with cracks, and he can also walk up steep slopes and slippery areas unlike others.
- Krunch: Krunch originally joins as a spy for Wizpig, but ends up helping the heroes. He attacks with his tail and from biting. He can enter passwords into computers with Wizpig's faces on them to make things happen. He is the second strongest character.
- Drumstick: Drumstick attacks with a giant chicken leg and can shoot blasts of air at enemies by flapping his wings, stunning enemies and making fans and such move.. He also has superior jumping skills and can glide to places no one else can reach. He is also the second fastest.
- Tiny Kong: Tiny can jump higher than some other people and attacks with her ponytails. Across the levels, there are pads with her face on them that will teleport her to another face-pad, making you get to unreachable areas.
- Dixie Kong: Dixie has the exact same strengths and weaknesses as Diddy, except she is a much better jumper and attacks with her ponytail.
The worlds are very big and have lots to explore.
- Dino Domain: A prehistoric area with a volcano, desert, jungle, and canyon. Default world
- Jumpin' Jungle: A jungle area with mines, temples, and waterfalls. Unlocked with 3 golden balloons
- Snowflake Mountain: A snowy mountain area that consists of icy caverns, freezing water and icebergs, a snowy village, and a snowy field. Unlocked with 10 golden balloons
- Sherbert Beach: A beach area that consists of lots of water and waterfalls, inside a whale, pirate ships, and cliffs and caves. Unlocked with 20 golden balloons
- Dragon Forest: A medival area that consists of a medival village, a castle, haunted woods, and a forest. Unlocked with 30 golden balloons.
- Future Fun Land: A futuristic space area that consists of a big city, spaceport, outer space, and spacey caverns. Unlocked by getting the 7 pieces of Wizpig's amulet.
- Two more yet to be revealed