According to a report by Nintendo World, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze doesn’t use the Gamepad in any specific way. Apparently the Gamepad will stay black whilst playing on the TV screen and the TV screen will be black when playing on the Gamepad.
This is just another game in a long string of releases that doesn’t make any great use of the Wii U Gamepad. It really has me wondering why it was ever made such an integral part of the overall experience.
They could’ve easily displayed menus or island maps on the Gamepad but according to this preview, it simply doesn’t. There is a small chance that this was an older build that hadn’t yet integrated Gamepad use, but due to the fact that the game is only a few weeks away from release, we’d think that this in’t the case.