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Back of the Box
From the Zoo, to a place that’s totally new. It’s a zoo break, with Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria headed for the isle of
  • Play as Alex, marty, Gloria, Melman and the crafty Penguins
  • Adventure through action-packed chapters
  • Interact with totally new charaxters and locations unique to the game.
From the Company
Based on the highly anticipated, star-studded animated feature film from DreamWorks Animation, Madagascar™ is the only console game that lets players enter the world of 4 hilarious Central Park Zoo animals--a personality-packed crew made up of a lion, zebra, giraffe and hippo--and their crafty penguin sidekicks. Players must master each animal’s natural skills while adventuring through the exciting city of New York and the dangerous island of Madagascar, interacting with other animals and tackling obstacles and enemies in scenarios from the movie and beyond.

The Bottom Line
An action/adventure game based on the Dreamworks cartoon of the same name, Madagascar is a game that was created (obviously) for a younger crowd. As most gamers know, videogame adaptation of movies tend to be… well… lets face it, they usually suck. Luckily though for Activision, Madagascar was fairly fun, but was still plagued with a few of the typical movie adaptation games issues. The main thing that is holding Madagascar back is the uncooperative camera scheme. You would think that with the target audience of this game, they would have decided to use a much more rigid camera camera scheme, but instead you will find that more often than not, it’s awkward to get the camera into a good position and then once you do, it will swerve around on when you don’t want it to. But lets talk about the good stuff too right…

First off, one thing that I did like about Madagascar was that the game was full of funny dialogue, just like that of the movie. The voice acting was ok, of course, you have to do your best when you have the actual actors from the film to voice your characters. Furthermore, you will enjoy clips from the movie throughout the game, although the in-game cut scenes are generated by the games engine and are not real clips.

The game takes place over 10 levels, that will take you from the Zoo and their escape to the streets of Manhattan, to the penguins mutiny on the cargo ship, to Madagascar island and the Baobab Tree with all the lemurs (insert Move It, Move It song here), to the Predator side of the Island. There are a variety of gameplay styles throughout the levels as well,including everything from scavenger hunt-style item collection, to arcade shooters, to races. There is even a basic steal element in the game. Most of these are done very well and have in-game instructions to help you along. For the most part, each level is broken up so that you get to play as one or two of the main characters at different times. You get to play as all of the characters (Marty the zebra, Alex the lion, Melman the giraffe, and Gloria the hippo) at one time or another, and each of the character have their own unique abilities and special moves that you will need to complete certain tasks. As you progress though the game, the levels open up a bit and become non-linear and you have free reign over being able to switch between the characters to choose which one you want to use to complete the level’s challenges.

Madagascar also includes some kinda cool extras as well.  You can purchase clothing from the Zoovenir Shop for the characters (hats, gloves, shoes, etc) that each will wear when you are playing that particular character. There are even mini-games that can be purchased including Shuffleboard, Lemur Rave, and my favorite, Tiki Mini-Golf. The mini-golf and shuffleboard games are pretty self-explanatory as to what you are going to do, and the Lemur Rave is a Dance, Dance Revolution inspired knock-off. Once purchased, you can access them at any time from the map screen. Each of these mini-games are pretty fun on their own, and you can even purchase add-ons for each one: new boards for shuffleboard and new songs for Lemur Rave.

Overall, Madagascar is a good, kid-focused game. The levels are well-designed and offer a variety of gameplay styles. The game is just as comical as the movie and has many un-lockable extras to be found. If you are a veteran gamer, you might wanna pass this one up as it is pretty easy (due to the target audience), but if you have kids who loved the movie, this game is for you.

Review ID Number: 650
  Product Details
Review Date: 2005-11-15
Reviewer: Shawn Sardy
Rating: 7 out of 10
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