Another mass-market comical cartoon from Dreamworks can only mean one thing. Another mass-market videogame cash in. Surprisingly, though, this one's rather good. Madagascar oozes quality, even if its pre-teen gameplay makes it more of an amusing diversion than a genuine challenge. The beauty lies in its presentation and the meticulous attention to detail that's been put into recreating the movie's storyline with in-engine cut-scenes, rather than lazily stitched together excerpts from the movie. This silky approach means the game moves at a satisfying pace, with cut-scenes flowing seamlessly into a variety of mini-games. These are varied enough but generally boil down to either basic hand-eye coordination challenges or platform-based escapades. What's more, there are a few vaguely challenging sneaking and combat sequences thrown in for good measure too.
The charming, humorous and well-performed story charts the adventures of four animals (Marty the zebra, Alex the lion, Gloria the hippo and Melman the Giraffe). The quartet break out of a zoo and embark on an adventure that eventually takes them to the titular island. With each creature possessing its own distinct personality and repertoire of special moves, there's variety involved, though the gameplay never has a chance to get too stale, as Madagascar is shorter than a monkey's dick.
Polished and fun, Madagascar is more of an interactive cartoon than a proper game, but if you want to relive the movie with a few entertaining distractions thrown in for the ride, k you'll find a few fun-filled hours here.
Okay. As we all know, a great kid's movie usually equals a less then stellar video game. I would like to say that this isn't the case with Madagascar, and the good news is that it isn't the total mess other games that started as movies have been. If fact, it performs the basics of a solid platform game with a decent amount of skill. This game certainly isn't revolutionary or the slightest bit innovative, but as a kid's platform game, it's not bad.
Madagascar starts off with Marty the Zebra having a mid life crisis. Basically you'll begin by performing simple tasks and receive new abilities on your way to completing required goals for the level. All are extremely straight forward and for the most part your hand is held and guided from task to task. The tasks themselves are obviously designed for a younger audience, which you would expect. If you keep that in mind the target audience however, the complexity level is right on target. In addition, you'll get to control various different characters from the movie all with unique skills to help them get through their tasks.
Graphically, it looks similar to the movie but there is plenty of room for improvement. The textures are weak and the environments are lacking detail but there is still enough here to represent the movie well. The audio helps fill the gaps however with good voice work and witty dialogue, but the sound effects are a little sparse.
Since I wasn't expecting something amazing, Madagascar really performed slightly better then expected. Again, if you keep in mind the target audience, it meets at least a minimum set of expectations for a kid's platform game. There's nothing that's going to knock your socks off, but enough for your 10 year old to enjoy it at least as a rental.