|System: Wii, PS2, DS, X360, PS3, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Toys for Bob||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Activision||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 4, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
We all know that games inspired by movies are not exactly the best, and games inspired by kids movies are often viewed as attempts to cash in on popular franchises. However, we are occasionally treated to games that actually keep the young audience in mind, and can actually be fun family-oriented games.
Titles like Cars: Mater National, and Kung-Fu Panda have all been really great kid-focused titles based on movies, and it looks like Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa is following in that trend. While this title may not be the most innovative or lengthy title out today, it does a great job of creating a kid-friendly world where kids can play through the story by themselves, or play with family and friends. And it doesnt hurt that those lemurs are so darned cute!
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa is basically a game with two parts: single player and multiplayer. The story mode can only be played with one person, who is then able to take the role of all four main characters. The structure is much like that of the Cars series of video games, with a variety of mini-game missions moving the game forward. These missions can vary from shooting an innocent lemur out of a slingshot to using Melman the giraffe to plug up stem holes in the desert. The gameplay in the single-player mode is varied rather nicely, and there are 12 different levels comprising this main mode. None of these levels are particularly long, but there are extra collection quests in every level that bolster replay value.
One thing that kids who play this title may appreciate is how the game deviates from the story. Because this game is primarily intended to extend the experience of the movie, it is nice that the game doesnt re-hash all the plot elements of the movie. Even though the core story is all but lost in the video game adaptation, chances are good that if you have already picked up this title you know all about the characters, and it is nice that the developers kept their already well-informed audience in mind.
The second half of the game consists of multiplayer modes that can be played with a friend. These multiplayer modes consist of minigames, but surprisingly these minigames are not just recycled from the single-player. Some of the all-new mini-games include mini-golf, a rather interesting take on chess, and an operation-style medical game. All of these mini-games are actually very fun to play in a group, and this is the type of game where parents and kids can get in on the fun.