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Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa review

Or whatever it takes to get away from it

Pros

  • Amusing cutscenes
  • Some decent minigames
  • Penguin stealth!

Cons

  • Constant interruptions
  • Looks horrible and bland
  • Many crappy minigames

If we were to say “It’s apt that the back of the box depicts a pair of lumbering penguins holding a pair of Wii controllers, because that appears to have been the target audience,” the inevitable response would be “But it’s for kids!” But when did that argument ever hold water? When were the pre-pubescent ever champions of the bland and meandering?

Even letting that slide, it’s likely players of any age will grow weary of the constant interruptions. (You can barely move without triggering a cutscene.) The cutaways can be amusing and colorful (as opposed to the in-game visuals, which make the majestic entity that is Africa look like a grass strain on a skidmark), but serve only to further fragment an already disjointed compilation of minigames.

The minigames – or, if you’re lucky, platforming sections – are thrown out with only the most cursory attempt to tie them into a coherent story (despite the glut of talking heads). Some are okay and would have benefited from being expanded upon, such as the giraffe-on-a-boulder levels, or the penguin stealth stages (seriously). However, their charms are buried beneath a pile of far poorer efforts. A kid wouldn’t put up with such mind-numbing tedium. Are you smarter than a ten-year-old?

Dec 11, 2008

More Info

GenreAdventure
DescriptionAs the Dreamworks Animation machine releases another money collector on film, so too must a game be made for that property. Thus lurches another empty exercise filled with dull celebrity voices and simple gameplay. It will then sell a million copies.
PlatformPS3, Xbox 360, Wii, PS2, PC, DS
US censor ratingEveryone 10+
UK censor ratingRating Pending
Release date4 November 2008 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)