Madagascar Download (2005 Puzzle Game)

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This 3D platform puzzle game is based on the DreamWorks film of the same title and release time. Players take control of four unlikely animal companions: Alex, the brave lion; Marty, the idealistic zebra; Melman, the hypochondriac giraffe; and Gloria, the heavyweight hippo. The animals have joined forces to try to escape from their current confinement in the Central Park Zoo. Each creature has a special skill, and finding the best use for these abilities can be key to making it through each zoo-based level. The animals abilities become more powerful as players progress, and between-level mini-games feature supporting characters from the film, such as the penguins and the lemurs.

There has to be more to life than the zoo has to offer...that's the thought that motivates Marty the Zebra on a series of adventures with his animal buddies on his tenth birthday. Madagascar for the PC plays like a video game, and is based on the story line of the movie of the same name. The game possesses quite a bit of charm and humor, and, once the controls are learned, it's a heck of a lot of fun to play. A serious problem with the game is the fact that players cannot control the camera. It can be a dizzying experience, and a frustrating one, too. As a result, we recommend that our readers buy or rent the console versions of the game if they can.

Players control different characters at different points in the game. Marty the Zebra is hilarious with his wise-cracks and formidable with his kicks! Kids also play as Gloria the Hippo, Alex the Lion, Melman the giraffe, and the fiendish penguins. Side-games and mini-games are abundant. Some can be purchased with coins from the Zoovenir Shop, and others need to be discovered.

We love the game, but, as noted above, the camera makes it very tricky and frustrating to play at times. The humor is sassy, and the game has an ESRB rating of E 10+ for its occasional crude humor and "cartoon violence".

Based on the Dreamworks Animation CG film that just hit theaters, Madagascar is a third-person action-adventure game for kids. The game lets you play as Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Gloria the hippo, Melman the giraffe, and the crafty Penguins as they begin a journey from the Central Park Zoo to the island of Madagascar. Why? Because they wanted to try out what it would be like to live in the wild!

Despite the game's plot follows the film very loosely, Madagascar doesn't feature much footage from the film during the game. Instead the game and movie complement each other so perfectly that neither spoils the other. There are over 11 action-packed, movie-based chapters including "Manhattan Street Chase," where you search for Marty on the mean streets of New York; "Penguin Mutiny," where the penguins overtake a giant cargo vessel; and "Jungle Banquet," where you get ready for the feast of a lifetime. About half of the game follows one of the film's four main characters (Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Gloria the hippo and Melman the Giraffe) through various platforming levels, generally holding their hand as they learn new techniques (by collecting things), find ways to progress forward (by collecting things) or collect things to complete the level.

The basic controls for each character are the same, though each has his or her own unique attacks and special abilities, which can be earned by collecting special power cards scattered about each level. For instance, Alex has his lion roar, which can scare or blow back enemies, Gloria (hippo) can bowl people over and smash through objects, Marty (zebra) has a great kicking ability and Melman (giraffe) can hover by spinning like a helicopter to increase his jumping ability.

In addition, there are three mini-games which are a mix of new, if simple, games and remakes of arcade classics. In "Shuffleboard" you will play as an array of characters in a bunch of shuffleboard games. In "Tiki Golf" you golf with the natives on tropical, Madagascar style, courses. Once unlocked, I nearly forgot about the story and played the mini-golf for two straight hours. Then you have the "Lemur Dance Party" which is basically a rhythm-based game in the style of Dance Dance Revolution.

Overall, the game is a bit better than I expected (although it takes a little getting used to the camera angle). The characters are easy to control, and because they each have special powers it makes it fun to swap back and forth between them. The game is clearly aimed at kids (+10 years), and its target audience will definitely enjoy it. So, if your kid enjoyed the movie, definitely give this game a try.


People who downloaded Madagascar have also downloaded:
Ice Age 2: The Meltdown, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Pac-Man: Adventures in Time, Lucky Luke: Western Fever, Pitfall: The Lost Expedition, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (a.k.a. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban


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