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Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa: Lions and Hippos and Penguins, Oh My!

Company: Activision

Madagascar : Escape 2 Africa will return gamers to the world created by DreamWorks that featured a band of Central Park Zoo animals who tried to break free and ended up in the strange jungle island of Madagascar.

Now, the group (Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Gloria the hippo, Melman the giraffe and the quartet of militant penguins), has decided to try and make it back to America, this time with King Julien (the king of the local ring-tailed lemurs) and a few of his followers in tow. Unfortunately for the group, their plane won't make it all that far and they will crash land in the heart of Africa.

Madagascar : Escape 2 Africa, the game, will be split up into a series of locations and each one will feature a variety of objectives that could have your characters doing everything from standard platformer type actions to trying to carefully land a unique flying machine that the penguins concoct (in a very Lunar Lander fashion).

In one of the levels, you will have to guide the penguins through a series of buildings trying to collect (read: steal) items necessary to rebuild the plane. Some of the items you simply have to walk up to, but there is a whole section where you will have to use Private's fishing ability to reel in some necessary items. You will end up picking up everything from chattering teeth to sombreros and bicycle horns as you take out lizards and guards alike.

The penguins' part of this adventure will also have them driving a car in an attempt to bump a convoy of trucks so that they will lose their cargo. Don't worry though; fans of the other characters from Madagascar will be able to play as more than just the little black-and-white guys. All of the main characters are playable at one point or another.

An interesting direction the developers are taking with this game is that, instead of making the game a basic platformer (like the previous Madagascar title), Escape 2 Africa actually mixes things up quite a bit. Objectives are given fairly frequently and they can have you do everything from playing a game of hot potato, to musical chairs to shooting Mort (the smaller lemur) into the air in an attempt to hit targets.

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa also features a few multiplayer options. Not only will you be able to play quite a few of the mini-games you encounter while in-game, but you will also be able to set up a tournament of mini-games with up to four players. All in all, there will be 10 mini-games that you will be able to play outside of the story and each one is very unique.

Escape 2 Africa looks like it could shape up into a fairly fun movie tie-in game. Fans of the characters should definitely keep an eye out for this title. It is scheduled to ship early November with an E 10+ rating.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

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