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Score: 80%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Vicarious Visions
Media: Cartridge/1
Players: 1
Genre: Platformer (2D)

Graphics & Sound:

It’s a strange thing to see, but the visual style of Madagascar the game seems to be even less cartoon-like than the movie. The graphical style of Madagascar seems to be closer to the semi-realistic renders found in older games like Donkey Kong Country than the animated Dreamworks feature. While different doesn’t always mean bad, Madagascar could benefit from a brighter palette, as the colors are all terribly muted, the environments drab, and many of the objects in the game are hard to see. I swore many times as I ran into an enemy I couldn’t really see or fell into water that looked like normal terrain and died, because I wasn’t currently Gloria the Hippo. The sound is a combination of variations of audio elements from the movie and typical bouncy platformer sounds.


The story of the game is also identical to the movie. After Marty escapes the zoo to explore for the night, his three friends go after them and they soon find themselves on a ship to the African island of Madagascar.

If you’ve played any sort of 2D platformer of the 8-bit or 16-bit era, you already have a firm grasp on the gameplay of Madagascar. The basic idea is to run, jump and attack your way through cutesy foes, collect some coins along the way, and reach the goal at the end of the level. The main twist on the gameplay is that you can switch between the four Madagascar animals, Alex the Lion, Gloria the Hippo, Melman the Giraffe, and Marty the Zebra, in real-time as you progress through a stage.

Each character, of course, has their own unique abilities. Gloria can swim, Marty can squeeze through tight spaces, Alex can double-jump, and Melman can hide. Each also has a unique way of attacking, ground stomps, kicks, neck-snaps, etc…


Madagascar’s difficulty is well preserved and ramps up at a comfortable rate. The game gives you plenty of time to learn each character’s abilities and become comfortable with the game. It will also introduce you to some of the different styles of levels, such as find the goal, collect the penguins or avoid the guards. While the game does get sufficiently difficult, this won’t occur till the end of game, and all gamers, old and young alike, will find plenty to challenge them.

Game Mechanics:

The play control for Madagascar couldn’t be simpler. The D-pad moves your character around, with B performing an attack, and A jumping. Each characters' special abilities are used by a combination of these buttons.

No platformer is complete without its collectable items, and in Madagascar these appear as animal tokens. Spread out through each level are a specific number of these tokens and it takes the abilities of each character to reach them all. After collecting specific amounts of tokens, you unlock bonuses on the main menu.

While the gameplay is at times a little simple and dry, with the movie's trademark characters, the movie’s story, and a good difficulty curve, Madagascar is sure to please platforming fans alike.

-Alucard, GameVortex Communications
AKA Stephen Triche

Windows Imperial Glory Windows ER

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated