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Score: 85%
ESRB: Everyone 10+
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Beenox
Media: CD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Platformer (3D)/ Action/ Puzzle

Graphics & Sound:

While Beenox's PC version of Madagascar is certainly geared toward a younger audience, the graphics should not be. Madagascar suffers from rather poor visuals, especially for today's PC market. It is understandable that the developers don't want to require you to need a high-end computer to run the game, but those with a computer that can handle it will certainly be disappointed. The environments and characters do hold true to the film in style, however.

The audio of Madagascar is quite good, indeed. It's true that having the film's cast members do the voices would have been better, but the cast that reenacts these celebrities for the game does a pretty fine job. The sound fx and music for the game are also true to the cartoony nature of the movie.


Madagascar the game stays very true to Dreamworks' movie of the same name, then goes one step further and expands the story behind the animals' escape. This allows you to take control of all of your favorite main characters including Marty, Alex, Gloria, Melman, and even the military-enabled Penguins, and attempt to break out of the zoo. Standing in the way of your freedom are guards and police officers, among many others.

As a platformer, Madagascar is absolutely outstanding. With younger aged children in mind, the game manages to allow the player to utilize many different abilities, while keeping the controls very simple. In addition, Madagascar does a great job of keeping the game fresh with different goals to accomplish, including mini-games that replicate stand-up arcade games. And since you'll be in control of 5 different animal types, the gameplay never gets stale, from Melman's helicopter legs to the karate chops of the Penguins.

The gameplay of Madagascar also spans across many areas from the movie. You'll start at the zoo and have to make a break for the ocean, then hijack a ship and find your home across the sea. Unfortunately, the game is a bit short. Yet, Madagascar is still enjoyable for all ages due to its simple, but fun design and character interactivity.


Madagascar can likely be played by kids of all ages, including us old folks and those fairly early in their game-playing years. The simple controls are easy to pick up, and the game will walk the player through most of the obstacles (to a certain degree). So if you get stuck, it can be helpful to talk to another in-game character for advice. Most of the puzzles are straight-forward, but I can see that extremely young children may have some difficulty.

Game Mechanics:

The controls used in Madagascar are very easy to use and nearly anyone should get a grip right away. Different keyboard combinations can be used (including the standard AWSD or arrow configurations), and if you have a programmable game pad, the controls can often be even easier. The only problem I had was with the camera, as sometimes it seemed to freak out on me and I wasn't able to invert it for ease of use.

Adding interactivity to the movie of the same name, Madagascar the game helps to drive a slightly deeper story about the animals breaking out of the zoo than was allowed in the film. This story and presentation were welcomed with open arms, and fans of the movie will certainly enjoy the video game antics of this crazy group of friends. Who knew that a Lion, Zebra, Hippopotamus, Giraffe, and group of Penguins could have so much fun?

-Woody, GameVortex Communications
AKA Shane Wodele

Minimum System Requirements:

3D hardware accelerator card required - 100% DirectX 9.0c compliant 32 MB video card and drivers; Windows 98/ME/2000/XP; Pentium III 800MHz or Athlon 800MHz or higher processor; 256MB RAM; 800MB of uncompressed hard disk space; 100% DirectX 9.0c compliant true 16-bit sound card and drivers; 100% Windows 98/ME/2000/XP compatible mouse, keyboard, and drivers; 100% Windows 98/ME/2000/XP compatible quad speed CD-ROM drive (600 K/sec sustained transfer rate) and drivers; Supported Chipsets for Windows 98/ME/200/XP: All NVIDIA GeForce2 and better chipsets & All ATI Radeon 7500 and better chipsets

Test System:

AMD Athlon 2700+ CPU, Windows XP Pro SP2, 1GB (2x 512MB) PC3200 DDR400 RAM, ATI All-In-Wonder 9700 Pro 8x AGP Video Card, NVIDIA nForce MCP Audio, DirectX 9.0, Sony DRU-500A DVD±R/RW as main CD-ROM (Speed = DVD-ROM: 8x, CD-ROM: 32x), 6 USB ports, Cable Modem Hi-Speed Internet Connection

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Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated