Publisher: D3Publisher of America
Genre: Video GamesPuzzle
Release Date: 06/05/2012
Platform(s): Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Online Enabled: No
ESRB Rating: E
ESRB Explanation: For Comic Mischief
Common Sense Says: Simple platform puzzler lets kids play with animal stars.
Common Sense Rates It:
Parents need to know
Parents need to know that Madagascar 3: The Video Game is based on the movie Madagascar 3. The story is exactly the same, though it is told through terse sequences in between levels of gameplay. The game consists of a series of levels where players run through different European cities, collecting items and solving puzzles, and playing a variety of mini-games. The game is meant to be very accessible so that young Madagascar fans can appreciate it. There is some sense of peril in parts of the game where players have to avoid animal control officers, but other than that there is no objectionable content.
- Families can talk about the inherent consumerism in this title. Would you enjoy this game if the characters were nondescript zoo animals instead of characters from Madagascar?
- Do you prefer playing this game alone or with others? Do you like games that feature co-op play? Why?
What's the story?
In MADAGASCAR 3: THE VIDEO GAME, players follow a loosely presented version of the same story as the movie Madagascar 3, in which the familiar zoo animals like Alex the Lion and Marty the Zebra must pretend to blend into a traveling circus in order to get home. The story is presented through brief sequences in between gameplay levels. The Story mode consists of a series of platform-jumping levels where players need to solve basic puzzles, with the help of voice-over tutorials for players who might get stuck, as well as a variety of mini-games. There are separate circus-themed mini-games as well.
Is it any good?
Madagascar 3: The Video Game is designed to be enjoyable for little kids. There is no sense of "death" in the game. If players fail, they simply re-appear at an earlier point in the level. In addition, voice-over dialogue constantly provides help and guides players in the right direction. The addition of a two-player mode in which players can navigate the levels independently and help one another is a nice touch. The mini-games are also fun and help to break up the sometimes repetitive platform-jumping levels. Older players will likely find a lack of challenge in this game, but for the young target audience of the Madagascar franchise, the presence of familiar characters, the ease of play, and the varied gameplay will be an enjoyable experience.
How to play
Playbility: This game is very accessible. The bulk of the gameplay consists of players running around different environments, collecting items, and following prompts that appear on the screen. Even players who may have difficulty getting from point A to point B will be helped by the continuous flow of voice-over narration that helps guide them through each level. The mini-games that are interspersed between the platform-jumping levels of the game likewise require only very basic controls and reflexes. The game is driven by a story, and the gameplay mechanics serve mainly as a means of advancing the story rather than trying to stump or challenge players.
The Good Stuff
Messages: There is a strong emphasis on teamwork in this game. Players will play as one of several different animals at a time, and must switch between these animals in order to solve a variety of puzzles. The game can also be played cooperatively with two players, allowing each one to take a hand in completing the puzzles. While the storyline is somewhat disjointed and rushed at times, the sense of togetherness and teamwork is solid.
Educational Value: Players will need to use spatial recognition skills and also hone their reflexes to complete the various mini-games in this title as well as the series of platform-jumping and puzzle-solving levels that tie the game together.
Role Models: This game features all the heroic characters that fans of the Madagascar movie franchise have come to know and love -- Alex the Lion, Gloria the Hippo, Marty the Zebra, and more. These characters all come across as positive role models. They work together to solve problems, they are always there for one another, and they won't stop until they accomplish their goals. Their altruism and strong personalities shine through in this game.
Ease of play: This game is very accessible. The bulk of the gameplay consists of players running around different environments, collecting items, and following prompts that appear on the screen. Even players who may have difficulty getting from point A to point B will be helped by the continuous flow of voice-over narration that helps guide them through each level. The mini-games that are interspersed between the platform-jumping levels of the game likewise require only very basic controls and reflexes. The game is driven by a story, and the gameplay mechanics serve mainly as a means of advancing the story rather than trying to stump or challenge players.
What to watch out for
Violence & scariness: There are occasional instances of whimsical violence in this game, such as cartoon animal control officers targeting the animals with batons and unintimidating bombs, but there is no depiction of anyone ever being harmed or injured.
Language: Not an issue
Consumerism: This game can be seen as a marketing tool for the movie Madagascar 3. Playing the game may also encourage children to want additional merchandise from the Madagascar franchise.