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Platform

Xbox 360

 

Genre

Platformer / Mini-Games

 

Publisher

Activision

 

Developer

Toys for Bob

 

ESRB

E +10 (Everyone)

 

Released

November 4, 2008

 

 

- Easy and engaging enough for the younger set

 

 

- Mini-games will become overbearing for adults

 

 

Review: Super Mario Sunshine (GC)

Review: Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz (Wii)

Review: Psychonauts (XB)

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Madagascar : Escape 2 Africa

Score: 6 / 10

 

madagascar-2-1.jpg (75082 bytes)          madagascar-2-2.jpg (49258 bytes)

 

Games I can play with my kids always get a lot of playtime around my house (at least, while they’re awake; as soon as they’re asleep it’s all about blowing away zombies) and Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa is one of those titles that doesn’t feel like it’s completely pandering to the demographic it’s aimed at, while completely alienating parents that might actually want to have fun, too. (Or at least be somewhat interested in what’s going on.)

 

Escape 2 Africa is tied together by a copious number of mini-games, which is a plus/minus to be sure.  On the one hand, some of the mini-games are great; and on the other, I actually don’t like mini-games that much.  The fact they’re separated by stretches of platforming helps to mitigate against the mini-games becoming completely oppressive for older players. (The bright, interesting settings help, too)  My oldest son, aged 9, ran through the entire game in only a handful of hours, approximately 6, but we spent a few more hours playing around with the multiplayer mode (which I can totally dominate).

 

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Since this is a licensed title, there are also plenty of cutscenes from the movie interspersed throughout, which do make the kids happy if they liked the film.

 

My son’s observations revolve around the platforming sections.  He had to perform some jumps dozens of times before actually landing where he wanted. “Why do I 

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keep missing this jump?”  I would have pointed out to him that the camera is a little loose, which might have been the reason – it was throwing off his aim.  I asked him if he liked Escape 2 Africa, “It’s good for a while. Can we play Lego Batman now?”

 

Kids have notoriously short attention spans.

 

My 6-year old daughter likes it enough that she has asked to play it, with me beside her if there’s a trickier bit of the game to overcome.  So, as long as you’re between the ages of 6 and 9 (or you’re buying/renting for such a person) you’ll likely have some fun with Madagascar : Escape 2 Africa.

 

- Aaron Simmer

January 25, 2009

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