Review: Madagascar DS

These days every movie that's being released is required to have a game stuck to it. (well, not every movie; just the thought of a 'romantic-comedy movie' game makes me shiver). Especially the animated ones don't go into theatres without a game available. We all know that these games aren't famous for their innovations, slick graphics and fantastic controls. Madagascar doesn't change this tendency. In fact, Madagascar on the DS is the same as the GBA version. They are practical identical!

This means graphics are GBA quality, sound isn't ground-breaking and the innovative DS functions are hardly used. Vicarious Visions, developer of the two handheld versions, didn't take any great risks. They probably thought: 'Let's just make a simple platform game and not waste to much sweat on two different versions.' That's great thinking when you want to save costs, but not for us gamers.

Madagascar lets you control the four lead characters of the movie. They hop in sixteen levels from left to right. Just as we did so many times in our game history. But Madagascar also offers a 'tactical' addition. Is this mountain too high for Gloria, the hippopotamus? Switch to Alex the lion, who can jump over it. Admittedly, this adds a little refreshment to the gameplay, but the levels are just far too simply designed to enjoy.

As said Madagascar makes you use the analogue buttons most of the time. You probably never used these buttons so much before. The touch screen has the mere function to easily switch between characters. Oh, wait, the usual levels are interrupted two times by some DS only mini-games, controlled by the touch screen. These games are fun and fresh, but you can complete them in a minute or two. They're over just when you start to realize you're having fun. Madagascar could have been a lot better with more of these DS exclusive mini-games.

The game duration is also pretty short. It will highly take you four/five hours to see the end credits. Far from being enough to justify your purchase. What's left after the regular adventure are a couple of pretty boring mini-games, but lucky you, it's possible to redo the levels, so you can unlock more of these boring mini-games. How tempting.

But isn't there one highlight? One thing that makes this game special? There is a single cartridge multiplayer mode, isn't there? That one sounds good? No, sorry I have to disappoint you, but playing the 2-player mode is really nothing to look forward to. It's simply yet another boring mini-game. Hardly fun for one time to play, a barbarous punish to play it more often.

So expect no high graphics standard, no special touch screen features, let alone other renewing stuff. Madagascar just brings you a standard platform game that follows the story of the movie. No more, no less.

N-Europe Final Verdict

Big fan of the movie? Or you just like platform games very, very, much? Or just looking for a below-average game to fill your game collection? Then buy Madagascar.

  • Gameplay2
  • Playability2
  • Visuals2
  • Audio3
  • Lifespan3
Final Score


Follows story of the movie
Switch between characters


Same as GBA version
Boring minigames/multiplayer

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