A series of three tie-in games set in the world of Creator/Dreamworks Madagascar animated films. Unlike, say the Video Game
/Shrek tie-ins , which had several spin-offs in different game genres, this was restricted to the Action Adventure
games with modest connections to the plot of the films. A notable feature was the extensive focus on various minigames (Escape to Africa had around two dozen for instance, which were rarely repeated) and the ability to control a large number of characters. Besides the four protagonists of the films, Escape to Africa had sequences giving player control of the penguins, The first game had attained mildly positive reviews due to these features, but as the gameplay has failed to significantly improve
over time, the review scores went down, and Madagascar 3: The Video Game
had received largely negative reviews.
Madagascar the game features the following tropes:
Madagascar 2: Escape 2 Africa features the following tropes:
- Artistic License – Biology: Did you know that giraffes get actual butterflies flying in their stomachs? As well as fish and even whole colonies of mushrooms? (not fungus, but regular, stem-and-cap mushrooms) Play this game and you’ll be delighted.
- Battering Ram: In the final showdown with the tourist village, the plane-mounted monkey-chain hammer acts like this, easily smashing the huts and later used to break through the dam.
- Bottomless Magazines: Rico stores an infinite amount of soda cans in one shoot-out against the tourists trying to steal the tires from the jeep.
- Similarly, Marty gets infinite supplies of soccer balls when he’s fighting against the Granny's durian explosives.
- Butt Monkey: Melville is treated like this in the game’s early stages, often getting some of the scrappiest levels and mechanics.
- Car Chase: There’s one where penguins chase after the four tourist jeeps in order to disable them and get the monkeys they carry. It is surprisingly hard and likely to be That One Level.
- Convenient Item Placement: Mangoes happen to be Alex’s ranged weapon, and there’s a whole lot of them out in Africa. Same happens with jalapenos, which Gloria needs to perform her charges.
- David Vs Goliath: One of the minigames is the so-called Chess Jungle, where film’s characters are split into heroes and villains, with power ratings from 1 to 7. Who can defeat level 7 badass like Moto-moto? Why, it’s Mort and his level 1 counterpart!
- A Day in the Limelight: Just about every character in the film gets a role in the game and can be controlled. Even ones as minor as Mort, Julian and Maurice get a small playable role (for Mort, his own chapter).
- Eat the Bomb: The only way to defeat a crocodile boss as Mort is by performing combat rolls to knock poison mushrooms into his maw when he opens his mouse.
- Hammerspace: Alex is capable of carrying up to 20 mangoes on him with a complete lack of pockets or anything of a kind.
- Hot Potato: Used during Alex’s initiation. This being Serengeti, “potato” is replaced with durian.
- Hyperactive Metabolism: In all games, Gloria can perform a charge powerful enough to smash through walls for a few seconds after eating a jalapeno pepper.
- Improbable Weapon User: When underwater, Gloria attacks by blowing bubbles. On land, Alex is the only character possessing a ranged attack due to his most hand-like paws. Instead of, say, rocks, he throws mangoes, which turn up surprisingly often as a result.
- Joke Character: Mort. Whereas other characters have two to four abilities, he can only perform a weak roll. He can’t even attack normally with it: in order to defeat the lizards and the croc, he is forced to knock the poison mushrooms into their maws with it.
- Lost Forever: If you enable the “monkeys are everywhere” feature at Julian’s store, some monkeys will turn up inside giraffes when you heal them at Melville’s clinic. Some of those won’t
- Make Me Wanna Shout: Alex’s primary attack is to roar at his enemies, which scares some larger enemies (like other lions) away and kills smaller critters, apparently by causing heart attacks in them.
- Not Quite Flight: If he jumps off a high enough spot, Melville can temporaril drift by spinning his legs like a helicopter.
- Oxygen Meter: Gloria has one when she’s underwater. Much like Sonic, she can refill it by breathing in bubbles.
- Playable Epilogue: It’s possible to keep playing the game after the campaign ends, though it’s difficult to do so otherwise.
- Simon Says Minigame: Plenty of examples. The straightest is probably one during the volcano segment, when Julian must enter dance-off to avoid being sacrificed before the shark falls in there.
- Spin Attack: Melville’s secondary attack is to spin his legs around.
- Sterility Plague: During the healing minigame as Melville, you get Julian’s red medicine that instantly destroys any kind of infestation in its area. If you use it three times, Julian will run out of it and give you the black one, which doesn’t kill anything, but instead prevents all the creatures present inside the patient from multiplying for a good period of time.
- Stomach of Holding: Penguin Rico specialises in this: it even gets lampshaded during the game on one occasion.
- Super Drowning Skills: Everyone besides Gloria dies as soon as they touch the water’s surface.
- There Was a Door: An especially annoying example is used in the crashlanding level, where Melville is asked to clear a path for the group by riding on a boulder. It is a very frustrating mechanic as the boulder frequently rolls back at every obstacle, and once you’re done, you find out that everyone has already found the alternative entrance.
- Tight Rope Walking: Alex can do that amongst his other skills.
- Timed Mission: The race for Marty against other zebras is obviously timed, as are all the other race-like missions. Melville’s healing practice also has a set time limit.
- Unexpected Gameplay Change: The various minigames/setpieces are so frequent it would be too difficult to list them all, especially since many are foreshadowed in the prologue on the actual Madagascar island. One notable exception is arguably when as the penguins, you’re asked with fishing out items from the tourists’ shack with the fishing rod. Game actually allows you to open each and every compartment of the cupboards at hand.
- Unnecessary Combat Roll: Mort and the penguins employ those. Unlike typical FPS usage, here it’s done offensively, being Mort’s only means of attack.
- Use Your Head: One of Melville’s attacks is a headbutt, courtesy of his long neck. When assembling the plane, he is even asked to hammer the nails in for several sections.