Video Game / Madagascar

A series of three tie-in games set in the world of Dreamworks Madagascar. Unlike the 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:

  • Absurdly High Level Cap: You get an extra life every time you collect ten tikis. There are no limits on tiki spawns. The levels cap at 99. You can still collect tikis all you want, but the counter can go no higher than 99 lives.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: All four characters regularly do this when left alone for a modest period of time, complaining directly to the player. The amount of phrases you can get is hilarious. Gloria's in particular are hilarious.
    Gloria: No, no. You are not just going to play for a minute and then leave me here.
  • Double Jump: Being the most acrobatic of the group, Alex is the only character capable of doing so.
  • 11th Hour Superpower: Alex's claw attack (which allows him to fight the Fossa one-on-one) can only be unlocked in the final level of the console versions, and as such, it only sees use during the final battle.
  • Giant Mook: On the "Penguin Mutiny" level, there are several larger crewmen wielding wrenches and can't be taken down by the player directly, requiring other objects such as a crane or bowling ball.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: All of the characters have this to varying degrees in the GBA port, but Melman has the most blatant examples. Only his body is interactive with the environment and enemies, and his head is only used as a weapon during his sneeze attack. However, his neck doesn't have any collision at all, allowing enemies to damage him if they're between his head and his body.
  • Skewed Priorities: When the foursome (Alex, Marty, Gloria, and Melman) are caught outside Grand Central Station and get taken out one by one with tranquilizer darts, Melman worries that the needles aren't sterilized. Marty replies that it's probably the least of their worries.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • There is a bonus with ten coins awarded in the New York City Street Chase for destroying 30 cars with Gloria's moves.
    • Additionally in the level Penguin Mutiny, there is a point where you will have to grab sailors with the ship's crane and trap them in a cage. However, you could also use the crane to throw them overboard the ship to drown them.

Madagascar 2: Escape 2 Africa features the following tropes:

  • Artistic License Ė 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 youíll 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 heís fighting against the Granny's durian explosives.
  • Butt-Monkey: Melman is treated like this in the gameís early stages, often getting some of the scrappiest levels and mechanics.
  • Car Chase: There are two, both involving the penguins. The first is where the penguins attack a convoy for supplies. The second is where the 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 Alexís ranged weapon, and thereís 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 filmís characters are split into heroes and villains, with power ratings from 1 to 7. Who can defeat level 7 badass like Moto-moto? Why, itís 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 mouth.
  • 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 Alexís initiation. This being Serengeti, ďpotatoĒ 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.
  • I Let You Win: Ends up being subverted with Moto Moto, who, after being beaten by Melman in a dance battle inside a volcano, claims that he was going easy on him, even though he lost two rounds in a row against Melman.
  • Joke Character: Mort. Whereas other characters have two to four abilities, he can only perform a weak roll. He canít 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.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Alexís 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, Melman can temporarily drift by spinning his legs like a helicopter.
  • Oxygen Meter: Gloria has one when sheís underwater. Much like Sonic, she can refill it by breathing in bubbles.
  • Permanently Missable Content: If you enable the "monkeys are everywhere" feature at Julian's store, some monkeys will turn up inside giraffes when you heal them at Melman's clinic. Some of those won't.
  • Playable Epilogue: Itís possible to keep playing the game after the campaign ends, though itís 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: Melmanís secondary attack is to spin his legs around.
  • Sterility Plague: During the healing minigame as Melman, you get Julianís 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 doesnít 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 specializes 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 waterís surface.
  • There Was a Door: An especially annoying example is used in the crashlanding level, where Melman 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 youíre 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. Melmanís 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 example is when as the penguins, youíre asked with fishing out items from the touristsí shack with the fishing rod.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: Mort and the penguins employ those. Unlike typical FPS usage, here itís done offensively, being Mortís only means of attack.
  • Use Your Head: One of Melmanís 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.