Madagascar 3 is sort of two games in one, based on the 2012 film of the same name. There’s a story mode which can be played by two players cooperative as well as circus-themed mini-games. Both are great family fun, and make Madagascar 3 a great game for families to play together.
In the story mode of Madagascar 3, players will take control of Alex the Lion, Gloria the Hippo, Marty the Zebra or Melman the Giraffe as they work their way through various European levels inspired by the Madagascar 3 movie. The basic plot revolves around the characters joining a circus in an effort to get back to home to their zoo in New York City, and with the help of some narration from King Julien, you’ll play along with them as they achieve different objectives.
The game can be a bit difficult at times as you figure out what you need to next, as each level has you controlling two of the characters from the movie. Each has special abilities, such as Alex’s ability to jump and land on tiny surfaces, or Gloria and Melman’s ability to walk to the tightrope. You’ll need to thoroughly explore each level and look for the shiny objects as clues as to what to do next. Floating balloon animals also give clues as to who’s special ability can come in useful.
In the Circus mode, players can play one of a handful of different circus themed minigames, such as jumping through fiery hoops or launching out of a cannon and collecting objects as you fly.
Our family testers really enjoyed the cooperative aspects of the story mode, as well as the competitive aspects of the Circus games. The game gives great spoken directions, and the voice acting is great, too. Madagascar 3 also does a good job of telling you what to do both verbally and through on-screen instructions. Madagascar 3 is a definite recommended title for families with kids in elementary school, even if they may not be fans of the movies.