A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this amusing racing game provides a relatively harmless way for young fans of the Madagascar movies (or Shrek or Monsters vs. Aliens) to enjoy playing with some favorite film characters. The humor in the game is far less coarse than that in the movies and the cartoonish violence -- which comes in the form of outrageous booby traps for opponents -- never rises to the level of even the mildest Tom & Jerry skit.
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What's it about?
MADAGASCAR KARTZ is a racing game in the tradition of Mario Kart. Cartoon animals from the movie Madagascar race each other in suped-up vehicles through landscapes such as a tropical beach, an African savanna, a volcano, and a New York zoo. Along the way, racers can use silly power-ups to either get ahead or sabotage their opponents. Some power-ups include a giant protective crate that surrounds the players car and a disco ball that causes opposing drivers to dance and makes steering more difficult for them. You can unlock the bonus characters from the Shrek and Monsters vs. Aliens.
Is it any good?
Anyone who has played the Mario Kart games will know exactly what they're in for with Madagascar Kartz as well. Fans of one will enjoy the other. Madagascar Kartz benefits from appealing graphics, easy-to-use controls, and some creatively humorous power-ups. On the negative side, the number of racers -- and worse, the number of courses -- feels far too small. Racing games are built on replay value and without more variety, this one may soon lose its luster with many kids. Like many racing game, Madagascar Kartz works best in multiplayer and will serve best as a party game for groups.
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