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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Teamwork is the main message here. If the four penguins don't work well together, they won't get anything done. One of the penguins is an inventor and he constantly talks about the power and benefits of science.
Positive Role Models
These goofy penguins are good role models in the sense that they work well together as a team. They are incredibly well disciplined and orderly workers. They each have their own special talent and the others respect them for it.
Ease of Play
The puzzles start off incredibly easy and grow gradually more challenging as you move along in the game. The controls are quite simple, and if you make a mistake and your penguin falls off a ledge, he simply rises back to where he left off -- no harm done.
Violence & Scariness
One of the penguins, Rico, is a demolitions expert, meaning he can regurgitate explosives and use them to blow up barriers and obstacles. No living creatures are hurt by his bombs. In a mini-game, the penguins use karate moves to fend off bowling pins tossed at them.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Penguins of Madagascar is an amuzing puzzler starring the scene-stealing schemers of the original Madagascar movie. While the penguins use explosives for destroying obstacles, they are otherwise relatively nonviolent. It is, in essence, a strategy puzzle game that will make kids use their brains quite a bit. If you have a DSi, you can have the wisecracking lemur character, King Julien, from the cartoon, critique the photos you take with your DSi camera. He will sometimes insult them in silly ways.
Is It Any Good?
The strategic puzzle-solving format is a fantastic way to bring The Penguins of Madagascar into the video game world. It was a pleasantly unexpected choice on the part of the developers, and such a better one than if they'd simply given us a game about penguins waddling along and smacking enemies. Kids will really have to put on their thinking caps for these fun, brain-teasing levels -- but remembering that the audience here will be younger kids, the developers didn't go crazy with any way-too-difficult challenges. They're all fun, but do-able -- which is great. And the invention-creating mini-games break things up nicely (although you will have to put together the same darn bridge way too many times). Along the way, you can collect snow cones that can be used to purchase mini-games, which also provides a nice break from the strategic planning.
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Our Editors Recommend
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