As I said earlier, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
isn't what I imagined it would be. Although there are a few platformer-like elements, the game is mostly comprised of mini-games woven into the overall plot of the movie. The game begins right after the first movie ends with the zoo-crew trying to get off the island. This forms the basis of the first set of mini-games that involve the search for parts to build a plane. Once the plane is completed, however, the crew finds out that a plane built by lemurs and piloted by militant penguins probably isn't FAA approved and they find themselves trapped in Africa.
After the group's rough landing, the game follows the plot of movie, which is told through a series of cutscenes connected by short mini-games built around each character's special traits. All of Alex's sections, for instance, involve light platforming and object collection, while Marty uses his speed in racing segments. Games are rather short, but happen in quick enough succession that there usually isn't too much downtime.
Looking back, I'm tempted to rescind my assertion that Madagascar 2 is, as I first thought, a platformer, but the number and variety of play styles makes it hard to make a real decision. While it isn't good for my decision-making abilities, especially when it comes to filling out the genre box at the top of the page, it says a lot for the gameplay. I wouldn't go so far as to say that it is consistently entertaining; some games, like musical chairs, aren't that interesting to start and the level designs behind the platforming sections are bland. Still, there's enough here that the game is never repetitive or monotonous. At best it is just scattered, which should sit well with younger players who bore easily.
Each of the game sections are displayed on an overworld map. After unlocking areas, you can return to any game and replay it or pick up where you left off. You can also explore areas of the map to uncover previously undiscovered games. If the main game isn't enough, you can also enter the arcade and participate in a set of multiplayer games like Melman's Clinic, where you look at X-rays and cure various ailments or Volcano Rave, a DDR-style rhythm game. Generally, the mini-games are enjoyable, though only if you have someone to play with. None of them are something I could see myself playing more than once in a solo session, but if I had a few friends around and was a few years younger, I could definitely see myself squeezing a little more enjoyment out of the collection.