Hayden Meikle looks at a couple of offerings for younger
For: PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, DS
From: Monkey Bar Games
Two and a half stars out of five
Melman, Melman, Melman. I like to move it, move it. I like to
move it, move it.
Oops, sorry. Pavlovian response there. As soon as I hear the
word "Madagascar", the songs start playing in my head. That's
what happens when the kids watch it 25 times in a year.
This is a dinky, very simple game released to accompany the
third film in the Madagascar series.
Fans will know the main characters are Alex (lion), Marty
(Zebra), Melman (neurotic giraffe) and Gloria (hippo), and
others, including the magnificent, military penguins.
All four characters can be controlled as they seek to escape
the clutches of Captain Chantel DuBois and return home to New
The overall idea is to collect enough equipment to build a
circus, with a few mini-games in between the levels.
It really is very simple.
The gameplay - a little bit of running, a little bit of
jumping, a little bit of exploring, a lot of basic
button interaction with the environment - will be
excruciating for anyone older than about 12.
But for the younger kids, the sights and sounds and
simplicity will be just delightful.
One Piece: Pirate Warriors
For: PlayStation 3
From: Namco Bandai
Through the years, a few games in the Dynasty Warriors
franchise have reached this part of the world. It isn't clear
how popular any of them have been.
Pirate Warriors is a sort of spin-off, a Japanese
action/fighting game aimed at gamers in their early teens.
It features a main character with the spectacular name of
Monkey D Luffy and some folks called the Straw Hat Pirates.
The gameplay primarily features combat, with some grappling
sequences and puzzle-solving thrown in. Very repetitive, as
these games usually are, but that won't bother the young
Luffy is an entertaining character and controlling him -
especially in a stoush - can be fun, as he bends his body
into all sorts of shapes.
The game looks nice and colourful, and those who actually
know the series will appreciate the work done on rendering
It won't be a game you play for 100 hours but it's a pleasant