The Penguins of Madagascar: Dr. Blowhole Returns Again

Penguins Struggle to Defeat an Evil Dolphin in This Ridiculous and Fun Game

What It Is

Apparently, the penguins from The Penguins of Madagascar, the Nickelodeon TV series, have formed some sort of special opps team and are now tasked with saving the world...or the zoo...or some place from an evil dolphin named Dr. Blowhole. Who knew a bunch of zoo animals led such exciting lives? It’s up to Team Penguin and their newest member, the player, to foil Dr. Blowhole’s sinister plan.

This game includes all of the main characters from the TV series, including Team Penguin, King Julien, Maurice, Mort and Marlene. The characters are voiced by the same actors who star in the series, including Neil Patrick Harris as the evil dolphin, Dr. Blowhole. Kids will join Team Penguin and play through 12 levels on a mission to defeat Dr. Blowhole. Each level features an obstacle course of items that need to be jumped over, slid under, smashed or blown up interspersed with puzzles and mini-games.

Why It’s Fun

I’ve never seen the TV series, but it must be funny because the game is a goofball comedy filled with highly entertaining characters that will have kids laughing out loud. The game play is fast-paced and the graphics are surprisingly crisp and detailed for a kid’s game.

In addition to the main story mode, there is also a dance mode with two dance games. One of the dance games has the player striking a pose at the right time by mirroring the dancing critter on screen. The second game is a Red Light, Green Light game where players rack up points by moving to the music but have to freeze when the red light appears. Both of these dance games are silly, very active and might even have kids breaking a sweat if they get really into the dancing.

Who’s Going To Love It

This one is very specific and is mainly going to appeal to Madagascar fans. Unlike some movie or TV tie-in games, the fact that I had never seen the series or movie seemed like a real disadvantage. At one point I encountered a squirrel (I think it was a squirrel) who asked me some trivia questions about the characters that I imagine only people who have seen the series would know the answers to.

As for ages, this is definitely a young gamer’s game, and kids between the ages of four and eight are probably going to enjoy it most.

What To Be Aware Of

This review is of the Xbox 360 Kinect version of the game. Other game systems will have different features, but the basics of the game should be similar.

Most of this game takes place on rails, which means that the player doesn’t control the direction or forward movement of the character. The game controls those movements and the player leans to influence the character’s left and right movements.

The game gets a little repetitive after a few levels of doing basically the same thing. There are new moves introduced with each level that keep the game from getting boring, but each level is essentially the same play-pattern.


Most kids will probably finish this game in about six hours and once completed, there isn’t any real reason to play again other than simply playing it again. The dance mode contains three songs for both games so even that won’t extend the replayability of the game.

Fun Scale

2 out of 5

It has to be fun or it wouldn’t be on Time to Play. But some games are more fun than others so here’s our scale: 1 is fun, 2 is a lot of fun, 3 is great, 4 is awesome and 5 is out-of-this-world!

Video Game Information

The Penguins of Madagascar: Dr. Blowhole Returns Again
Publisher: THQ
Rated: E (Everyone)

System: DS, PS3, Xbox 360 Kinect, Wii uDraw
Genre: Platformer
Players: 1

SRP: $29.99 (DS, Wii), $39.99 (PS3), $49.99 (Xbox 360)
Launch Date: September, 2011
Date of Review: October 12, 2011

*Rating determined by the ESRB


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