Whenever a big named movie hits theaters, it is a requirement nowadays to create video games to complete the marketing buzz. Just like the vast majority of movie-to-game releases, this title was simply created to make an extra buck by appealing to young children and their parents’ wallets.
Escape 2 Africa (E2A) is basically a series of minigames strung together by a comedic plot involving animals trying to gather parts to build a plane so they can fly home.
Unlike Mario Party, where minigames are determined by what is happening on a game board, E2A basically links one game right after another. Eventually, the player will reach a hub world where select mini games can be picked according to preference, but at that point the game basically becomes a monkey and coin fetch quest. This is where the game’s overall organizational structure starts to fall apart. Without any clear direction, the game forces the player to guess their way through the level. Making matters worse, the player will find an option to switch characters and only certain characters can access specific sections of the level. This might become a little more cumbersome for younger gamers.
From the main menu, the player has the option to play select minigames without dealing with the main single player mode. It is unfortunate, however, that not all minigames are playable this way. If a player really enjoyed one minigame, the only way to play it is to go back and play through the single player mode, which could take while to reach the desired game. This also makes achievement farming more difficult and tedious. Let’s face it, besides young children, the only other people that will play this game are the gamerscore whores.
Most minigames are basic platforming or shooting scenarios, all which are hindered by a very awkward camera system and touchy controls. Some minigames are just plain stupid like playing hot potato and musical chairs. These games are not fun to play in real life so why would a child want to play them with wild animals? One of the game’s biggest minigames involves ramming a jeep into other trucks to steer them off the road. This driving play control is so floaty, it is highly difficult to just complete the mission, let alone even have the courage to try for that stage’s achievements.
If you collect enough coins, you can unlock a few things from the options menu, but nothing is really worthwhile (does anyone care to put a snorkel on your character?). Perhaps the best hidden secret about this game is the minigolf mode, but like the rest of the game, it suffers from touchy/floaty controls and is guaranteed to frustrate all that play.
Young gamers might get a kick playing as their favorite animated mammal, but the entire purpose of this game is another form of advertising. There is even a KungFu Panda demo on this disc as well. E2A is a game you should stay away from, but parents will buy this for there kids anyway because they know what they are getting: a non-violent children’s game.