Madagascar: Join the Circus: A basic movie tie-in on iPhone

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The third movie in the Madagascar film franchise, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, launches next month, but if you just can't wait to hang out with Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman once again, you can now download a companion app of sorts on your iPhone for free: Madagascar: Join the Circus.

The game sees you trying to help the film's animal friends make their way from Europe (starting in Rome), back home to the Big Apple, New York City. You'll be asked to build a traveling circus that becomes larger and more fantastic over time, with new shopping outlets, attractions and concession stands that will constantly earn you Tickets, the game's basic currency. You'll be able to set some buildings to produce wares for varying amounts of time, while others will constantly generate a profit so long as you come back to collect it.

Helping move the progress along are missions that ask you to collect profits from specific attractions, construct certain items and so on. You'll also be able to collect pieces of trash from the circus grounds and can even participate in a few mini-games to really pass the time (and earn more Tickets in the process). The first mini-game sees you controlling a trampoline at the bottom of the screen, sending Marty towards the top of the circus tent to collect balloons of different colors (each color represents a different point value). There are six levels of this mini-game, each with a different layout, but the same overall purpose.

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It's unfortunate that these mini-games are so limited at the beginning of the game, as they tend to be more entertaining than the circus-building itself. The game's selection of items is incredibly limited, and level-locked, giving you little freedom in which buildings you construct first. In addition, land space quickly becomes an issue as the first expansion costs thousands of Tickets to purchase, and your early Ticket income is fairly small. This, of course, can all be solved by purchasing Bananas, the game's premium currency.

In the world of branded movie games, Madagascar: Join the Circus works as well as most, with a standard selection of mobile game elements and a lack of ample mini-games to keep the experience fresh. There's no voice acting to help draw players in (although there are plenty of text windows to read), so even the fan service is a bit lacking if that's all you're interested in. Still, the game is free to download, so if you have a little one that simply loves the Madagascar films, they'd probably love this too.

Click here to download Madagascar: Join the Circus on iTunes ---->

Have you tried Madagascar: Join the Circus? What do you think of this movie-branded circus building game? Sound off in the comments.
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