The game is a basic kart racing game, and the player can perform jumps, flips, rolls. There are many different stages from scenes of the franchise. Playable characters include Alex, Marty, Gloria, Melman, King Julien, Mason and Phil, or all four of the penguins. The Madagascar Kartz Wheel is bundled with the Wii version of the game. This wheel is optional. This wheel's look is different from that of the Wii Wheel from Mario Kart Wii.
Playable characters include Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, Gloria the Hippotamus, The Penguins, The Chimps, and King Julien from the Madagascar. Two characters from other movies are included alongside the Madagascar, Shrek from Shrek, and B.O.B. from Monsters vs. Aliens, all DreamWorks Animation franchises. Race types include Quick Race, Championship, Time Trial and Checkpoint race. A Championship race is one where the player collects mangoes and tries to finish first place in order to unlock higher speed classes (50cc, 100cc, 150cc, 200cc, the last one is raced in reverse direction/mirror mode), more karts and tracks. In Time Trial, players beat their own times and earn medals (gold, silver and bronze). In Checkpoint Race, players collect as many hourglasses as they can before the time runs out. There are several tracks in the game. Also, in a track, most tracks have 2 shortcuts. "I Like to Move It", sung by Reel 2 Real, is the menu theme. The game's gameplay is similar to those of Mario Kart Wii, by Nintendo. The sequel is Super Star Kartz.
Madagascar Kartz was critically panned by reviewers. IGN's Craig Harris called the Wii version a "quick racing kart cash-in that's, unsurprisingly, not as good as Mario Kart. GamesRadar also panned the game, saying that it is "basic, by-the-numbers and crushingly dull version of Mario Kart. They also called the power-ups ineffective. It currently holds no positive reviews on Metacritic.
- "IGN: DreamWorks Animation's Madagascar Kartz Videogame Coming October 27 From Activision". IGN. 2009-10-09. Retrieved 2009-10-21.