The Adventures of Tintin™ - The Game Review
- Deliciously vibrant visuals; colorful, sharp and full of depth.
- Simple, responsive controls.
- Lenient QTE's with scaling difficulty thanks to 'collectables'.
- Unlockables for the obsessive compulsive gamer.
- Minor quibbles such as the lack of a screen rotation (makes headphones awkward).
- Skip button features no confirm; easy to lose coins/miss content attempting to get coins.
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn was more than worth the wait thanks to clever and fresh gameplay that suits the theme of the franchise; being gorgeous to look at doesn't hurt either.
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During the hottest of the long summer days at high school, one of the best ways to beat the heat was to score a spot somewhere in the air-conditioned library and while the time away with a humorous novel or more rarely, a graphic novel. New printed editions of Hergé's Tintin series were some of the most prized acquisitions and soon I'll be able to relive the same experience as I beat the seasonal heat while enjoying Tintin in the cinemas.
The release of Gameloft's tie-in game, which is (as the title suggests) based around the story of The Secret of the Unicorn, is a timely one, though European gamers have been lucky enough to enjoy both the game and the film for some time now. For those such as myself who had to wait, it was most certainly not in vain as this is perhaps Gameloft at its best.
Before you get too excited, this is also a relatively short game, but given the style of gameplay this is almost a blessing as it manages to not overstay its welcome while remaining fresh and innovative until the end. Nominally the game is an action-adventure, set in a third-person perspective, though this regularly changes as control switches between characters and even vehicles. Just as soon as one style of presentation starts to feel dull, the game quickly shifts gears, be it with a QTE (quick time event) or a stealth/puzzle section to keep you on your toes.
This kind of clever pacing shows a high level of care and attention for the franchise it seeks to capture. Tintin regularly finds himself jumping in to the fray, inquisitive mind at the ready, only to get in to trouble and requiring the help of his faithful companion Snowy. All of this is carefully rendered in sharp detail, emulating the film's style while also being self-aware enough to add touches such as focal blurring to add depth to the screen.
Adding to the experience are hidden collectables, such as coins and puzzle pieces, and while they give the player something else to do (especially during cut-scenes), the unlocked 3D models are little more than simple trophies. More concerning is the lack of a confirmation for the 'skip' button as it's all too easy to try and stab a coin and find yourself missing out on a chunk of the story. For fans of the series it's no huge loss, but a loss all the same.
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn is, if nothing else, an example of the minimum standards to be expected of a tie-in franchise: Not only does it bring the aesthetics of the film to life, it pursues fresh and interesting avenues for gameplay (who'd have honestly expected Cut The Rope style puzzles to crop up?) without compromising the integrity of the story it seeks to convey. A great pick up for fans of the series and those after a tight action-adventure title for the holidays.