Format: Game Based on a Film
Style: Action/Adventure 2D Platformer
The Adventures of Tintin is a tie in game released to coincide with the film of the same name directed by Steven Spielberg. Most of the time, these licensed title video games are just complete rubbish, rushed out the door quickly in an attempt to make a quick buck, but Tintin is different. It actually is capable of sticking to the plot of the film while being entertaining in its own right. That being said, it’s not without its problems.
Let’s start with the good. Tintin is a platformer at its heart, similar to the old Prince of Persia games or possibly some of the Rayman Origins. Tintin navigates elaborately constructed mansions, underground tunnels, boats, etc by jumping, climbing, wall jumping, pressing switches, fighting guards, and solving simple puzzles. The game has the tendency to use cartoon logic, giving enemies shields made from umbrellas or having a banana peel simultaneously be a weapon and the most slippery substance on the planet. Personally I enjoyed this style as I thought it was reflective of the source material, but it might be a little too “cutesy” for older players who have a stick up their ass and want to go back to playing Carl of Duty: Black Cops. The music is treat, the voice acting is superb, and of course the world of Tintin is reproduced splendidly, however I think most of this has to do with the developer working closely with the concepts laid out in the film’s assets.
The game starts to suffer when it jumps away from the 2D realm into the third dimension. Occasionally there will be sections in airplanes or on motorcycles that are just tired old tropes of the video game world where an endless stream of bad guys in other motor cycles are inexplicably chasing the protagonists. These parts aren’t terrible, but they felt tacked on and left me waiting to get back to the platforming.
Later on the game does get kind of awful when Tintin meats up with Captain Haddock. This isn’t to say that I didn’t like Captain Haddock. Quite the contrary, he’s one of my favorite characters. But whenever he’d tell a story about his ancestor, the game would shift to Captain Haddock’s ancestor’s perspective, letting players fight in the middle of a pirate battle. This sounds cool in theory, but in practice, it was a nightmare. The game becomes an on-rails sword fighting mess that sees the left control stick now operating the captain’s sword arm rather than the traditional “move around” function normally relegated to it. Additionally, the sword fighting just keeps going on and on for no reason, often times reusing identical pirate character models for two distinct pirates who are fighting side by side. That’s just lazy and unnecessary. Also, Haddock will regularly reference his dead ancestor, so these sections come back again and again.
While these diversions from the 2D platforming do help to break up Tintin‘s pacing, they don’t offer much in terms of value. The goal was obviously to make the game feel like it had a lot of action in it, replicating the experience of the movie, but the final result was just a lot of rehashing of what we’ve come to expect from other games that are attempting to copy Hollywood action flicks. Though the platforming sections make up the bulk of the game, there’s just too much of the other crap in there. Most of the time I spent with this game made me wish I was watching the film instead. But despite that, if you find yourself with a few hours to kill, Tintin might make a nice distraction.
Score: 6/10 (It’s probably one of the best licensed games ever made.)