The adventures of intrepid journalist Tintin and Milou, er Snowy, his terrier companion, have been amusing readers of all ages since 1929 when Belgian artist Hergé a.k.a. Georges Remi drew them to life. The iconic characters have appeared not only in print but in film, the latest being The Adventures of Tintin directed by Steven Spielberg. Now the movie, scheduled for a late-December release in North America, is a cross-platform video game by Gameloft called The Adventures of Tintin – The Game. It’s been out overseas since mid-October, but made its iOS debut in the U.S. last week. I am always wary of calling anything a must-have, but this is as close as its gets. The universal game, weighing in at a massive 846MB, looks stunning on the latest generation of iPads and iPhones.
Console games on iOS, especially those of this size and complexity, usually sport choppy animations and transitions, and a control scheme that translates poorly to touch. Gameloft, however, has created an almost-seamless experience with cinematic cut-scenes, comic book panels and 3D rendering and controls — a mixture of a D-pad and buttons, with some accelerometer involvement — that will please players of any age or skill level.
You play as three characters, alternating as the situation warrants: Tintin, Snowy and perennial colorful favorite Captain Haddock. With each doing their part, gamers seek out objects and solve puzzles to foil evil Ivanovich Sakharine and solve the mystery of The Unicorn. Each chapter contains mini-games like swashbuckling, seek-and-finds or dropping crates suspended by ropes. Each environment also has coins to collect and pieces of a jigsaw puzzle to unearth.
There is nothing to complain about, but there is something to consider before buying. The game is linear and the puzzles often simple to solve. The entire game can be played through in one or two sittings. While some scenes allow for a 360-degree view via accelerometer or gestures, for the most part progression and camera angle are fixed. The game targets the same demographic as the movie (tweens and younger teens), so it isn’t terribly challenging, but, coin collecting and jigsaw puzzle solving add some replay value. Difficulty notwithstanding, The Adventures of Tintin — The Game is one of the best console-quality games available. If your device has the space, pick this one up for the whole family.