Review: The Adventures of Tintin, by Gameloft
The Adventures of Tintin, by Gameloft
$4.99, **** (universal binary)
- Beautifully illustrated scenes and backgrounds
- Intuitive games play
- Involving story
- Story can drag at time
- Some bugs are noticeable, especially when picking up objects
I am a huge Tintin fan. When the movie came out a while ago, I was ecstatic, and so I was equally happy to see the game available on iOS as a universal binary. For those that may not know, TinTin is based on a series of comic books from Belgium. He is a journalist and ends up travelling around the world with his dog Snowy on adventures. Sort of like Indiana Jones, before there was Indiana Jones.
Figure 1. The Adventures of Tintin splash screen!
The Adventures of Tintin begins with a great cut scene introduction showing some highlights from the books. During gameplay, there are various cuts scenes, but the story also unfolds through the use of comic book like panels that have some illusion of depth to them. The game follows Tintin as he attempts to solve the mystery surrounding a wooden ship he purchased as a flea market – first the mystery of who took it, and then the mystery of why. I don't want to give away too much of the plot (for people who may not know) but suffice to say it is an enjoyable mystery.
Figure 2. Nice animation sequences are scattered throughout.
Gameplay is very straightforward. Most of the gameplay involved controlling Tintin in a 3D environment with a direction pad – you move around, trying to achieve certain goals or tasks. At times you may also need to tap, swipe, or rotate things on the screen. You have a running button and a stealth button (which helps you for fine movement control, but also when you don’t want to attract attention). But beyond that, there really aren’t any additional buttons that you need to worry about while playing.
Figure 3. The direction pad controls movement, with screen tapping options to interact with the environment, and buttons for speed.
The game also has built in “action sequences” where you don’t control Tintin, but you need to tap in certain areas of the screen within a limited window of opportunity. You also get to control additional characters at various times (I have only gotten to controlling the dog Snowy).
Figure 4. You can also play as additional characters, like Snowy!
The game play itself isn’t that involving or innovative, but it helps you move through the story that is. Any fans of Tintin will recognize the story line (as will anyone who has seen the movies) but you move through a wide range of illustrated worlds that match the Tintin story. The soundtracks adds to the various moods of mystery, danger, or excitement.
Figure 5. Multiple locations and environments are included.
Sometimes the controls are a little spotty on the iPhone (where I was playing). You need to pick up coins and puzzle pieces as you move along, and I found that there are some bugs there – I moved directly across coins multiple times but only picked them up when I was a bit of a distance away.
You can have multiple games set up at once (for example, one for you, one for your kid), and the game is a universal binary (so the iPad is a much better gaming experience. On a larger screen the animation is really great, and if you use earphones you can really get swept up into the game. One little fun feature is the puzzle pieces you collect help build 3D models of the characters that are viewable in the gallery.
All in all, The Adventures of Tintin is an involving, enjoyable game experience. There is not much replay value once you finish, but it may take some time to reach the end of the adventure. The game follows the movie and books, so if you are familiar with those, there aren’t any surprises. At $4.99, this game is a must buy for any Tintin fan, and is one of the better game adaptations for a movie that I have seen. Four out of five stars.
* = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
*** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
**** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.
Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benefits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating. Please comment on these reviews. All opinions expressed in this review are precisely that – opinions. You may agree or disagree. If you own the app, tell me what your opinion is. If the review prompted you to buy (or not buy) the app, let me know why. If you want more information about the app, go ahead and ask.