Review: The Adventures of Tintin HD
Tintin, the Belgium reporter-come-adventurer, has been regularly refreshed in popular culture over the years; a case in point being the computer-enhanced “The Adventures of Tintin” movie. We recently reviewed the Java based game tie-in. However, even that game has had a refresh with this HD version. Do 3D graphics and a sumptuous John Williams soundtrack add to the original formula?
Version Reviewed: 1.00(1)
The Adventures of Tintin HD.
Note that this game is only compatible with newer devices like the Nokia 700 and requires an initial download that takes several hours.
From the outset, The Adventures of Tintin dazzles with a lively soundtrack and high-quality intro movie. The game menu is just the same with its sweeping 3D views of Tintin’s office, giving you access to various parts of the game.
Unlike its predecessor, there are mini games to play too. The “Extras” section has a gallery of characters from the game where each picture has been split into polygons for you to rotate and piece together. Completing each one rewards you with a 3D model of the character which you can pan and zoom around. They also serve as an achievement system, as all but the first have to be unlocked via progress in the game. Other characters can be bought in the shop view, via the in-game currency of gold coins that you will collect on your travels.
As you start the main game, you are treated to long animated sequences to take you through the plot of the story – which mirrors the story arc of the movie. The animations switch between a comic book with animated plans that eventually zoom into a full screen animation, with all the familiar characters from the world of Tintin . The quality of these scenes really gives you the feel of a classic title. However, I felt that they went on a little too long.
Inter-chapter animations rendered in real-time.
Once you get into the action, you have a virtual thumb stick with which to control Tintin, and as you progress, buttons on the opposite side of the screen will appear for running and stealthily tip-toeing around. You will be led by the hand through every new element though.
The other main user interface element you’ll find are the gold dots – these indicate that you can interact with a part of the environment; e.g. opening doors or pushing boxes. Parts of the game are fast action sequences in which you have to get perform a number of moves quickly, and here the gold dots will be time limited. If don’t react to them quickly enough, the sequence ends and Tintin will be caught, or worse!
Preparing for an action sequence!
As you explore, both coins and jigsaw pieces can be collected. These go towards unlocking content via the extras section mentioned above. An indicator at the top-right corner of the screen tells you how many coins there are to discover (and how many you have) for each chapter of the game. Some of the coins have to be collected during the cut-scene animations that help the story along. I have learned that tapping the screen during such sequences will cause them to be skipped. Therefore, it took me a while to figure out that some of the coins could only be seen during Tintin’s cut-scenes and that they had to be collected right then and that the sequence would not be skipped by tapping on the screen. Again though, some of these in-chapter animated sequences go on for a while, and it almost feels as if you’re being bribed to sit through them.
Sometimes you get to control Snowy, and follow his excellent sense of smell!
During gameplay, there’s no open ended exploration, there is a set path to follow, and all the clever tricks and climbing exploits that Tintin has to perform are clearly marked out for you. Even moving Tintin isn’t that fluid, it feels like you just have to push the d-pad in the right direction to let the game make Tintin perform the next preset action. Also, if you decided to replay a section of the game, you can’t take a shortcut to the next puzzle; you have to play through every single cut-scene – again!
Tintin’s climbing antics along preset paths.
The Adventures of Tintin HD is a visual treat and the John Williams soundtrack ensures that you will not be turning off the game sound. I do fear that it lacks long term appeal though, because everything takes so long. The story scenes are long and drawn out (but most can be skipped), and the game takes forever to load.
Plenty of puzzles to solve along the way.
I faced a major issue in setting up the game too. When launched the first time, a message was posted that the game had to perform a one-time download. The download goes so slowly that I had to leave it all afternoon and evening (on Wi-fi), downloading at what must be an excruciatingly slow rate.
Everything comes together to make this feel less like a game, and more like a slightly interactive movie. You do spend a lot of time just watching and not playing. The original version of this movie tie-in was a 2D platform game, and I have to say that I found it far more engaging than this 3D upgrade.
David Gilson, 12th February 2012.
Reviewed by David Gilson at